With issues as varied as the pizza toppings, President Soraya M. Coley, ASI President James Cox and university administrators fielded questions from a lunchtime throng of students at the spring quarter Pizza with the Presidents on April 28.
Inquiries about parking and transportation and semester conversion cropped up, but other questions emerged at the forum. In particular, Coley’s stance on pasture land, which has stoked the emotions of students in the last two months, was affirmed.
“Pasture land is part of the legacy of this campus,” said Coley. “There is not an either/or when it comes pasture land.”
A question about semester conversion prompted Provost Marten denBoer to cite that the change will allow students to have deeper exposure and understanding of the subject and provide more opportunities to acquire internships. The conversion also would put all 23 campuses in the California State University system on the semester system and also ease the transfer of credits from community colleges, said denBoer.
In regard to transit inquiries, Mike Biagi, director of Parking & Transportation Services, said that there are plans to repave the overflow parking lot to add 500 stalls. He added that shuttle service to the overflow lot and the BRIC could be implemented after an evaluation of existing needs and lines.
Biagi also said that as university enrollment continues to grow, campaigns to promote the use of bikes, public transportation and ride-sharing will be essential to help offset the number of single-driver commuters to campus.
Students raised two questions about the pool at the BRIC: First, why the kinesiology department has priority at the pool. Also, why the pool dimensions do not meet sanctioning guidelines for water polo matches and swim competitions. The answers are that academic endeavors take precedence over recreational uses at the pool, and the pool was not built to standardized length intentionally.
A question about the size of break rooms for the custodial staff emerged, as did concern about the facilities at the Interim Design Center. There was a call to establish a cultural center for Middle Eastern students, as well as a broader discussion about making Cal Poly Pomona a smoke-free campus.
Other issues raised at the forum included: wireless access spots on campus, efforts to attract more African American students, lighting at night on campus and the renovation of aging residence halls.
This is Coley’s second Pizza with the Presidents. She applauded Cox for his work as ASI president and also acknowledged the ASI leadership staff. She complimented the commitment of faculty and staff, then told students that they are “the bomb.”
Some of the questions and answers were Tweeted and are summarized in the following Storify.
For the full recap of Pizza with the Presidents, please watch the video.