With construction projects underway or looming, parking and transportation concerns drew the attention of students at the spring quarter Pizza with the Presidents on May 3 in the University Quad.
University President Soraya M. Coley and Associated Students Inc. President Julian Herrera addressed inquiries from the lunchtime crowd.
The size and capacity of the parking structure under construction was called into question as parking remains a premium for students. Parking Structure II will hold 1,825 spaces and contain a subterranean level, says Mike Biagi, director of parking and transportation services.
“We intentionally built that structure low and very long to preserve the feel that we have on this campus,” Biagi said. “As you see this structure develop, you’ll notice that it’s very much fitting in with the environment that already exists here instead of taking over the environment.”
Construction of the new Student Services Building will begin during the summer and squeeze out parking in Lot C. Concern arose that students would lose stalls in the nearby parking structure. “The structure is 100 percent dedicated to student parking,” Biagi said.
Information about the construction of the Student Services Building and the freshman housing complex will be posted on PolyCentric and the facilities construction website as it becomes available. Email messages also will be used to keep the campus community apprised.
“We need to communicate with you with regard to the construction that’s getting ready to start on the campus because it will have implications for all of us in terms of navigating the campus and finding parking,” Coley said.
Summer Term Financial Aid
Grants, work-study and loans are available for students taking courses in the summer term, said Diana Minor, director of the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships.
Applications for financial aid will be accepted through May 18, she said. So far, nearly 700 students will receive financial aid for summer classes.
Students who will be juniors and seniors have been given priority in the financial aid process because they are closer to graduation.
Semester conversion should not delay undergraduate, graduate and credential students in their degree progress, said Dan Lewis, interim associate vice president for academic quality and assessment.
“It’s a matter of making sure that the courses cover the topics, the issues that the faculty want in the programs and the learning outcomes that they are looking for are respected and designed well. It should be the same experience,” Lewis said.
Coley cited the benefits of the semester calendar, including ending the academic year in mid-May so that students can get a jump on finding summer jobs and starting internships.
- Undergraduate research funding was increased this year, according to S. Terri Gomez, interim associate vice president for student success, and Frank Ewers, associate vice president for research.
- Alternative transportation: Herrera said that ASI will send out a survey in the next several weeks to obtain feedback about the kinds of alternative modes of transportation that students want. Coley urged students to take the survey so that a “clear picture” of transit needs would emerge.
- Coley said the CSU does not have plans to increase tuition fees for 2016-17 because of the salary raises for faculty. She stressed that tuition is set by the California State University system and not by individual campuses.
- Campus leadership: Herrera, who is graduating in June, said that helping students inspired him to run for office. “It’s been more of an avenue to create a change on campus,” Herrera said.
For Coley, her inspiration is more fundamental: “This really is not work. It is part of a sense of purpose.”
Play the video for a full recap of Pizza with the Presidents.
Some of the questions and answers are summarized in the following Storify.