Presidents Address Student Concerns at Lunch Forum


Presidents Address Student Concerns at Lunch Forum
President Michael Ortiz answered students? questions regarding the budget and textbooks at ?Lunch With the Presidents? on May 20.

Nearly 200 students gathered in the University Quad for a chance to enjoy free pizza and drinks and to speak with the presidents at the quarterly event hosted by the President?s Office and ASI.

Associated Students Inc. President Jason Dyogi said ASI did not support the recent academic fee increases and the group even held university-wide rallies to protest the issue.

Cal Poly Pomona President Michael Ortiz and Associated Students Inc. (ASI) President Jason Dyogi answered students? questions regarding the budget and textbooks among other concerns at ?Lunch With the Presidents? on Thursday, May 20.

Nearly 200 students gathered in the University Quad for a chance to enjoy free pizza and drinks and to speak with the presidents at the quarterly event hosted by the President?s Office and ASI. More than 160 pizzas and 650 beverages were served. Several dozen staff, faculty and administrators were on hand to help answer some of the students? questions as well.

Several questions related to the CSU budget and its impact on Cal Poly Pomona. One student asked President Ortiz to share his thoughts on the new compact budget agreement between the CSU, UC and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

?From an administrative or planning perspective, it is good for the campus because we can make budget plans for the next year based on a foundation,? he said. ?Do I think it?s good for the campus in general? No. I wish we could go back to when you could come to Cal Poly Pomona and receive an education for free. But that?s not going to happen. We are now in the process of creating with the California Student Association, the Legislature and the Chancellor?s Office what we consider to be a good student fee policy.?

Dyogi said ASI did not support the recent academic fee increases and the group even held university-wide rallies to protest the issue.

Another student voiced concerns about Taco Bell continuing to operate on campus, despite a student protest held earlier this year calling for the boycott of Taco Bell in support of a group of Florida tomato pickers. The pickers are appealing to Taco Bell?s corporate offices to take a role in their negotiations for pay and work conditions with a major produce distributor. Dyogi explained that it is the responsibility of ASI?s elected student senators to bring these issues up at their meetings.

Ortiz said that students ?vote with their feet? and ?if students stop purchasing Taco Bell, the restaurant will go away.?

A few students concerned with the cost of textbooks asked about the possibility of having required classroom books available for check-out at the library. President Ortiz explained that with 3,000 courses offered at Cal Poly Pomona, it would be too costly for the university to purchase a copy of each textbook. Instead, Ortiz said, the university is looking into alternatives such as purchasing licenses for online books.

The next ?Lunch With the Presidents? will be held in the fall.