Ortiz hosts his final ‘Pizza’ Q&A forum

By Jessica Curtis

On Tuesday, Cal Poly Pomona President Ortiz and Associated Students, Inc. President James Cox hosted Pizza with the Presidents, surrounded by students and faculty eating pizza and looking for answers about their university.

This is the last installment of the quarterly event for Ortiz, as he is retiring in December.

Every quarter, CPP holds this event at U-Hour so that students may address their issues and concerns with campus officials while enjoying a free meal.

The presidents answered a variety of questions, which had come from either handwritten note cards turned in before the event, or online submissions via Facebook and Twitter.

The responses from the presidents, faculty and staff were also published on various social media platforms while the event was taking place.

Many students who showed up only to get a free slice of pizza left feeling intrigued and more informed about their campus community.

One of the main issues that was addressed was a concern about the current parking situation. President Ortiz disclosed information regarding a new parking structure, which he believes will mitigate this pressing issue.

Other frequently asked questions pertained to the impending change from our quarter system to the semester system.

“Though I am a fan of the quarter system, that doesn’t mean it is necessarily what is best,” said Ortiz. “Some students are not as bright as [others] and need more time to focus on a subject, which semesters will allow.”

Ortiz also mentioned that the semester system has been a long time coming, and it will help students struggling in their classes catch up with the extra time.

Another important topic mentioned was the Bronco Bookstore and a price match system for students so that they can buy textbooks for the cheapest price.

In response, Manager Clint Aase explained that a price match system at this time would be difficult, but that the university works hard to save students thousands each year on textbooks.

There were numerous students and teachers attending and listening to the event, many even of whom had strong reactions to Ortiz’s responses. Guadalupe Escalera, a third-year hospitality student, felt that while these events promote change, she did not receive adequate information to ease her mind on the issues at hand.

“The responses were somewhat helpful, but I didn’t feel that a lot of questions were answered well enough,” Escalera said. “I do think that it is a good opportunity for eventual change and growth.”

Evelyn Dera, a third-year business student, had a similar perspective of the event.

“Most of my questions and concerns were answered, but I was disappointed when I didn’t hear more about textbooks or parking,” said Dera.

However, when speaking with Cox about his impression of the event, he had a more positive perspective.

“I think the president, his cabinet and faculty that are all there take the students input very seriously,” Cox said. “I know that a lot of the changes are very difficult to implement, and students don’t always realize the necessary work and what it takes to fund these projects. For every question that is asked, whether it is parking, parking or parking, there is someone always on the other end listening and trying to solve that problem.”

Cox also feels that students are more capable of effecting change at CPP than they may realize.

He explained that once the effort is put into place, students will find that staff and faculty, as well as other students, work hard to make our campus a successful place.

Final Pizza with Ortiz

Hayden Yi / The Poly Post

Final Pizza with Ortiz

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