Straight from the administration’s mouth

When important questions arise, students at Sonoma State University are given the option to approach members of the administration. Sure there are always circulating rumors throughout campus in accordance with controversial issues, but one doesn’t know the full truth unless heard directly from the individuals who make the decisions.

Last week, the staff of the Sonoma State STAR was able to sit down and ask President Ruben Armiñana and several other administration members a variety of questions face-to-face. The staff had prepared a list of questions to ask, and overall the administration seemed eager and ready to respond.

The beginning question was the high enrollment this year and how it would affect students graduating on time. Armiñana said the university’s master plan is to have 10,000 full-time students. To be considered full time, students must be enrolled in a minimum of 15 units throughout a semester.

This raised concern amongst the staff, because many felt they had trouble receiving a minimum of 12 units per semester, which is necessary for financial aid. Armiñana’s response was truthful, yet tough. He had no problem describing how many students only take classes during days and times convenient for them.

While it’s somewhat true a Friday class isn’t ideal for many students, there was mutual agreement that when it comes down to it, a student would always take a Friday or early morning class instead of having no units at all.

Graduating in four years is perhaps the ultimate goal students strive for. Armiñana said achieving that goal takes a certain degree of planning and sticking with a major. If he could have everything go his way, all the courses offered at SSU would be four units, meaning all students would be full time and taking four courses a semester.

However, this is something that is extremely difficult to make mandatory since not all students have the ability to maintain being a full-time student each semester.

In regard to parking on campus, it’s no secret students feel there aren’t enough spots. Armiñana said students aren’t open to parking somewhere such as the Green Music Center lots, due to walking the longer distance to classes. 

He mentioned if this were a campus such as San Francisco State University, students would appreciate SSU’s parking areas a lot more.

While it’s a possibility to find other places to park, it isn’t necessarily the safest idea. Parking lots like the ones across from the GMC are usually vacant and dimly lit at night. With the recent sexual assaults and ban on protective items such as pepper spray, many agree they wouldn’t be comfortable on that walk.

There were suggestions among the administration to use the buddy system, and a staff member proposed hiring more police patrol around the GMC lots during late hours.

In short, Armiñana and the rest of the administration members were kind enough to speak with the STAR, answering questions they surely hear on a daily basis. While the questions weren’t answered exactly how the staff would have liked, it was an informative, eye-opening conversation that many students don’t get a chance to have.