Students gathered in the University Quad last Thursday to discuss alternative transportation methods, sustainability and social justice.

The event was open to the whole campus and hosted many organizations such as Foothill Transit, CPP Parking and Transportation and Associated Students Incorporated among others.

According to the event flyers, it was created to help students “engage in conversation centered on the current and future state of parking and transportation at CPP by interacting with internal and external organizations that are transportation-centric.”

Many students attended the sustainability dialogues that were held during U-hour.

“We care about what students are going to be looking at in terms of transportation here at Cal Poly Pomona in the future,” said fourth-year finance, real estate and law student Fernando Del Real.

Student leaders gathered in the University Quad to share thoughts on current transportation sources. (Swapna Vettiyil | The Poly Post)

Since sustainability isn’t a topic that is traditionally addressed on college campuses, students were intrigued to participate in the event and learn more.

“Today’s event is important to me because sustainability is not something that is talked about often enough on campus,” said second-year business management and human resources student and ASI Secretary of Programs and Services, Chau Mai Hua.

“Making an event like this to address the issue and raise awareness makes me more proud to be a part of Cal Poly Pomona. I think a lot of us can agree that we have to help earth because our earth helps us.”

During the sustainability dialogues, ASI’s Secretary of Sustainability, Martha Rosario, took time to answer questions from fellow broncos.

Students were curious how the need of food and food security would be addressed in relation to sustainability.

Rosario responded by discussing a position that was recently appointed within the university called the officer of basic needs.

Rosario said it was a very important position because it would focus on providing for students’ basic needs while also making sure they are healthy both physically and mentally.

The speakers believe that if the university has low cost or no cost transit for students then it could really assist the ones who are struggling with issues such as income or food insecurity.  

By tackling the issue of sustainability through transportation, the campus can assist students who may be struggling.

Another topic of discussion was keeping parking affordable for those who drive to school every day or live on campus.

The speakers shared with students that parking really is not an affordable cost because the money that students pay to park is the money that goes toward the cost of improvements and construction.

The more improvements that need to be made, the higher the price tag of parking on campus could go.

If the university lowered the cost of parking, then there would not be a way to pay for the new parking structures, new lights, electric car spaces and repairs in the existing lots and structures.

Some potential solutions included the introduction of a free class pass so that at least some days of the week students could get to campus on transit instead of in their own vehicles.

Another potential solution was to restructure the parking fee to assist students who only need a parking pass for specific days each week like for students who only have classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

The university is hopeful to continue the dialogues about sustainability and alternative transportation in the future.

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