Additional student housing, the price of food on campus and parking expenses were among the topics students had on their minds at the evening edition of Pizza with the Presidents.
University President Soraya M. Coley and ASI President Jenny Greenberg, along with campus administrators, fielded a variety of questions at the April 10 event in the Bronco Student Center’s Ursa Major.
New Housing and Dining Commons
One of the questions submitted asked was if the university could provide more campus housing opportunities, particularly for upperclassmen.
The university is building the Student Housing Replacement Project that features two-eight-story residence halls, a dining commons, a community garden and a temporary parking lot. The project is replacement housing for the old residence halls on University Avenue. The first phase is expected to open in 2020, Coley said.
University Housing Services Director Megan Stang encouraged students to sign up for the waiting list if they are interested in living on campus.
“We say that it’s a wait list, but our wait list moves,” she said. “It’s very fluid, especially in the summer time.”
The university also keeps a list of apartments and rooms for rent for students who want to live close to campus, she said.
Food on Campus
On the cost of food on campus, Dining Services Director Aaron Neilson, said the university tries to hold the line on prices. However, market factors and the cost of paying student workers in Dining Services drives the price of food, he said. Dining Services employs 6,000 students and pays $2.5 million annually in wages.
ASI President Greenberg addressed the Basic Needs Initiative, the university’s effort to help students grappling with food insecurity. ASI plans to open its food pantry at the end of the year, and the university is working with the state and L.A. County to identify programs that could benefit students in need, she said.
Parking Permit Costs
Regarding the cost of parking permits, Coley said the campus receives no funding for parking, so it must be self-supporting.
University Police Chief Dario Robinson said Cal Poly Pomona pays about $4.5 million a year on two separate bonds for Parking Structures 1 and 2, along with maintenance and lighting costs. The university also pays around $900,000 a year to support parking shuttles.
Coley added that the university is in talks with Foothill Transit on possible public transportation solutions.
Extended hours for services, repairs to campus facilities and expanding the hours of the University Library were among other topics discussed.
Visit the Cal Poly Pomona Twitter page to see all of the questions and answers addressed at the event.