Rain or Shine, Presidents Discuss Campus Issues With Students

Rain or Shine, Presidents Discuss Campus Issues With Students
University President Michael Ortiz and ASI President Jason Dyogi field questions from students during “Lunch With the Presidents” on Oct. 19 in the University Quad.

Cal Poly Pomona President Michael Ortiz and Associated Students Inc. President Jason Dyogi answered students' questions about parking and transportation, campus safety, classroom textbooks and online services among other issues at “Lunch With the Presidents” on Oct. 19.

Despite the cold weather and drizzling skies, more than 600 students gathered in the University Quad to enjoy free pizza and drinks and to speak openly with the presidents at the quarterly event hosted by the President's Office and ASI.

Nearly 1,800 pieces of pizza and 640 sodas were served, and several dozen staff, faculty and administrators were around to answer some questions as well.

Several questions related to parking availability and plans for a new parking structure.

Doug Freer, associate vice president for Student Affairs, informed students that the design for the 2,400-space parking structure should receive approval in the next few weeks. Ground breaking for the structure will take place by January and construction is anticipated to reach completion by fall 2006, he said. In the meantime, an additional 1,000 surface parking spaces will roll out on campus during the winter and spring quarters.

Campus security was another issue on students' minds. One student asked whether it is feasible for the university to hire students to work in parking security. University Police Chief Michael Guerin explained a new program that has done just that.

“We have initiated a program this quarter where we have student workers serving as community service officers,” he said. “We're putting them out on bicycles now so they're much more mobile in the parking lots and able to watch as many cars as possible.”

President Ortiz reflected on his first year leading the university and also discussed goals for the coming year.

“This year, we will continue to keep the lines of communication between faculty, students and the administration open so that we can continue to move forward as an institution,” he said.

Both presidents urged registered students to become informed on issues and vote in the upcoming Nov. 2 election.

“Students don't vote because they are unaware of the effects it has on them, but a lot of things we are voting on will affect you,” said Dyogi. “Voter education information will set up in front of the ASI office and we are sending you Bronco Voter Rush 2004 e-mails to keep you informed.”