Students discuss concerns with President Castro at open forum

Fresno State President Dr. Joseph Castro speaks to students at an open forum in the Henry Madden Library on Nov. 5, 2018. (Marilyn Castaneda/The Collegian)

Students were invited to attend the President’s Campus Forum for students, an informal space to bring their concerns, comments and suggestions to Fresno State President Dr. Joseph I. Castro in the Table Mountain Rancheria Reading Room on Wednesday, Nov. 13.

A student had asked a question regarding the unfinished construction in the gender neutral bathrooms at the Henry Madden Library.  

“This has been one of our highest priority areas,” Castro said. “We have looked with great energy to where we could convert bathrooms to be gender neutral.”

Gender neutral bathrooms are to be expected in the future in any newly constructed buildings, including the second floor of the Lynda and Stewart Resnick Student Union. There has been some discussion looking into creating gender neutral bathrooms in the Kremen Education Building and the Student Recreation Center.

Another issue brought up during the event was posed by an attendee, who wished to remain anonymous, that informed Castro about the fear she experiences when she wakes up before attending a class. 

She stated she has experienced extreme racism by seven different professors during her academic years at Fresno State. 

“[This has been the] worst experience I have had here at Fresno State,” she said.

Castro responded by offering the student an apology for her experience.

“I am sorry, I am sorry that you had to experience this. I am aware of some of the things, but not all. I know that you are not alone,” Castro said. “My cabinet and I are trying to address these things.”

Students that have questions, concerns or feedback for President Castro should take advantage of these forums because he sets up a time to hear your voice directly. 

“[It is] very important for me to do these because I get to hear directly from students about what is on their mind, whether it is a problem or question or some other feedback,” Castro said. “Even though there are other ways to reach me, such as sending me an email or coming by the office; I still like to do it in person because I learn a lot from these conversations.”

Castro added that these forums are mostly areas that the university is focusing on improving, but that it can do even better and the forums help that process. 

The next forum will be held in the spring semester.

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