Friday, April 07, 2006

SJSU is a commuter school

According to Mercury News columnist Sal Pizarro [Link], speaking to the Rotary Club of San Jose on Wednesday, San Jose State University President Don Kassing said:

It's time, he said, for people to stop calling San Jose State a ``commuter school.'' It makes SJSU sound second tier and inferior, he said, and it's insulting to the students who don't live on campus, including many who work to support a family.

It's a first step toward getting people to stop thinking of San Jose State as second-rate. The 30,000-student school has seen a 30 percent jump in applications from last year and admissions are also up, Kassing told the audience. And, he pointed out, the new library and Campus Village residence mean there are more students on campus now than there have been for decades.

I do not think there is anything wrong with being a commuter school. In my opinion it reflects our role as serving students who are not served by the traditionally more expensive, primarily residential, private and University of California universities. I do not think it makes us inferior. I think it makes us stronger. The vast majority of SJSU students still live off campus and some commute long distances to attend SJSU classes. The great big library we have is not just ours, it is the result of partnering with the city. Like most of our students the library has one foot on and one foot off campus. I think embracing and being proud of that enables us to better serve our students.


Blogger CSU Spartans said...

Let's get real:

The fact that the prez has to bemoan people calling SJSU a 2nd tier commuter school is strong evidence that it is widely perceived as one. And it will probably remain so as long as the school has such a localized identity, which doesn't have much appeal to the kind of residential "destination school" students the school needs to become more prestigious.

Also, they still haven't been able to fill the CSU Campus Village with SJSU students, and have instead opened it up to community college kids and others. Since all of the bricks and Joe West are now closed, the actual number of SJSU students living on campus may have actually declined.

Kassing may think commuter students are okay, but they add little to the campus environment, and rarely support the school. The oldest CSU definitely needs fewer commuter students if it is to succeed.

CSU Spartans

7:07 PM  

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