Fresno State President Dr. Joseph Castro and Associated Students Inc. President Blake Zante hold a live stream open forum on on Nov. 9 Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. (Courtesy of Fresno State's Facebook)

Castro and Zante go digital for feedback

Fresno State President Dr. Joseph Castro and Associated Students Inc., President Blake Zante fielded questions last week from students and alumni via Facebook Live during a student forum.

Students asked about issues ranging from campus parking, student safety and having different options for food on campus.

ASI senator Cody Sedaño asked a question about parking. He wanted to know whether unused campus parking spots behind the Joyal Administration Building could be redistributed to the student population.

Castro responded to that question. He said, “We did parking demand studies and the idea is to have the right number of parking spaces for each group.”

“We just made the change a few years ago when at [6] p.m., faculty and staff parking becomes student parking. That has been a big help.”

A question from Samantha Mallory, who is on the student health advisory committee, asked why the university doesn’t have a permanent Title IX coordinator. The university has an interim coordinator, Erin Boele.

“We have recruited for that position for some time. We have had a couple of searches that did not result in the right candidate and so we continue to search,” Castro said, responding to the question.

He added, “You have my full commitment that there will be a full-time person here very soon, as soon as we identify the right person.”

The forum lasted for about 50 minutes and was got more than 2,000 views on Facebook Live. More than 50 students watched on Instagram’s live feature.

Questions were submitted through the university’s social media accounts.

Another student asked if there can be any improvements to campus safety measures at night. The ASI president responded to that question. Zante formerly campaigned on a student safety platform.

“This is something that I know ASI is actively working on,” he said in response to the student’s concern. “We just had a campus safety night walk around our campus to look at lighting areas and to see if there are places that need cameras or more lighting and we have great support from our campus police department and also our campus administration.”

Food options were also a concern. One student asked if there could be healthier and vegetarian food options. Castro said with Taco Bell on the verge of leaving last semester, a replacement might have included options for vegetarians.

“Taco Bell is here now so we are going to have to look at some other ways to do it,” he said.

The New USU was also a recurring topic. A student asked if their any more major projects to improve the campus were taking place. Castro, in his response, reminded students of the student-led effort to bring a vote for a new student union.

“If the ASI decides to put that on the ballot it would be next spring. It would be a slightly smaller facility as I understand it,”  Castro said.