At Convocation, Students Question Parking Plan
March 3, 2010
Students asked why Cal U uses animated images in its commercials and expressed a need for more pencil sharpeners, but about one in four questions dealt with the paid parking plan that will go into effect this fall.
President Armenti explained that paid parking is unavoidable. There is not enough space to accommodate the growing number of students, faculty and staff who arrive on campus each day, and parking fees are needed to finance the new multi-level Manderino Parking Garage and upgrades to the Roadman Park and River Lot parking areas.
The President emphasized that students will be represented on the parking and transportation committee overseeing the parking plan. And although many colleges do not allow first-year resident students to have cars on campus, Cal U will continue to give freshmen access to parking spaces.
"I have always been in favor of this," President Armenti said. "Without a car or having a friend with a car, a student can feel isolated."
To help with planning, the University has hired Chase Management Associates, a parking consultant that has worked with universities such as Harvard and Stanford.
"Even before we closed Hamer Lot for construction of the Convocation Center, we have needed additional parking areas," he said. "We are doing everything we can."
President Armenti also emphasized student involvement when answering questions about campus dining options and the new University website. Any student is eligible to serve on the Food Service Advisory Committee, and student focus groups played a role in developing the new website.
"It was designed by young people to appeal to young people," said President Armenti. "It's amazing, and I encourage all of you to get involved."
The President aired three television commercials promoting Cal U. Like the University's first two award-winning ads, the newest TV spot uses animation. The style sets Cal U's ads apart from other college advertisements.
"There are trends, and the most interesting ads you see these days are going to be animated in some way," he said "We're the first university to do it, and it works. People remember it."
Once the current construction projects are complete, students can anticipate major renovations to Old Main, Coover and Keystone Halls, the President said. No timetable has been set for those projects, in part because state funding continues to decline.
"We are being privatized against our will," President Armenti said. "We are preparing for this reality."
The President made it clear that students are the reason for everything done at Cal U.
"We put the students first, and our success comes from your success," he said. "If you don't succeed in getting where you're going, then we have failed, so we're very much invested in your success. We are committed to you receiving a world-class education."