By Chelsea Mazer
Last Thursday, Cal Poly Pomona’s University President Soraya M. Coley and Associated Students Inc. President Farris Hamza spoke to students, faculty and administration about topics ranging from semester conversion to student housing during Pizza with the Presidents.
The event was heavily attended by hungry and curious students seeking some complimentary pizza and answers to their questions about the future of the university.
“It is important that you proactively seek out the information [about semester conversion],” Coley said.
This quarter’s questions were primarily focused on the university’s upcoming semester conversion, but student’s also expressed concerns for other topics.
Other topics that were addressed included graduation requirements, how to finish at CPP before summer 2018, transfer requirements and tuition changes as a result of the conversion.
Coley also spoke on the three categories students are placed into in the eyes of the university.
“The first group includes the students who will have enough units to graduate by summer 2018, the second group will be those who will straddle between the quarter system and the semester system, and the third group of students are the new students that we are going to welcome who will actually be starting in August,” Coley said.
The university continues to put those students in near reach of graduation as a top priority to ensure that they will be able to get their classes and finish their programs before the conversion is made next fall.
In response to one question asking whether series classes would be available for students to complete after the conversion, Provost Sylvia A. Alva said such series’ “would need to be reset from “a three-term series to a two-semester series.”
Provost Alva reassured students that she and her team are working constantly to keep in contact with the academic departments across campus in order to make the most efficient and timely processes for series courses after the conversion is made.
Alva also mentioned that the departments are being given specific instructions to give to students on whether they should go ahead and start a series or hold off [to take it] later in their schooling.
For series that act as core requirements, she urged students to “move forward,” and departments would work to provide options for students to “close the remaining gaps,” through what the school will call “cap courses.”
There is also an additional concern about receiving timely access to the changes in the curriculum, so students will be able to better plan for the remaining two quarters and the future semesters when choosing their course schedules.
In response, Coley emphasized how important it is for students to utilize their Individual Academic Planners (IAP) through BroncoDirect.
Every student’s IAP is used as a means of communication between students and campus administration, counselors and the registrar’s office, so students are able to get the classes they need in order to graduate.
Changes in transfer requirements and potential tuition hikes were also brought up within the inquiries involving semester conversion.
Coley and some of her staff members discussed the Cal State University system and its use of a “core four” system across the board. Transfer ability within the system would not be changed, but prerequisites for transferring into certain departments or impacted programs will likely be adjusted with the conversion.
Fees for summer 2018 were questioned by students, and administration shared that those fees would remain the same, at least in relation to additional “personnel support” for the rest of the 2018 school year.
Other concerns brought up in questions from the student population included Title IX and the school’s dedication to upholding such mandates.
Hamza took the lead on this question and shared that ASI has developed a statewide resolution in support of Title IX.
“A lot of the things we have on our campus [for Title IX resources] are not offered in other systems [across the nation] and this document is something that we [ASI] want to set as a model for other universities across the nation,” Hamza said.
Coley urged students to not be afraid or intimidated to speak out about Title IX or anything regarding sexual assault.
CPP is continuing to require the completion of awareness courses on consent by freshmen and transfer students in order to maintain a strong foundation for the university’s support of Title IX’s efforts.
Questions that were not answered at the event were answered online after the fact.
The Pizza with the Presidents live stream feed can be found on CPP’s Facebook page.
Tevin Voong / The Poly Post
ASI President Farris Hamza and University President Soraya Coley answered questions posed by students
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