Larry Penley, the former dean of the business school at Arizona State University and the new president and chancellor of CSU, started his first day on campus Friday by means of a question and answer marathon with student representatives from ASCSU.
The questions however, were not directed at Penley, but rather at the students.
“I want to get a chance to get to know the university a little today,” Penley said as the meeting began.
Many different topics were discussed during the 30-minute meeting, including the structure of the Associated Students of CSU student government, Ram Ride, the honor program and the plus/minus grading structure.
“How do you expect the president to be involved (with students)?” asked Penley, directing his question to Katie Clausen, ASCSU vice president.
“Come and meet all the (ASCSU) senators at least once and help them get what they need,” answered Clausen, followed by a promise that “CSU is very much driven by students.”
Penley also asked about annual traditions that CSU students participate in.
“What are the big traditions that students are active in and loyal to every year?” asked Penley.
Clausen answered Penley by telling him that the CU/CSU football game, ticket giveaway is one of the most popular events every year with students and Jesse Lauchner, the president of ASCSU, added “students look for and are drawn towards the (bigger) campus activities”.
Penley believes that student traditions are an important aspect of a university and to the students.
It seems that “things exist on campus and that there is initiative for new programs,” Penley said.
“We want to keep people at this university and I believe that (student activities) can help in that task.
Penley also said that the ability of students to create an attachment to a university is important and that annual traditions are an avenue to accomplish this goal.
“That is the important challenge,” he said.
As the meeting between student representatives and the new president came to an end, the topic of Ram Ride was discussed.
Ram Ride is a program that ASCSU is trying to initiate here at CSU, to give students who are in need of a safe ride home, another option. Despite not having its wheels on the ground yet, the program, in Penley’s mind is one worth doing.
“(Ram Ride) sounds like a program that could solve so many different problems,” Penley said.
When asked, Clausen said the first thing she would like to see Penley do is tackle the Ram Ride issue, and her thoughts of Penley so far are favorable.
“We love him, we are very excited to have him here,” she said. “He has made a bold step in meeting with the students first and that shows where his priorities are, with the students.”