CREATING A LEGACY OF INCREASED REVENUE

How the CoE sacrificed student opportunities for private agendas

One of the new club rooms given to Engineering students in EN4 

Story by Wesley Young Contributor,  Photos by Nathan Zankich

In the brief time the semester has been in progress, there has been a silent battle for resources that has left Engineering students struggling. 

This precious resource is space—space for the brilliant minds of the Engineering student body to expand. In the College of Engineering (CoE),  many student clubs and organizations had the space they’d been occupying taken from them and given away for yet-to-be-known reasons. 

Some organizations like California Launch Vehicle Education Initiative (CALVEIN) and Experimental Sounding Rocket Association (ESRA) were given two-weeks notice to clear out with complete disregard  for critical delays that would be caused to year-long projects.  

The honor society, Pi Tau Sigma, returned from summer vacation to find they’d been locked out of their room and denied access to their own belongings.  Even the study rooms in the CoE were taken away, dealing another blow to student productivity.  

The students and faculty who were directly affected weren’t consulted, and had no say in the matter.  No official word from the CoE led to many unanswered questions, the concealed details of which are still coming to light .

When notification was finally given by Dr. Rahai, the associate dean overseeing the room changes, it left the students feeling wronged.  The first of many excuses offered was that these clubs were not successful enough to justify their space.  

Every student at this university should recognize that “success” is a word that they alone choose the meaning of when it comes to their education.  It is a claim the CoE has no right to make when these clubs reach dozens of students who work endless nights and sacrifice every holiday vacation to do things like build and design rockets.  The rocket program alone has offered invaluable growth and experience to those students that put them in the air.  

Broken pieces of equipment, boxes, and papers littered the room

Take Students of Automotive Engineering (SAE), a crew of students that builds their own mini bajas and formula racecars on an embarrassingly strained budget compared to their competitors. They determined themselves to be successful the moment they pursued their education beyond the confines of the classroom.  

It was students on this very campus that flew the first LOX/Methane rocket engine, an engine that is said will be the key to traveling to Mars, a very impressive achievement. Why then are these unique, successful opportunities for students among the first to be sacrificed?

This scarcity of space stems from the CoE trying to expand within its finite limits.  Enrollment and faculty are constantly increasing and there are even plans to start a new Biomedical Engineering department. 

Yet, student organizations are being consolidated by the college, and administration deemed it fit to allocate space to Boeing under a new contract.  

What is known about this unannounced deal is that more than six rooms will be given to Boeing in exchange for some $500,000 in yearly research grants.  

That is the price that the school has put on the limitless knowledge, collaboration, and pride of students in organizations.

Many of the faculty could not even give information on the scope of this contract as they were never informed or consulted by the CoE Dean, Dr. Golshani, before the deal was made.  

It is possible that this will benefit a select amount of students, but no earlier than next summer.  So if the school has this limited resource, why is it making these sly deals to trade valuable space now?  As a CSU, one would think there would be more of an emphasis on providing opportunities to students and less of a priority given to research contracts.  

I went to look at a new club room that that the CoE gave to the students. It was a windowless, leaky storage shack in EN4.  In one corner of the room, there was a dead opossum. This is not what you should be paying for when it comes to your education.  

It should be more than some of the half-assed lectures you get.  These opportunities are our right and the benefit of hands-on work is something often overlooked by the CoE. 

What’s seen here is not a first and it won’t be the last.  The legacy being written right now will not be about how student life was bettered or how fulflling their experiences were. It will only be a legacy of increased revenue. 

What was discovered is hard to describe, and eerie in nature. Subjectively, it seems that the CoE has bred an environment where non-tenured faculty are afraid to voice their concerns about decisions that get made. Faculty email chains raise concern that the campus administration is unwilling to listen, instead siding with those higher in power to suppress issues.  

So now it has fallen on us, the students, to speak.  But will we even be heard? 

Students shouldn’t be told that the concerns they raise are too trivial. By not consulting us, uninformed decisions were made that marked the end of an innovative and developmental period in the college.  

I really hate when I tell people where I go and they say, “I hear Long Beach has a good engineering program.” I have to say no, because of the stuff like this that goes on.  

While the decline in student success won’t be plotted on a neat color-coded engineering graph, it will be experienced by every incoming student if this continues to be the trend in the CoE. 

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THEY'RE HERE, THEY'RE QUEER,

Queer and Allies Club provides an inclusive environment for all CSULB students

Story and photo by Allison Meyer

They’re here, they’re queer, and they want you to know it. 

Queer and Allies, also known as Q&A, is CSULB’s resident LGBTQ+ organization.

Q&A provides peer support and strives to create a safe  environment for all LGBTQ+ students.

The organization also serves as an advocator for the LGBTQ+ community and an educator of the community about LGBTQ+ issues. 

In the past, Q&A has hosted events from fundraisers to social gatherings to promote themselves and their cause. 

Last spring, Q&A organized a week-long protest against the religious fanatics that congregate on the upper campus free speech lawn each semester.

Not long after, it hosted its second annual Queer Hip Hop event in the Nugget. Students and rappers alike took to the stage to perform and raise awareness of LGBTQ+ issues. Q&A also held a clothing drive for the LGBTQ Center of LA at the end of last spring semester.

The club hopes to continue to collaborate with other organizations to create inclusivity and promote tolerance in the community. It welcomes everyone, regardless of identity.

Q&A meets on Tuesdays in USU 205 from 4-5 pm

The first semester meeting will be held on Sept. 22.        

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THE FUTURE OF THE PRESIDENT'S SCHOLARS

Unanswered questions leave many students uneasy

Photo by Katie Cortez

Story by Bailey Mount

In an effort to maintain the program’s relevance and increase its impact, CSULB has decided to merge the President’s Scholars Program with its University Honors Program.

Changes will be gradually implemented over the next four years, beginning with the fall class of 2016. 

President’s Scholars who were accepted to the program beforehand are to remain unaffected by the changes and still granted their full benefits. 

However, news on the changes and how they will affect the future of the program have yet to be disclosed, causing concern for past, current, and future President’s Scholars alike. 

The common assumption so far is that the change is a result of decreasing state funds for the university.

State support for universities has dropped to dismal levels and at CSULB, the number of students continues to climb. 

And although the number of President’s Scholars stays at 25, an increase in the cost of education has made providing for the university’s star students difficult, sparking questions of the program’s continued existence on campus.

In an email released to President’s Scholars, President Jane Conoley stressed that the program “contributed to Long Beach State University’s reputation as a ‘University of Choice,” and was not “going away.”  

This promise, however, did little to quell the unease of the program’s members.

“Not only has it been shocking, but they haven’t even told us what the changes are.” said third year recipient Scholar Reagan Childers, “Of course I love the program and will continue to support it...but it’s still frustrating...I just want answers or an explanation at this point.” 

The program’s alumni agree.

Many of them are donors to the program and wish to see their contributions go to the ones who had to work as hard as they did. 

Their concerns were best summed up in the words of 2009 graduate Brian Toutner, who worried that the program was  “being converted from a program to recruit and retain the best high school students to [that of] many smaller scholarships for students that are already on campus and involved in the UHP.”

These concerns were raised at an organized meeting last Wednesday night at the Nugget to garner attention and provide support to the current Scholars.

A meeting to further the need for information at the Anatol Center last Friday night yielded no results.

However, following the meeting, President Conoley released an invitiation to the alumni, students, and their families for a meeting in September that will give out new information.

The hope is that merging with the University Honors program will enable the Scholars to expand.

Hopefully, President Conoley will unveil her master plan at the meeting.

The meeting will be held on Friday, Sept. 18, from 4:30–6pm at the Anatol Center on campus. Everyone expressing concern is encouraged to attend.

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