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President Dianne Harrison sits down for an interview with the Daily Sundial. Charlie Kaijo/Assistant Photo Editor

Q. One of your stated goals before you started CSUN was to start an ad hoc group (a focus group), did that ever come to fruition and have you had any meetings?

A. We have our first meeting today and it includes faculty, staff, faculty from the senate, some department chairs and a student. It’s really a cross sectional, not necessarily by position but rather someone who was interested and knows the university, from their perspective at least, what our traditions are and had been around long enough to know what’s important and what isn’t. It’s a built in focus group for me.

Q. The office of the chancellor says the role of the president has changed throughout the years, do you agree with that and what you view as your role now compared to when you first became a campus president over 30 years ago?

A. It has changed and that has to do with the need to think strategically about resources, to spend time in the community and in the area for multiple reasons – the obvious reason is to develop friends and supporters who will contribute to the university, that’s a huge part of the role. But the other part is to be the visible face, if you will, of the institution. When I was hired there was a comment made by one of the community members on the committee that we, the university, needed to be out in the community more, I have taken that to heart and have been out a lot, I have been appointed to several boards already I will be attending meetings, becoming involved in the business community, the local community college, partners we have – such as K-12 partners, elected officials, those individuals who can help us at times when we need it, or we can help them. It’s mostly to build strong bridges between this institution and the community so that they appreciate what an asset we are. I can’t tell you how many places I’ve been (where they say) “we’ve have so many CSUN graduates,” it’s a good partnering that needs to take place in many different elements of the community.

Q. You sometimes say “friendraising,” did you coin that term and how has that been going over the summer?

A. No, I didn’t coin it, but I like it. It is true, that the university does have friends and supporters but we do need to continue to “friendraise” as often as possible. It’s not a question of meeting someone once and then they don’t hear back from you or they don’t see you, that visible presence is really important and while the president can’t be at every single meeting that goes on you need to be regular enough so that it is a sincere partnership and visibility that we have. So that I think is one of the changes around not just fundraising but friend or partnerraising.

Q. Any other changes that you’ve made or plan on making?

A. No, I’ve really been involved, so far, in a lot of listening, learning, getting to know who the players are, what the issues are, drilling down to the extent that I have already – what are the current challenges right now, what happened last year, how can we improve this year? I know there was a huge problem with students getting classes and I’d like to avoid that. That is one of my priorities, and we are going to be doing and have been doing, at Academic Affairs, everything to make sure that does not happen. We’re using, and making great use, of the electronic wait list, which has been working great, the department chairs are raving about it, it prevents a student from having to go camp out of a faculty members door and beg them to add them to the class. When chairs can look online and see there are these many students needing a class, there’s pent up demand, they know to open another section – and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that everything is working well, but I will tell you and hopefully you can help encourage students, if something isn’t, they need to go and let the department chair or their dean know. If you’re telling me, I don’t open the section, the department chairs and deans open the sections.

Q. What comments would you make to those opposed to the salary raise you received at the last board of trustees meeting?

A. I would say that I would defer my own comments to the trustees and chancellor who make the decision about it.

Q. I don’t think very many students fully understand your role on a day to day basis on this campus, how would you describe that?

A. The way a university is organized, the president is more or less the general manager of a very large and complicated organization and there are different layers of management, the vice presidents being the next layer, and they each have their own divisions and managers under them with different functions they do. The president’s job is to make sure all of those various divisions and parts of the organizations are functioning well. The president also needs to be thinking about the future functioning of the institution, three, five, 10 years from now. If you’re only looking straight down at today that is probably not going to be your best leadership quality, because you have to think out into the future and ask, what it is that we need to do today to plan and be ready for new students, new jobs that we don’t even know exist yet, how do we truly prepare our students to be twenty-first century graduates that are innovative, creative, can be the leaders of the next generation and keep on. Right now the big job of the presidents is to not only think out into the future but to think out into the future with respect to our revenue sources because it is probably the case that we won’t be able to depend in the near future on the state of California to come and rescue us and make us whole again. We have to think a lot smarter, a lot more strategically about how are we managing, how do we continue educating students for the work force for the state of California when the state of California is electing not to invest so much. So, we are asking – what is it that we can do? We’re doing that on our campus, we’re doing that at the system level and getting all the presidents together with the chancellor. There’s a lot of problem solving going on and planning for whatever the case turns out to be. Right now I think one of the bigger challenges is all the uncertainty. If uncertainty makes you uncomfortable, you don’t want this job because there’s so much of it. You have to plan, have backup plans, you have to be nimble to be able to one day switch if that’s what it takes. Sometimes, in the last three years for example, we have been told, cap your enrollment then hold your enrollment then, oh, now admit more students, so you have to be able to adjust pretty quickly and significantly and it isn’t always the easiest thing in the world. If you think of this as a giant cruise ship spinning around quickly, it doesn’t’ happen, so, those are some of the areas that a president has to be involved with. All the constituencies that I need to be attentive to, obviously first and foremost are our students – what is a student experiencing here, is this a quality education that they are receiving in and out of the classroom, that’s what I’m interested in. After that, what about our staff, we will be doing some things as far as employee engagement because our staff need to be taken care of,  supported and recognized as well. Then, obviously our faculty, so now we have three, the community – that’s one word that is really a huge box of things inside, from business to education to elected officials, federal, state, local, all of those areas, our alumni. I had a great meeting a few weeks back with the executive board of our alumni association, there were some 23 people there, and they all had issues, interests, and things they would like us to do, things they want me to do. And you just keep going, there’s parents, we have obviously our donors, we have a 30-member foundation board, an auxiliary board, all kinds of things that a student doesn’t necessarily think about but that if it wasn’t working then they would start thinking about it, but these are all people and places that a president has to make sure that he or she is aware of, involved with and understands and is mindful of all at the same time, and at any given day you have no idea what could go on.

Q. Do you see any problems with a university, like CSUN or the other CSU’s moving away from the public model to a more private model, as we’re losing revenue from the state in the future?

A. If I thought that we could return to the days of the cherished master plan of higher education that was outlined in an era where we had a different economy, when we had a different set of players and really a different environment in many ways and we could go back and make education free for anybody in California who wanted it, that would be great, no question, if I spent my time wishing for that it probably would not be the best use of my time. I think you have to be realistic that that was then and this is now, as long as the citizens and the state government do not want to tax themselves. People want higher education to be affordable, I would love for it to be affordable, as affordable as possible, I would like for it to be as accessible as possible to any student who is eligible to attend the university, a CSU, and CSUN for that matter, but is that going to happen in the way that this kind of wishful thinking in the past thought? It’s a different day, and unless we do something dramatically different, which it doesn’t look like we are, then we have to think of new ways to do business, and the business of higher education means that we are going to be more efficient, we already are, we’re already one of the most efficient systems in the United States when you talk about how much it costs to educate a student or how much we spend, we are lean and mean, we do a great job with efficiencies, the concern is, how do we maintain that kind of efficiency and still maintain the quality of the education that the students are receiving and that’s where we have to continue to think creatively, continue to expect that we are not going to do business as we did it in the past because the state is not there, they’re just not. I mean, if you look at our economy, we’re looking at several years into the future until this thing turns around, if that, so what do we do? Sorry, it’s depressing but it’s true, you have to be realistic.

Q. With that note, what would you suggest to students, student activists, people that are frustrated on campus to focus their frustrations into more productive manners?

A. My typical advice is, let’s work on those who are making the decisions about what is happening in higher education in California. I didn’t cut our budget, our trustees didn’t cut our budget, the chancellor didn’t cut our budget, the legislature did, the governor did. So, like I was saying earlier, who has the ability technically to open a new section for a class, not me, it’s the department chairs, so you go to where that decision is being made and it is in Sacramento. We all need to work, and I think we all have worked – our students have been incredibly active state wide, our faculty have been active state wide, our administrators have been active state wide to try to make this case. We have our business community behind us, they don’t believe we should be cut any more. But look at what we’re facing, if that tax initiative doesn’t pass, we get another reduction. This is the piece I don’t think most people understand, even if it passes, which who knows what the odds are because they keep changing, even if it passes we don’t get one extra dime, not one dime, we avoid a cut, so that’s where we are. Someone who wants to be an activist, you have to think about state government. At our Valley Industry and Commerce Association (VICA) meeting where we did a board vote on this proposition and which one would be in the best interest of the state, it was a very heated but passionate discussion on both sides – no we don’t need more taxes you’re going to run businesses out of the state, people aren’t going to put up with this anymore, and then you had those of us who were saying it’s going to be really difficult to withstand yet another fairly significant budget reduction. Everyone in the room agreed that our state government is dysfunctional right now, it’s not operating in a way that makes sense, that is helpful, and we have to fix that, California has to fix that, and there are multiple groups working on that, and that’s where I really think we have to spend our time and attention. It’s dysfunctional.

Q. Looking back on the first year of your presidency a year from now, what would make you proud?

A. Wow. What would make me proud is if I hear from students that they had a great experience this year, that everything worked well for them, they enjoyed their classes, they got their classes, that they had become involved out of class with organizations and clubs or athletic events or whatever it was, things that turned them on that enhanced their experience here. What would make me happy are lots of multimillion dollar gifts to the university, people coming out of the woodworks to write checks for us, that would make me incredibly happy. And I think the faculty and staff continuing to feel incredible pride and loyalty to this institution, which is in every office and every academic area, place that I’ve visited, I hear constantly how much they love CSUN, how much they love this area, the students, what they’re doing, it’s great, all of that is really good and I think the other thing that would make me very happy is if we could in fact find a way to reward and help our faculty and staff with their salaries.

Q. A lot of people that enter into a position like this think about what kind of mark they make, have you thought about what kind of mark you want to leave ten years from now, what would make you proud then?

A. The way I put it and the way I look at it is, we’re probably beyond making a mark by building new buildings, because those days are gone or at least they have slowed down considerably. We may have some additional student housing, something will come up for needed classroom space, but really, I think the best way to leave a mark is by having our students and faculty succeed, because I will tell every graduating student when you succeed, I succeed. Your successes will take credit for me. Also, I think that for an institution that has been around as long as CSUN, that has over 200,000 alumni, I’d like to see many many more actively involved with this institution. That would be a mark.

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    CSUN women’s soccer team headed into Friday night’s home match undefeated but wasn’t ready for the pair of free kicks No. 24 Baylor put into the net and fell to the Bears, 2-1.

    CSUN’s Lyndsey Preston tries to run by a Baylor defender early in the second half Friday. Preston tallied two of the Matadors eight shots on the game. Photo credit: Mariela Molina/ Senior Photographer

    Baylor spotted CSUN an early own goal but capitalized on two set pieces to hand CSUN its first loss of the young season.

    “They’re a tough team to play against,” said head coach Keith West. “We lost our concentration a little there in the first half and we just didn’t execute the way we need to execute.”

    Despite the Matadors’ nine shots (five on goal), Baylor’s offense doubled the number of shots, including eight on goal. Goals in the first and second half were enough to put CSUN away but not before the Matadors offense put together some chances.

    Matador forward Lyndsey Preston took the game’s first shot within the first two minutes after Preston created her own offense on the right side powering past Baylor’s Karlee Summey. Her shot sailed wide left but set the pace early for CSUN.

    In the 6th minute CSUN took the early 1-0 lead after a through ball on the Matador attack deflected off a Baylor defender and found its way into the Bears’ net. Baylor’s Michelle Kloss was helpless and out of position as the ball sailed into the top right corner.

    “It’s always nice being up early,” said Katie Russ, senior defender. “But it messes with your head and gives you a little feeling of confidence. Our change of play was not for the good.”

    Baylor managed to even up the match in the 30th minute after the Bear’s Taylor Heatherly connected with Kat Ludlow for the header. The set piece from the left was played to the far side where Ludlow found a hole in the defense and blasted one past CSUN’s Cynthia Jacobo.

    “We knew on the scouting report that they were good on the free kick,” Russ said. “We worked on getting up for the headers because they are a lot taller than us but we left one man unmarked.”

    The Bears continued to dominate the possession early in the second half while forward Stephanie Galarze helped create some near opportunities but couldn’t get CSUN ahead.

    Northridge fell victim to another set-piece goal in the 65th minute but this time from the right side. Baylor’s Larissa Campos sent a cross to the near post where BU forward Dana Larsen cut the pass off in front of the CSUN defense with a header that went directly over an outstretched Jacobo.

    “Usually (free kicks) are our time to refocus,” Galarze said. “Any little breakdown can hurt any team…we can’t let up for the set pieces.”

    CSUN’s offense swarmed the net the last five minutes searching for the equalizer but failed to finish on multiple occasions and took the 2-1 defeat.

    “They were one of the more physical teams we played last year and this year they were better,” Russ said. “It was good we played them early. We’ll go in harder from now on.”

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    File photo/Daily Sundial. The California Faculty Association and the CSU reach a tentative agreement on a new faculty contract to maintain salaries, benefits and allow negotiations. The agreement comes after the majority of association members agreed in April to strike in the fall if the CSU Chancellor did not meet CFA needs.

    After two years of negotiations, the California Faculty Association (CFA) has reached a tentative agreement with the CSU system on a new faculty contract that would maintain salaries and benefits and allow for negotiations as early as October.

    In addition to maintaining salaries and benefits, if ratified, the contract would also improve sabbatical requests and evaluation processes, maintain pay for teachers during summer sessions for regular campus classes, and include tenured counselors into the Faculty Early Retirement Program.  Counselors had been excluded from the program until now.

    Negotiations for better salaries and benefits could start as early as Oct. 1 for the 2012-2013 school year as well as 2013-2014.

    The new contract also provides a campus based equity program, which will help staff that have not received raises since 2008 be first in line for better pay once money is available.

    The tentative agreement comes after the majority of association members agreed in April to strike in the fall if the CSU Chancellor could not meet CFA needs.

    Union members had walked out on negotiations with the CSU because of a long list of items from the previous contract, which expired June 2010, that Chancellor Charles Reed wanted removed.

    The chancellor proposed salary cuts, a new system for faculty layoffs, temporary appointments for lecturers, stricter regulations on evaluations and sabbatical requests, excluding coaches from contractual benefits, and eliminating doctoral program fee waivers.

    Each proposal was stopped or revised during negotiations with CFA members.

    A statement from CFA highlighting the proposed contract settlement and provisions said, “The chancellor’s ‘take away’ proposals would have resulted in losses of important protections and gains won in past contracts.”

    The contract will not become effective until it has been agreed upon by the CSU board of trustees and union members. The CSU board of trustees will consider the contract during a two-day meeting on Sept. 18-19 at their Long Beach offices. Union members will have ballot results by Sept. 4.

    The CFA bargaining team and board of directors recommend ratification of the contract. Voting is currently underway with the CFA. They will have until Thursday, Aug. 30 by 5 p.m. to cast their votes.

    “We [the CFA] think, under the circumstances, it’s a good contract for our members,” said Andy Merrifield, professor of political science at Sonoma State University and chair of the CFA Sonoma chapter. “It protects us against future cuts.”

    If the contract isn’t ratified by both parties, over 400,000 students would be affected by a strike, but Merrifield is optimistic.

    “There seems to be very widespread support among faculty,” he said. “We are reaching out and informing colleagues since the vote lies with individual members of CFA.”

    There are about 12,000 active CFA members spread out over the 23 campuses in the CSU system, which includes CTVA Professor Nate Thomas who is the interim president of CFA’s CSUN chapter. Thomas is on vacation and could not be reached for comment.

    “The agreement, which covers the 23,000 instructional faculty, coaches, librarians, and counselors on the 23 campuses of the California State University, will be in effect through June 30, 2014,” according to a joint statement released by the CFA and CSU on July 31.

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    After CSUN’s new wait list feature was added over the summer, reactions from students and faculty showed satisfaction and relief with more enrollment openings into classes.

    For the Fall 2012 semester, the wait list has moved 3,492 students into 4,455 open seats in classes according to Todd Wolfe, registrar and associate director for CSUN’s Admissions and Records.

    Wolfe has only heard positive things from students and staff about the wait list. The only problems CSUN had were transparent, minor glitches here and there, but nothing that affected students at all, according to Wolfe.

    “The wait list gives us concrete evidence of where the demand is,” Wolfe said. “This was the first time we used the system, and it is definitely permanent and will be used in the future.”

    The individual academic departments will now use the wait list data to see if additional sections of classes need to be added, according to Wolfe. The wait list numbers will also be used to assess whether to cancel low-enrollment courses or add more seats to high-demand courses.

    Yegia Dzhandzhikyan, a junior studying biology, said he was excited and happy when he heard about the wait list. Dzhandzhikyan, 21, crashed three or four full classes at the start of every semester for the last two years at CSUN hoping to get enrolled.

    Dzhandzhikyan was able to add six units towards his major by using the wait list over the summer and is still waiting on two more classes.

    “When I got out of the shower, I had an email saying I got into a class that I really needed,” Dzhandzhikyan said. “It’s a really happy feeling when you get that email.”

    In the Sundial’s June debut of the wait list, Elizabeth Adams, senior director of Undergraduate Studies, described the wait list as an opportunity for students to have more control over their schedules.

    The online wait list served as a temporary holding spot in the line to enroll in a full class. If a seat opened, the student who was first on the wait list was automatically enrolled.

    The placement of a student on the wait list was determined on a first-come-first-serve basis. Whoever joined the wait list first was the first to be enrolled.

    The student’s registration appointment also played a part in the line placement: the earlier the appointment, the sooner one joined the wait list. The student’s required pre-requisites for a specific course were also considered.

    Judith Retana, a senior studying geography, was able to add six units towards her minor with the wait list. Retana, 20, was relieved after she used the new and, in her opinion, long-overdue wait list option.

    “I thought the new wait list was a smart idea and a huge time-saver, since I don’t have time to waste on my first day trying to add a class,” said Retana. “It’s about time they did this.”

    All in all, the new wait list feature proved to be an enormous success for students and faculty alike.

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      File Photo: Daily Sundial

      Raymond Solis, the radiology technologist at the Klotz Student Health Center, was optimistic, cheerful, and caring. His enthusiasm for life was contagious.

      Ray, as staff and students at the center called him, was an eclectic, fun and encouraging person to be around, even during the toughest moments of his life.

      “Ray was a ray of sunshine to me and all of the staff at the Student Health Center,” said Dr. Yolanda Chassiakos, director and medical chief of staff at the Klotz Health Center.

      Solis passed away at the age of 56 on Aug. 6 while waiting for a heart transplant. In 2007 he had hoped to have the transplant at the UCLA Medical Center, but the surgery was called off.

      An avid runner, Solis had gone for a routine check-up in March 2007 for the L.A. Marathon and learned he had a hole in his heart. This deterred him from running in the marathon, but it didn’t cloud his view of living life to the fullest.

      “Ray maintained his optimism,” said Chassiakos. “He even created a Facebook page to keep everyone updated on his progress while he was waiting for the transplant. He was very enthusiastic about his athletic activities.”

      Chassiakos met Solis 13 years ago when she became the health center director. In 2004 Solis was in a traffic accident while riding his bike home from work. The accident kept him out for five months and he was required to wear a halo – a metal ring that is connected to the spine and neck by pins and fastened to metal rods.

      Not long after his accident, Chassiakos went to visit him at the hospital. “He still had a smile across his face,” she said. Solis had worked at the health center for 21 years as the radiology technician and it was his X-ray room that had convinced Chassiakos to work there in 1999.

      Though Solis preferred film radiology, the room was renovated a few years back to handle up-to-date computerized technology. But memorable pieces of his office still decorate the room. “Ray meant a lot to everyone he touched,” said Sharon Aronoff, health educator at the Klotz Health Center.  “He was a consummate professional and he always had that smile on his face.”

      One of the fondest memories Chassiakos has of Solis was his desire to make sure students were comfortable during X-rays. Before his room was changed, students would immediately be at ease upon entering the chirping, brightly lit room. Even laying down on the X-ray table, students were greeted with photos of landscapes from all over the world.

      “The gift he gave the staff and students with his smiles can never be forgotten,” Chassiakos said.

      Friends, family, and coworkers have flooded a guestbook for Solis on legacy.com.

      “Thank you for being there with your encouraging words,” said Lisa Solis, his younger sister. “I promise to continue to walk and live healthy, ‘one day at a time.’”

      “I have learned a lot from him: how to love, care, and go forward with anything I do,” said Frank Solis, his brother. “I will miss him dearly, every day of my life,” he said.

       

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        Photo illustration: Kat Russell/ Multimedia Editor

        As the pitfalls of the economic system pressure college students to fend for themselves, CSUN supplies an oasis in the desert of the dramatic health insurance debacle: The Klotz Student Health Center.

        The Klotz is a two-story brick building located on a quiet hill on the east side of campus. Upon entry, students are greeted with a smile and may lounge on couches while watching flat screen TVs during their short, if any, wait time.

        Services offered at the center range from massage therapy to substance abuse counseling to acupuncture. Many of the services are free, including in-house x-rays, basic cold and flu care and annual physical exams.

        Typically pricey services such as chiropractic care, optometry, dental work, podiatry, gynecology, physical therapy, dermatology and acupuncture are offered at the center for extremely low-cost per-visit fees (as low as $5).

        Candice Hansard, 25, a psychology major, used the acupuncture services at the center.
        “The acupuncture was a great way to relax during finals, and I will definitely go again,” Hansard said.

        Students seeking pregnancy prevention may even be eligible for free birth control if they apply for the Family PACT Program [Planning Access Care Treatment] through the center.

        Students are encouraged to make appointments online through the Klotz booking website, myhealth.csun.edu. From there, students can update information forms prior to any appointments rather than conquering stacks of paperwork in the office.

        The facilities have been transitioned into the digital age with computers in every exam room, and the offices phased out most paper records.

        Each of the computers in the lab rooms update in real time, so a doctor can view a patient’s record immediately after another physician in a different department has entered new information.  Student records are kept confidential and are not tied to a student’s parents or academic record.

        Dr. Robert Patterson, a chiropractor at the center for three years, finds the Klotz Student Health Center a very enjoyable place to offer his services.

        “This is a very unique multi-disciplinary environment where we have literally everything here,” Patterson said. “We are very committed to all of the students.”

        The Klotz does not accept health insurance, but rather offers a flat-rate price for a wide array of services. With this system, a student only has to worry about payments on a case-by-case basis with no monthly dues beyond tuition.

        Joshua Mendoza, 25, a history major, is a senior at CSUN who has yet to visit the center.

        “I already have insurance, so I just use that to see a doctor,” Mendoza said.

        Mendoza knew of the Klotz, but he wasn’t aware of the low pricing.

        “Now that I know how cheap the center is, I definitely want to check it out,” Mendoza said.

        Although the center is a great resource for students on campus, Sharon L. Aronoff, health educator at the center, recommends that students maintain health insurance for extra coverage or emergencies. CSUN offers student health insurance plans through Associated Students.

        A student may even be able to take receipts from the center to an insurance company for reimbursement depending on the policy. Aronoff cautions this reimbursement is not guaranteed, but definitely possible.

        “We have some of the best resources on this campus than anywhere else,” Aronoff said.

        She has been with the center for over 12 years and hopes more students take advantage of this convenient on-campus treasure.

        “The important thing isn’t having more time but making the best use of the time you have,” Aronoff said.

        Even though many students are busy with high-demand classes, jobs and internships, the Klotz exists to improve students’ lives.

         

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        CSUN president, Dianne Harrison talks to students, faculty and staff at the Presidential Convocation in the Valley Performance Arts Center on Thursday.
        CSUN president, Dianne Harrison talks to students, faculty and staff at the Presidential Convocation in the Valley Performing Arts Center on Thursday. Photo credit: Mariela Molina/ Senior Photographer.

        Updated with additional quotes

         

        President Dianne Harrison held her first convocation on Aug. 23 at the Valley Performing Arts Center, where she welcomed about 500 students and faculty.

        During her speech, Harrison spoke of CSUN as a source of light.

        “CSUN is a shining example of the promise and excellence of public higher education, and a shining light for the community we serve, who are the students who come to CSUN,” she said.

        Harrison noted CSUN’s culture of collaboration, problem solving, an unrelenting commitment to student success and initiatives that have changed lives.

        “We shine as a culture of unparalleled diversity with an inspiring history and engagement in the community,” she said.

        When speaking about the future concerns of the university, Harrison informed the audience that she shares the values and goals that have made the university a success.

        “My aspiration is to build on the great foundation that already exists, to continue to make CSUN shine,” she said.

        She emphasized student success as a priority, ensuring the continuation of success initiatives.

        “My goal is for all students to get the classes they need to progress toward degree completion,” she said.

        Harrison also noted the 99 Cents Stores’ $2.1 million contribution to CSUN over the summer to pay full tuition for 120 students over the next four years.

        William Watkins, vice president for student affairs, said her speech was spectacular.

        “It gave her a great opportunity to speak about her experience on this campus already,” Watkins said. “Harrison’s focus on student success and completing their degrees is the most important.”

        Watkins said her focus on research and pursuing grants will set a new frontier on campus.

        “She is a very genuine person with a social worker background and has a sense of caring,” noted Watkins.

        Other points in Harrison’s convocation included the budget crisis, which continue to affect the CSU and all of public higher education. Harrison said the federal budget is facing uncertainty as well.

        “If Proposition 30 fails, the CSU will have a $250 million cut,” she said. “We must plan to be less dependent on state funding by continuing the momentum that began years ago.”

        Sylvia Alva, dean of health and human development, said Harrison’s speech was fabulous.

        “She highlighted ways for the students and staff to excel,” Alva said. “It’s nice to ponder about the wonderful things students and staff are already doing.”

        Alva noted that Harrison’s emphasis on applied research will help involve students in the research process and give value to their academic life.

        In addition to discussing the potential budget cuts, Harrison stated that the National Science Foundation ranked CSUN first among universities preparing students to earn doctorate degrees in psychology.

        “(Because of this,) CSUN was awarded $5.5 million to increase the number of low-income students studying engineering and computer science,” she said.

        Overall, Harrison continued to emphasize the theme of shining by describing CSUN as a university where people can shine, realize their dreams and share them with others in order to have a successful career.

        “CSUN is not just another institution of higher learning, but one of higher enlightenment and vitality,” she said.

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        Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone, left), Lee Christmas (Jason Statham, center) and Hale Caesar (Terry Crews) star in”The Expendables.” (Courtesy of Frank Masi/MCT)

        “Expendables 2” brings back all the action, stars, and cheesy lines of its predecessor.  Its predecessor “The Expendables” is a throwback to the days of our youths with the action stars that many of us grew up with, just older, slower, but using the same lines.

              You get the entire bloodlust of the first Expendables  film in the first five minutes of the movie. It packs all the action that every adrenaline junkie wants, and the B-movie flair  that was so popular in the 80’s. Barney (Sylvester Stallone), Christmas (Jason Statham), Gunner (Dolph Lundgren), Hale Caesar (Terry Crews), and Toll Road (Randy Couture), return to battle evil for Mr. Church (Bruce Willis).  Newcomers Billy the Kid (Liam Hemsworth) and Maggie (Nan Yu) join the crew in different capacities, and prove vital to the team.

        They are thrown into a battle in Albania that tests them both physically and emotionally, while combating Villain (Jean Claude Van Damme).  Tracking down Villain after stealing a special device that shows hidden plutonium deposits becomes a revenge mission after one of their own is killed.  Taking the town folk under their wing outside of the mine, they must save their families and the world from Villain.

        Poking fun at themselves, their signature catch phrases, and their old age is what gives this action movie some surprise laughs.  Booker’s (Chuck Norris) first scene in the movie brings about tons of laughter from the audience, poking fun at himself.  “I heard you once got stung by a king cobra,” says Barney.  “Yes I did, and after five excruciating days of pain the snake died,” replied Booker.

             Once the killing stops the problems begin, with nearly no one able to do a semblance of acting on the screen.  Random plot twists that are completely out of left field make you leave this movie scratching your head wondering how that happened.

        The problem with bringing back all the 1980’s action stars in the 2010’s?  They are all way above the age that they should be doing this, even though the film brings in younger talent, the old stars just seem out of place.

        “Expendables 2” has a better backstory  than the first  “Expendables,” with a better character connection, but this movie feels like a rehash.  They moved from Latin America to Asia, switched in a villain boss instead of a dictator, and kept the oppression of people in the community.

        Most of us grew up watching one of these actors in an action movie, when they were in their heydays, but now they are just out of place.  We have our spy thrillers, romantic comedies, horror, but no longer the shoot’em up action of the 80’s.

        In our youths we had all the action heros from Arnold to Bruce to Sylvester to Chuck, and that seems a bygone era in today’s world.  The action stars that were supposed to become the new Arnold’s, like the Rock,never panned out, and  today’s  action movies leave us craving for the B-movie quality of the past.

        The movies were cheesy, the action seemed impossible, but we ate them up.  No one wanted the multi-million dollar CGI effects that we have today.  This film is bare knuckle fighting and low tech special effects, just like it was in the 80’s.

        The scenes never seemed possible and the action wasn’t plausible, but audiences loved it and craved  more.  Nothing made sense but thats what made action films fun.

        Everything eventually comes back in style, and maybe now is the time we can bring back these action classics.  With their seemingly impossible action sequences, and attempts at comedy, we pine for the hero to win, and wonder how they will complete their next mission.

        If you want a throwback to the past and some high-octane scenes that never get old, then this movie is for you.  Three stars out of five.

          by -
          Stingy defense was on display by both teams Friday night, as the women’s soccer team took on Arizona State in their season opener at Matador Field.  It was the Matadors (1-0) first win over ASU (0-1), the projected 6th place team in the Pac-12 conference, in three attempts.
          Midfielder Stephanie Galarze fights off a Sun Devils defender early in the first half of Friday’s home opener. Galarze scored the only goal in a 1-0 win. Photo credit: Danielle Hale/ Daily Sundial.

          That stingy defense led to multiple yellow cards given to both teams throughout the match, including three to CSUN and one to ASU.

          Starting their schedule with one of the toughest opponents they will face this season, the Matadors brought their best, with stellar performances by goalkeeper Cynthia Jacobo and midfielder Stephanie Galarze.

          Galarze scored the only goal in the 9th minute with an assist from Lyndsey Preston and Melissa Fernandez, on a cross from the right to center, sending the ball into the upper right side of the goal.

          “I feel amazing and more confident from hitting that goal, like a weight lifted off my shoulder,” Galarze said.

          Jacobo only had five saves for the game, but saved the game with a diving stop in the final 10 minutes.  Wanting to keep the shutout alive and her team in the game she completely laid out to make the save.

          Arizona State never got any closer to a goal for the rest of the game.
          The first half saw the Matadors controlling the ball on offense, but able to fend off any attack from the Sun Devils, with neither side having much luck on offense.

          The Sun Devils started pushing the ball harder in the second half, forcing lots of pressure on the Matador defense, but were able to hold the line and fend off the few Sun Devil opportunities.

          With this win, the Matadors head into Sunday’s contest with the University of San Diego with a lot of confidence.  A loss to Pepperdine on Friday night puts the Toreros at 0-1, but doesn’t make the challenge any less for the Matadors.

          Head coach Keith West said he was already thinking about Sunday’s game, but will take this season one game at a time.