CSU President Tony Frank walked into the Cherokee Park Ballroom on Monday afternoon, plucked a chair out of its neatly lined rows and sat himself in front of the 12 students who showed up to the open forum he invited the entire campusâ€™ 30,450 students to attend.
â€œThereâ€™s no real remarks, thereâ€™s no particular format. Itâ€™s just a chance to get together and see whatâ€™s on all of your minds,â€ he said, sitting back in his chair. â€œIf you have questions, advice, Iâ€™m happy to hear it.â€
And hear it he did.
â€œI want to know why you guys have to charge for parking services over spring break, when the bus routes donâ€™t run and the libraryâ€™s open a limited amount of hours,â€ said James Snell, a junior communication studies major.
â€œI donâ€™t know,â€ responded the university president, looking across the room to one of his staffers who copied down the studentâ€™s information, joking that heâ€™d only use it to follow up with the concern. â€œ … Iâ€™ll look into it.â€
Frank was holding the second of four question-answer sessions to elicit the concerns of key CSU audiences. Faculty and staff voiced their thoughts in Feburary. In April, administrative professionals will have their turn to ask questions.
The last open forum will be held in May, where all members of the campus community are encouraged to attend. But Mondayâ€™s 4 p.m. meeting belonged to the students.
â€œI want to send out a signal to people, whether they come or not, that the university president cares, is willing to sit down and talk,â€ Frank said. â€œThis isnâ€™t just an office in the admin building. This is somebody who cares about the students at CSU.â€
Itâ€™s a sentiment that was put to the test as the university president was peppered with questions ranging from why student veterans donâ€™t receive college credit after serving tours of duty overseas, to what the administration is doing to bolster attendance at CSU athletic games.
â€œI love the Rams. Itâ€™s my senior year, so I went out to Las Vegas to watch them in the (NCAA) conference tournament,â€ said Tim Brogdon, director of student services of the Associated Students of CSU. â€œThere was minimal to no student turnout … is there any way you can put a little lean on the athletic department to be a little more student oriented?â€
â€œAbsolutely,â€ Frank said. â€œ … If your student fees are going toward it … it ought to have a strong student orientation. Itâ€™s a great suggestion.â€
Senior Reporter Andrew Carrera can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What did the students say?
-Parking services shouldnâ€™t ticket people during spring break.
-Student veterans who serve tours of duty overseas deserve college study abroad credit.
-The proposed on-campus stadium shouldnâ€™t go forward.
-The administration should pressure the athletics department to be more student oriented.
-Is the universityâ€™s outreach to international students motivated by money or a desire for a more diverse campus?
-Some students at CSU donâ€™t feel appreciated by the university.
-The way CSU President Tony Frank interacted with people at Ram Welcome is admirable.