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Gates at the entrance of California University of PennsylvaniaGates at the entrance of California University of Pennsylvania

A MESSAGE FROM INTERIM PRESIDENT GERALDINE JONES

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Posted on November 15, 2013

To: All students, faculty and staff

From: Interim President Geraldine M. Jones

Yesterday I hosted one of my favorite events of the semester: Campus Talk, a town hall-style meeting, held in collaboration with Student Government, where students are free to ask any question they like.

Attendance at this event has been growing, and yesterday more than 150 students joined me and my leadership team in the Convocation Center. For the first time, students also submitted questions using Twitter. In all, they sent a remarkable 271 tweets with the hashtag #CalUTalk.

Our students asked questions on a wide variety of topics — far more than we could answer in a one-hour session. As promised, Cal U administrators are taking a deeper look into these issues, and today I’d like to provide information on a few topics of general interest.

Can we have more bike racks?

Cal U has been adding bike racks in key locations each year since 2010. This year we’ve seen a big increase in the number of bicyclists on campus, so nine additional racks have been purchased.

Because the bike racks are anchored in concrete, they can’t be installed until the weather warms up. When it does, look for new bike racks outside Smith, Carter and Guesman halls, residence halls B and E, and the Eberly Science and Technology Center. Three new racks also will be installed outside the Natali Student Center.

More ashtrays, please!

Smokers who want to keep our campus free of cigarette butts asked for more ashtrays. Many of these receptacles were removed from campus several years ago, when a statewide “smoke-free” directive was in effect.

The request for ashtrays also came up at the fall Student Convocation, and 12 new receptacles were ordered. They arrived just this week. Next week our grounds crew will install them at 10 locations frequented by smokers: outside Eberly, Dixon, Noss, Keystone, Duda, Morgan and Helsel halls, and outside residence halls A, C and F. The two remaining receptacles will be installed outside the Natali Student Center once renovations are complete.

How can I find what I want to eat?

Several students asked whether vegetarian, vegan or other special meal options can be offered in the Gold Rush dining room. Cal U’s dining services provider, AVI, offers a wide array of food choices, including fresh, locally grown produce.

Students with dietary concerns or an interest in making healthful meal choices can discuss their options with an AVI chef or dietitian. To arrange a meeting or review menu offerings, students may contact Terry Wigle, associate dean for student services, at 724-938-4300 or wigle@calu.edu.

Several other “customer service” issues brought to my attention at the Campus Talk have already been addressed. We are reviewing those many, many tweets, and with the help of the Cal Times student newspaper, we’ll be responding to more questions soon.

Because a number of students shared comments about campus safety — a subject of critical importance — the University is coordinating a student focus group on that topic with police chief Ed McSheffery and other campus leaders. Please watch for an announcement about this session in the coming days.

Again, I want to express my appreciation to the many students who took part in this semester’s Campus Talk. As I’ve said many times, Cal U is a wonderful university — and your input helps to make it even better.

With warm wishes,

Interim President Jones' signature.

Meet Interim President Geraldine M. Jones