Category Archives: News

Photo by Taylor DeVille

Towson celebrates new students at convocation

By: Taylor DeVille, staff writer

The new class of 2020 had an average high school GPA of 3.59 and comes from 32 different states and 26 foreign countries.

The 2,771 freshmen and 2,210 transfer students were selected from a pool of around 16,000 applicants, according to Director of Admissions David Fedorchak.

Those filled SECU arena to celebrate their class and all they would achieve on Friday, Aug. 26 for their convocation.

When Provost Tim Chandler took the stage in SECU, he reminded students that, now that they’re in college, they’re responsible for their lives.

 “Be the author of this chapter of your life and take charge of your education here,” Chandler said.

 President Kim Schatzel had her own advice: “Meet someone new, learn something new, try something new every day.”

Towson President Kim Schatzel at convocation.
Towson President Kim Schatzel at convocation.

Schatzel asked students to start a new tradition with her by rubbing the ear of one of the bronze tiger statues around campus “for good luck” before the start of classes.

 Student Government Association President Taylor James said a few words on the importance of overcoming obstacles, stating “If you can master the art of resilience, you’ll find an abundance of success.”

Freshman Ryan Watkins closed convocation by singing Towson’s Alma Mater.


Students looking for refund checks might need to adjust online settings

By: Nick Mason, staff writer

Towson University’s Bursar’s Office will now issue student rebates and refunds through a new third party business partner, BankMobile Disbursements.

To decide how to get their refund, students will have to log in to their Disbursement Online Center (DOC) account and adjust their settings with BankMobile.

If a student does not log-in and adjust any settings, the refund will, by default, be sent to their permanent address.

However, if a student does not adjust his or her settings, BankMobile will sit on the refund for an additional 21 days, “waiting” for the student to decide how to receive the money, before mailing the check.

The new rules and regulations, which have been in effect since July 1, will not only affect Towson, but higher education institutions across the nation.

“Late last year, the Department of Education issued new regulations which called upon universities, like Towson, to make significant changes in certain agreements they have with banks,” PNC Bank Vice President and Senior Manager Marcey Zwiebel said in an email.

According to the Department of Education’s informal final regulations, the new rules were put into place to protect students and to simplify the process for them.

They are designed to protect private student information from providers, to make the process more convenient to students and to eliminate fees regarding access to these aid funds.

“The regulations were to protect students with checking accounts and overdraft fees that the Department of Education felt needed to be developed and established. We certainly want to comply with that,” TU Bursar Office Director Thomas Ruby said.

PNC vendors who had previously processed refunds were unable to meet the new regulations, so the TU Bursar’s office immediately contacted other vendors and found BankMobile to be the most compatible, Ruby said.

Other Maryland colleges and universities, such as Salisbury and UMBC, have already been using BankMobile.

“We agree with the spirit of the regulation, and we believe that, as written, there may be better avenues for the delivery of this service,” Zwiebel said. “We mutually agree that their finding a new partner is in the best interest of all involved.”

Money can be electronically deposited into a checking or savings account through any bank via direct deposit. Another option for disbursement will be to have the money put onto a special debit card which can be used at specific ATMs and retail stores.

By default, every student’s disbursement will be sent through a check mailed to their permanent address.

To change this, students can log in to their student center. From there, they can scroll down to finances and access their DOC account login.

“No other arrangement PNC Bank has with Towson University is being affected. Therefore our on campus branch, ATMs, ID Card Linking and other services will remain in place,” Zweibel said. “PNC Bank values our affiliations with Towson University and we are proud to serve its student body.”



TU develops two programs to fight food insecurity

By: Mary-Ellen Davis, contributing writer

Two new programs are coming to Towson University to help eliminate food insecurity on campus.

The two programs take different approaches to helping students, faculty and staff deal with food insecurity.

One program, the FoodShare, is based out of the Newman Center across the street from campus.

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The 2016 back-to-school survival guide

By: Cody Boteler, Jordan Cope, Taylor DeVille, Kristin Helf, Sarah Rowan, Sam Shelton and Lainey Tepper. Production was by Alex Best, Chris Simms and Jordan Stephenson.

Welcome to The Towerlight’s back-to-school survival guide.

If you click through to the links, you’ll find The Towerlight’s guide to surviving and thriving at Towson.

In addition to our editorial work, you’ll find letters and words of advice from TU faculty, administration and student leaders. Good luck getting started at Towson. This is a great place that you can really make a lot out of. Just don’t forget to read all your syllabi.

How to survive living on campus.

How to survive taking classes and working on campus.

How to survive doing all that and still have fun.


Kim Schatzel earns 1.3 percent raise

By: Cody Boteler, Editor-in-Chief

While University System of Maryland presidents don’t earn bonuses, they can earn salary raises.

Towson President Kim Schatzel earned a salary increase of 1.3 percent for fiscal year 2017, Mike Lurie, a USM spokesman, said.

When Schatzel signed on, her salary was $369,000. In fiscal year 2017, her salary is $373,613.

Performance reviews are a personnel item, meaning they are exempt from being disclosed under Maryland law.

“What we are able to say generally is that the mid-year and end-of-year performance reviews of a USM campus president are based on outlined goals that consider the unique qualities and needs of each USM institution,” Lurie said in an email.

Alumni Swimming and Diving 006 - Burke

Four members of TU swimming and diving compete in Olympic Trials

By: Jordan Cope, Sports Editor

Four members of the Towson University swimming and diving team competed in U.S. Olympic Trials earlier this month in hopes of qualifying for this year’s Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Recent graduates Hannah Snyder and Jenna Van Camp, along with senior Nick Breschi and sophomore Jack Saunders, represented Towson in competition at CenturyLink Center in Omaha, Nebraska, June 26-July 3. The event was the only selection meet for the U.S. Olympic Swim Team competing at the upcoming 2016 Summer Olympic Games. Continue reading

BCPD officers model body-worn cameras that will soon be deployed in the county. TUPD officers will not be getting body cameras.

TUPD won’t be getting body cameras any time soon

By: Cody Boteler, Editor-in-Chief

While Baltimore County announced that it would start outfitting officers with body-worn cameras starting early July, officials from Towson University Police have said that cameras aren’t really a necessity on campus.

“We are very fortunate that we don’t have high instances of reports of officers misconduct,” Chief of Police Bernie Gerst said. “We don’t have a community demanding that we have cameras. It wasn’t a thing that we felt the need to rush in to.”

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