Making a positive impact on the nearby community is a chief priority at Alfred State. One way in which the college is achieving this outcome is through its partnership with the Wellsville YMCA for the use of the Pioneer Student Union (PSU).
Located on the School of Applied Technology campus in Wellsville, the PSU includes numerous recreation offerings, from ping pong and foosball tables to basketball and racquetball courts, as well as a Health and Wellness Center where students can receive medical treatment or be connected with counseling services.
But the facility isn’t just for students, as Alfred State’s PSU has been hosting Wellsville YMCA programming since 2015. Among the activities and functions that have taken place there are youth and adult basketball leagues, a winter racquetball league, indoor soccer, cheer clinics, Zumba-thons, pickle ball, and more.
Justin Cornelius, coordinator of Student Affairs at the Wellsville campus, noted that as a result of the partnership, the YMCA is able to provide expanded programming due to the availability of space and the increased opportunities that come from having access to a full gymnasium.
“I am happy that Alfred State, through the use of the Pioneer Student Union, is able to help play a positive role for the community in which I reside,” Cornelius said. “We are trying to help meet a need of the community through the relationship and it is exciting to be part of something that helps toward the development of our youth. We strive to set our graduates on a great path for the rest of their lives, but this is a wonderful example of how our efforts can and do reach an even broader population.”
Traci Johnson Keppel, director of the Wellsville YMCA, said, “I think the partnership between Alfred State and the Wellsville YMCA is great. We have opportunities using the Alfred State facility we wouldn’t otherwise have. Building a YMCA is a long process of fundraising and having community support. Our partnership with Alfred State has given us gym space that is really needed in Wellsville. In the past, we have used the Wellsville Central School’s gym, but they have their own programs so it was hard to get in. This partnership has given us the opportunity to offer more programs in our area.”
Cornelius also noted that the YMCA provides a free one-month membership to any Wellsville-based Alfred State students.
“Most importantly, though, the community members benefit from the relationship as a result of having a space for healthy activities throughout the year,” he said. “Area youth are able to develop themselves athletically even during our long winters when options for fun and healthy activities can be a little bit more limited.”
Renamed the “Pioneer Student Union” in 2016, the facility was previously known as the “Student Activities Center.” Its origin dates back to the late 1960s, when the Educational Foundation of Alfred, Inc. initially hired a company to construct a student activities building on the Wellsville campus.
Since then, the Foundation has continued to make improvements on the building, including more recently new painting, trim, doors, ceiling tiles, the creation of a computer lab with new stations, a MindSpa, and a revamped gymnasium. The private foundation provides monetary support to enhance learning opportunities for students through scholarships, work grants, and academic club activities.