The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

Signal

The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

Signal

The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

Signal

Student advocates for college town, born from roots of Warrior involvement

Turlock has the perfect recipe for a college town – a large campus, surrounding restaurants, student discounts, but is missing one key ingredient: student participation.
According to a 2013 population estimation on www.dof.ca.gov, Turlock has a population of 69,888. According to the school website, California State University, Stanislaus has about 9,246 students (as of Fall 2011).
When combined, this means that Monday through Friday during campus operating hours, Warriors occupy about 13 percent of the population of Turlock.
But this is only during campus hours, because CSU Stanislaus is considered a commuter campus; the term implies that the existence of this school is for students to come to class, gather homework, go home and repeat.
“We are not an island,” CSU Stanislaus President Joseph Sheley said during his annual address Aug. 26, while advocating a more active role in the community.
Yet, as a commuting student, that is exactly what the campus feels like- a familiar and comfortable island with the uncharted sea of Turlock surrounding it.
As a new student planning to commute back and forth, Turlock is unfamiliar territory. New Student Orientation (NSO) guides everyone around campus, but may only touch on a restaurant or two outside of it. Had my tour been extended to the surrounding blocks, I may have found a few bars, restaurants or shopping areas to explore.
But, not being given alternatives, I stuck with what I was given, and have seen many commuters do the same.
“I have a break from 10 to 1, so that’s when I spend [time] here,” Alyssa Hamilton (freshman, Nursing) said.
Commuting out from Ripon, she spends her three-hour lull at the Mary Stuart Rodgers  Cafe.
“I’m mostly getting work done; I’ll either be here or in the library,” Hamilton said.
“I wanna sign up for a couple clubs, maybe when I just become more adapted to everything and not so new to everything,”
Hamilton is far from the only one with this issue.
“I commute from Modesto,” Michael Ahler (junior, Criminal Justice) said. “Mainly, I just use my free time on campus for reading or studying. I don’t eat or shop in Turlock between classes.”
Another way to open the doors of Turlock to commuters would be hosting local businesses and restaurants at NSO or Welcome Week, allowing businesses the opportunity to introduce themselves and to highlight their services to students.
With more publicity and student interest, a nearby bar, such as local favorite Dust Bowl, could become the offsite Warrior hangout, bringing students out to downtown Turlock and bringing Turlock into CSU Stanislaus. But it will take more than the push of making these places visible.Student participation is the key ingredient.
Ultimately, these businesses and tours could open up the town to the students, but the students need to want it.
If you want to go to school in a college town, you have the ability to make it a college town.

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Student advocates for college town, born from roots of Warrior involvement