The year in review

A selection of ‘important’ issues Fresno State should be addressing

As I conclude my first year at Fresno State, I’ve had both positive and negative experiences. While the positives have outweighed the negatives, Fresno State can make some strides toward improving its campus for students and faculty. Here are some New Year’s resolutions Fresno State can make to “be bold.”

Nighttime Parking:

Parking at night is a constant issue for students. It’s not an issue of spaces; it’s an issue of location. The concern is that faculty parking spaces, which are closer to civilization, don’t open up to students until 7 p.m., but many night classes begin at 6 p.m.

Although Fresno State Police will come and escort you to your car at night if you feel unsafe, it detracts from students being independent and is impractical for everyone who wants one to get an escort from the police.

The truth is, most students will forgo their own safety instead of calling the police to hold their hand while they cross the street. Opening up the spaces at 5 p.m. or 6 p.m. would be best for students. If faculty members don’t like students taking their parking places at the front of the school, they needn’t feel inconvenienced: Fresno State Police would be happy to escort them to their vehicles.

Chick-fil-A Replacement:

The fact that the old Chick-fil-A spot in the University Student Union is still vacant is bewildering. Perhaps the parties involved in the decision and implementation want to thoroughly review their options before beginning. That’s fine, but the school should get the ball rolling so that students and faculty are quickly given additional food options.

Now, the correct decision, of course, is to put in a Robertito’s. The food is very satisfying and will give people the protein they need to get their day started. There’s nothing quite like breakfast burritos in the morning, nachos in the afternoon or a combo plate at night.

Regardless, some sort of authentic Mexican food needs to be installed immediately.

Sheepish Security:

One of the most publicized stories to come out of Fresno State this year is a story that no one wants to talk about in hopes that everyone will quickly forget it: the sheep incident. The one reason this made headlines is simple: it’s unusual. Replace the sheep in the story with a dog or a person, perhaps, and it loses any comic value it had and remains as it is – disturbing.

While the story was ridiculous, it highlighted the security issues on campus. Yes, the suspicious man was immediately reported, and, yes, the police immediately responded. But the fact that there’s no security besides the dedicated agricultural students needs some review.

While it’s an unfair expectation to have tight security for the animals while maintaining a patrol for the dorms and other students on campus at night, it is at least worthy of a discussion within the administration.

Bucket Hours:

Another frequent discussion among students is the limited hours of operation for The Bucket. Yes, The Bucket has recurring events like Thirsty Thursdays, but it needs to expand its general hours.

Students want a place to get a burger and have a beer  in between classes, while some professors have expressed the desire for the pub to offer gin and other spirits which would turn the pub into an actual bar.

Expanding the hours would add some jobs for students and make the campus a lively place at night.

Residential Dining Restrictions:

There has been much discussion on the mandatory meal plan for students living in the dorms. If you live in the dorms, you have to buy a $3,700+ meal plan for the Residential Dining Hall.

So whether or not you want to eat in the dining hall, you are forced to because you’ve already had to pay for the privilege with no opt-out option.

If Fresno State is going to require its on-campus students to purchase food from the RDH, then the building and food options within need to be improved. Options for vegan and religious eaters are slim to none, and the nutritional value of the food should be addressed.

If nothing else, the meal plan should be a credit card that allows students to buy food from any restaurant. So if students don’t want to eat dinner on campus, they can go to Chipotle, Buffalo Wild Wings or Doghouse Grill.

The fact that students living in the dorms are required to buy food without any input on what food the RDH carries is grossly unjust.

Coffee and Ice Cream:

Finally, and perhaps the most important resolution Fresno State can make for 2015: the school needs to address the lack of an ice cream parlor and an additional coffee shop on campus.

Sure, you can find ice cream bars in the USU, and you can get delicious Fresno State ice cream at the Rue and Gwen Gibson Farm Market, but there needs to be a place in the middle of campus to get ice cream. Fact: students love ice cream. Even if the ice cream shop takes the form of a shack you’re used to buying shaved ice from, some sort of accommodation should be made to bring ice cream to the campus mall.

Also, Starbucks is good and all, but a more homey, full-service coffee shop on campus would be a great addition. While this is less feasible, because of the construction involved, this would add quaintness to the school.

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