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MIND screens around campus keep students up-to-date on information

The Matador Information Network Displays (MIND), located throughout CSUN, inform students about activities and events that are happening on campus. Photo credit: Danielle Hale/Staff Photographer

By now, most students have seen the many screens scattered around different buildings on campus, constantly displaying information.

The flat screens are Matador Information Network Displays (MIND) that display information of activities and events that are happening on campus and important deadlines.

Last summer 14 screens went live and on Sept. 27 there will be a total of 21 MIND screens located throughout campus.

There are three sections on the MIND screens. The sections are posters, videos and a calendar section displaying events that are happening that day. There is also a weather widget that shows a three-day forecast as well as the time.

The posters and videos are ads for activities and events that are happening on campus.

The calendar shows information on sport events, important deadlines or other events that are happening that day, said Alex Velasco, MIND assistant.

Some information that is displayed on the MIND screen is very specific to the location of the screens. For example, if the screen is in Bayramian Hall it will show financial aid deadlines.

“Ultimately, the goal is for the information to be specific to every building so the news is more relevant for the people that are looking at it,” said Velasco.

Funding for the MIND screens came from the Campus Quality Fee, which is included in students’ tuition. Its purpose is “to ensure the quality of students’ experience through the elimination of most course fees, advancements in technology, instructionally related activities, access to student support services, and campus spirit/athletics,” according to their website.

The cost of the screens depends on the building that it is located in and whether it is indoor or outdoor, said Velasco.

There are restrictions on who can post and what can be posted on the MIND screens.
Only recognized clubs or organizations are able to post on the screens and the events have to be on campus.

“The only reason why everyday students can’t post is because we have to follow CSUN policy and guidelines, and if you are a CSUN club or organization you already have to abide by those guidelines,” said Velasco.

Submission forms, guidelines and policies for posting on the MIND screens can be found on csunas.org

The idea for informational screens is not new.

The need for screens has been recognized for a while now because information of events and activities is not available in one place for students.

“We want students to know how much is going on and this puts it all in one place,” said Ken Premo, manager of support services for Associated Students.

“Six or seven years ago an informational screens project was launched using five regular T.V. sets. The displays were more like PowerPoint shows and the screens were large and awkward but the project didn’t go anywhere because it wasn’t serving its purpose,” said Premo.

According to Premo, the MIND screens are more interactive and can go in more places than the first screens could.

“The MIND screens are a modern new way to deliver information, they are greener in the sense that you don’t have to waste paper to advertise events, it makes our campus look up to date and it keeps us at the technological curb not behind it,” said Velasco.

Velasco says that the goal for the MIND screens are to increase communication, for students to have information more readily accessible and to be more in tuned to how students want to receive information.

“Having it in the dorms, there is an X amount of freshmen that come in and for them to really get involved on campus this is really a great tool. They’ll get to see all these organizations that are having events and it will give them specific information of where to go and what to do.”

Ahammed Hossain, a first year engineering management graduate student, said the screens are good because they provide more information and has already found them to be helpful.

“They help me know where I am so I can find out how to get where I need to be since I don’t know my way around campus,” said Hossain. “It’s easier for me to know what events are on campus if it’s on the screens.”

Women’s Soccer: Matadors welcome undefeated Michigan

The Matadors (2-1-1) will try to get back on the winning track tomorrow against the undefeated Michigan Wolverines (5-0), who visit Matador Soccer Field Thursday at 7 p.m.

CSUN midfielder Stephanie Galarze will need to continue playing well if the Matadors expect to hand Michigan their first loss. Photo credit: Mariela Molina/ Senior Photographer

Senior midfielder Stephanie Galarze got the season off to a roaring start, scoring two goals in the first two games, helping the Matadors to a 2-0 record. She received Big West Offensive Player of the Week honors for her play.

Since, the Matadors suffered their first loss Friday against No. 24 Baylor Bears, and followed it up with a 1-1 draw against Fresno State on Sunday.

Thursday’s game will be a tough test as the Wolverines come to town with an undefeated record, outscoring their opponents 9-1 in their first four games.

Trying to slow down the Michigan offense will be Matadors senior goalkeeper Cynthia Jacobo and senior defender Stephanie Norton.

Norton was named the conference player of the week by College Sports Madness for her performance in the Matadors’ first two games. She is currently tied for the team lead with two assists.

Jacobo, the All-Big West first team goalkeeper, started the season off with two shutouts in the Matadors only wins and has allowed three goals in the last two contests.

CSUN has tallied at least one goal in each of its first four games, but will face a stingy defense in Michigan. The Wolverines have shut out three of their first four opponents.

Senior Forward Melissa Fernandez is tied for the team lead with four points and is the only player to record an assist and a goal for the Matadors this season. Her ability to create plays and finish will be vital against a tough Michigan defense.

Knowing how important this game is for the Matadors, athletics has marked this home game as a Red Rally Night. To increase support and reward fans, CSUN will be handing out free vuvuzelas and CSUN t-shirts to students that attend tomorrow night’s match with a valid CSUN ID.

Weekly Column: Dodgers boosted their line-up but still have no chance

The Los Angeles Dodgers are making a push to the playoffs, trading for four new players, at a time when restrictions make it nearly impossible to complete a trade like this. Taking on a little more than $250 million in salary from the Boston Red Sox shows the Dodgers want to win, and this is the year they plan to do it.

Los Angeles Dodgers Adrian Gonzalez hits a 3-run homer in the 1st inning against the Miami Marlins at Dodgers Stadium in Los Angeles, California on Saturday, August 25, 2012. Courtesy of Lawrence K. Ho/Los Angeles Times/MCT

Though this trade looks good on paper, it is only good for the Boston Red Sox.  While the Dodgers need a hard hitting first baseman, something they have lacked all season, four-time All Star Adrian Gonzalez is not the same player he was three years ago.  Carl Crawford is unworthy of the $20 million a year he earns and may only be able to platoon as an outfielder when he returns next year, and Josh Beckett is past his prime as a staff ace.

With the updated roster, the Dodgers will still be heading home early in the playoffs.  While a playoff berth seems a given now with these new additions, they are missing that 1-2 punch in the rotation that would make them World Champions.

After floundering for eight years under the ownership of Frank McCourt, the Guggenheim Partnership has completed three mega deals within the past month, spending over $2 billion to acquire them in March and promising to bring back the legacy of the team that seemed lost. It seems Guggenheim is making fielding a perennial winner its priority.

“We did this for our fans. We want to win now,” said part-owner Magic Johnson in an ESPN interview. “It sends a message to our fans that we want to win. Our players are very happy.”

Starting with the acquisitions of Hanley Ramirez, a three time All-Star and Randy Choate from the Marlins in July, the Dodgers then traded for the Phillie’s Shane Victorino, and the Mariner’s Brandon League.

On Saturday, morning the Dodgers completed the biggest blockbuster of the year, acquiring Adrian Gonzalez, Nick Punto, Carl Crawford, and Josh Beckett from Boston in exchange for James Loney, Allen Webster, Ivan De Jesus, Rubby De La Rosa, and Jerry Sands.

Once the trade deadline is passed on July 31, a trade can’t be initiated between teams unless players being moved are placed on the waiver wire, giving the other 29 teams a shot at claiming them.  Starting in order from the worst record to the best, the first team to put a claim on the player may initiate talks with the original team.  The claiming team then may trade the player, pull them back, or release them outright.

This trade was only able to happen because the Dodgers put in a claim for each of the players, and Boston was willing to get rid of them.

With baseball’s new postseason setup, a wild card berth does not guarantee postseason play, making the division title all that more important.  Entering play on Sunday, the Dodgers were two games back of NL West leader San Francisco Giants, and leading the NL Wild Card.

The Dodgers have floundered since acquiring Hanley Ramirez, going 16-13 and continually trading the NL West division lead with the Giants.

The trade already showed signs of promise of a Dodgers’ playoff berth, with Adrian Gonzalez’s first at-bat being a three-run home run. Gonzalez was hitting .300 with 15 home runs and 86 RBis in 123 games for Boston.

Josh Beckett’s debut did not go as well, losing 10-0 to Colorado on Monday, throwing 5 ? innings and giving up 3 runs.  Beckett, who was an integral part of last year’s epic Boston collapse, was 5-11 with a 5.23 ERA in 21 starts this season.

Carl Crawford, a disappointment since signing a seven year $140 million contract in 2010, recently underwent Tommy John surgery, and won’t be back on the field for nine months.

With players moving from the American League to the National League, there is normally performance boost in their numbers, especially for pitchers, according to a recent article on ESPN.com.  The Dodgers hope that Beckett can find the form that made him the 2003 World Series MVP for the Florida Marlins, and a part of Boston’s 2007 World Series win, but in the end, it looks like they won’t have enough to win this year.

Remembering the life of former CSUN student Savannah Dawkins

On July 21, Savannah Dawkins, a 26-year-old CSUN journalism alumna, was killed in a tragic automobile accident along with her mother, Nika Dawkins St. Claire, 62, during a road trip near Flagstaff, Arizona.

According to the Arizona Department of Public Safety police report, their Mazda vehicle was heading east on Interstate 40 around 8 p.m., when it hit a guardrail and plummeted 40 feet down, landing upside down on a train track. Investigators believe Dawkins and her mother were deceased prior to being struck by the train and both were pronounced dead at the scene.

For those who knew Dawkins, they will always remember her as a sincere, friendly and positive young woman that left a mark wherever she went.

“When I heard about Savannah’s passing I was heartbroken but I also feel fortunate enough to have known her,” Jonnae Thompson, a CSUN alumna and close friend of Dawkins said. “I am still in disbelief but I know that she made an impact on my life and others. Kindness and sincerity is something that Savannah possessed and is something that I will use as a reminder in my own life.”

Like most young adults, Dawkins was not only remembered for her sweet persona, but love of fast foods as well.

“What I remember most about Savannah is that she had that cheerful personality that made a sad person happy,” Mustafa Divan, friend and CSUN alumnus said. “I also remember the many trips to McDonald’s drive-thru for her favorite meal–large fries and a medium chocolate shake.”

Dawkins was born on October 4, 1985, in the San Francisco Bay area and graduated from Berkeley High School in 2003. She attended CSUN that same year, where she majored in journalism, worked as a resident advisor and wrote articles for the Daily Sundial.

“We met in our freshmen year at CSUN in Psychology 150,” said Genise Thornton, a long time friend of Dawkins. “She was a good writer and I always read every one of her articles.”

After graduating in 2009 with a B.A. in journalism, she worked at a community outreach program where she taught kids, and later found teaching as her true calling. Dawkins had taken education classes in San Francisco for the past two semesters and recently applied to teach English overseas in Korea.

“She always loved Korean culture and she (listened to) K-pop,” Thornton said. “She had this really big anime collection that she adored.”

Thornton further describes Dawkins as a movie lover and traveler, with a big heart.

“She liked action and comedy movies a lot, and we would go to Magic Mountain and always  to Las Vegas, where we had a such a great time,” Thornton said. “She also loved taking pictures of her friends and family. Savannah was the best friend I could have ever ask for and I could talk to her about anything, she was always there for me.”

Remembered as intelligent, funny, dependable, and outgoing, Dawkins and her mother were laid to rest earlier this month, on Aug. 3.

“We met my freshman year at CSUN through a mutual friend and I really loved her extremely positive personality and admired her vast knowledge of anime,” said Jason Stoll, a CSUN alumn and friend. “When I heard about her passing I was extremely shocked and saddened.  It just goes to show that friendships should be cherished at all times, because life is too short.”

She is survived by her loving father Bill Dawkins of Oakland and brother Miles, and his three daughters.

Gas prices take drivers on a wild ride

Saving money on gas has become a priority for students following the Aug. 6 Chevron Richmond Refinery fire.

Edith Manuel, a freshman computer science major, commutes from Downtown Los Angeles three to four time per week to save money.

“My parents don’t have a car and I don’t want to buy a car,” she said. “It’s expensive (and) I don’t mind taking the bus.”

According to the L.A. Times, the refinery is the third biggest in the state and an important source of fuel. It can produce 243,000 barrels of fuel a day when running at full capacity. For now, Chevron has not released how much diesel and gasoline it can produce.

Gas stations, however, have already released new increased gas prices.

According to the AAA Fuel Gauge Report, the price for regular gas in the Los Angeles area last month was $3.777 and as of Aug. 20 the price was at $4.118.

The Los Angeles area is not the only city being affected by the raise. AAA Fuel Gauge Report stated that the price for regular gas in Orange County has gone from $3.748 in July to $4.094. It was also stated that the price in Ventura is at $4.110 compared to $3.764 from last month.

Marie Montgomery, a spokesperson for the Automobile Club of Southern California, explained that most of the impact has happened already.

“We saw an almost immediate reaction in the market, almost a 20 cents increase in 10 days or less,” Montgomery said.

The AAA Fuel Gauge Report stated that a year ago the price for regular gas in Los Angeles was $3.713, which means that there has been a total rise of 0.405 cents.

“It’s hard to say for sure what will happen in the future. During prior years when gas prices are following a normal pattern, during winter and fall gas tends to fall. Usually, we’ll see the lowest prices of the year in December and January. It might come even sooner, but that is normally what we see,” Montgomery stated.

Montgomery explained some ways that drivers can prepare for higher gas prices including paying more attention to how you drive because a driver can improve their fuel economy by 20 to 50 percent by being a calmer driver. Also, drivers should be checking their tires every other time they fill up or every other week.

“If you drive your car as if there’s a raw egg under your gas pedal then you’ll know how much pressure to put,” Montgomery stated.

The rise in gas prices has had a mixed effect on students and professors at CSUN. Jon Craine, freshman psychology major, commutes from Central Los Angeles up to four times a week. Craine explained that he only spends $30 per week on gas.

“I don’t drive many places and I have a decent car,” Craine stated.

Mark Schilling, professor of mathematics, explained through email that he is hardly affected by gas prices.

“I drive a car that gets reasonably good mileage, don’t live that far from the university, and don’t take a lot of unnecessary trips. I only spend $100 (to) $150 (per) month on gas, so an increase or decrease in the price per gallon really doesn’t have a big affect on me,” Schilling stated.

The mystery of what will happen to gas prices in the upcoming weeks is just that, a mystery.

“It’s really anybody’s guess,” Montgomery stated, “We’re hoping that this is the worst of it and hoping that gas prices will come down in the fall and winter. We only have a few refineries in California and some of them have been closing down. When one refinery goes down for whatever reason it has a big impact on our prices.”

E-textbooks offer cheaper solution to high textbook prices

With the new semester underway, students are looking for ways to cut the cost of books and one way is to rent books.

There are several places students can rent from, including the Matador Bookstore, Amazon and through a new program by the CSU, among others.

On Aug. 6, Amazon.com launched a textbook rental program where students can save up to 70 percent in addition to being able to buy and sell new and used textbooks.

By using the multinational commerce company Amazon, students can choose from thousands of textbooks for rent.

After doing independent research to search for six different textbooks required for the CSUN fall semester in anthropology, creative writing and mathematics, two of the textbooks were available for rental at Amazon while all of them were available for rent through the Matador Bookstore.

The textbooks “American Ethnicity” and “Fiction 100” went for $39.75 and $48.45 on Amazon, while in the Matador Bookstore for $48.45 and $49.08.

“College is expensive, and students are always looking for ways to save money on textbooks, which is why we’ve long offered great prices on both new and used textbooks,” said Ripley MacDonald, director of textbooks at Amazon.com, in a press release.

Amazon is one of the many companies that offer students a more affordable option than plain old purchasing. Students no longer have to leave their apartment to obtain course requirements. By the press of a button, the textbooks will appear on their doorstep.

Few students have heard about Amazon’s rental program and those who have still prefer the Matador Bookstore because of their easy access to book rentals.

“I’ve heard about Amazon’s rental program but never thought about using it because I buy books on Amazon and I have seen the prices on their rental books,” said Yadira Torres, a junior majoring in sociology major. “The Matador Bookstore is more reliable, they are right here and some of the books have the same prices as Amazon. I prefer buying my textbooks.”

Torres is not alone. Nathan Garcia, a senior accounting major, also prefers using the Matador Bookstore.

“It is easier to go to the Matador Bookstore, buy it and keep it for a later time,” said Garcia.

Cassandra Orosco, junior sociology major, said that she might be more interested in Amazon’s rental program.

“(Renting is) easier than buying the book and then having to sell it after the semester ends,” said Orosco.

There are few major differences between Amazon and the Matador Bookstore. The latter lists the textbook’s condition, which gives students a chance to decide if they want a new or used rental book.

It seems the Matador Bookstore has the most titles for rent, while some of Amazon’s rental books are more affordable than the bookstore.

“Competition is healthy for the customers and keeps us extra-sharp in the goods and services we provide,” said Amy Berger, Matador Bookstore store manager. “We’re an on-campus resource that knows CSUN, students and faculty.”

Berger was not surprised to find that Amazon had launched a rental program, but she believes one of the Matador Bookstore’s advantages is their location directly on campus and within close proximity of students and faculty.

“When students utilize the Matador Bookstore Rent-A-Text program, we can assure students that they will get the right book,” said Berger. “If an instructor change, or decide to use a different book, we offer returns and make sure they get the right one.”

Another rental program that launched this fall is the CSU’s digital rental service. The CSU recently signed an agreement with Cengage Learning, CourseSmart, Follett and Barnes & Noble, giving students access to thousands of e-textbooks at discounted prices.

The program was an initiative under the Affordable Learning Solutions Campaign offering students the option to rent digital versions of textbooks saving at least 60 percent compared to purchasing the printed textbook.

“(The) CSU created the Affordable Learning Solutions campaign to give faculty the choice to select and students the choice to rent course materials digitally, which is more affordable for students,” said Stephanie Thara, representative for the CSU.

In addition to renting textbooks, CSU provides information on course materials, e-textbooks and library materials that are free to students.

The digital material will be available to students for the whole semester through laptops, desktops, tablets and other devices. The textbooks can be accessed online or offline, and includes interactive capabilities such as printing, note-taking and highlighting.

“Affordable Learning Solutions provides a website that is a one-stop-shop where faculty, staff, and students can find low cost course content that can substitute for more costly textbooks,” said Thara. “By reducing these expenses, we believe that we can provide more affordable access to a quality CSU learning experience.”

Q&A with Chicana/o studies professor on her path to activism

CSUN Chicano Studies Associate Professor, Theresa Montaño, speaks with the Daily Sundial in an interview about her 30 years of teaching experience. “I had a female student who shared her story with me about her mom being deported from the country,” she said. “I can recall times when students had made me cry.” Photo credit: Chanavong Nhao / Contributor

The Daily Sundial had a chance to interview union activist, mother of two sons and CSUN Chicana/o studies associate professor Theresa Montaño. With 30 years of teaching experience, she has dedicated her life to Chicana/o studies and helping students give back to their community.

Daily Sundial: How long have you been teaching? When did you start teaching at CSUN?
Professor Theresa Montaño: I think I’ve been teaching for over 30 years already. I started teaching in a junior high. After that I went to teach Chicana/o studies in a high school and also I worked for the Teacher Education Program. Then I joined CSULA, and nine years ago I started working at CSUN.

DS: So, why have you decided to dedicate your life to teaching?
TM: I was a Chicana/o studies major in college. And like most of my students, I began to uncover the truth and some invisible stories about Chicanos in American history. That’s what inspired me the most. I became a teacher and decided to work with other teachers to prepare a nation of future teachers. I wanted to make sure that Chicano students who were denied an equal education for so many years would be given an opportunity to go to college, and then to go back and serve their community.

DS: Have you ever encountered cheaters during your teaching career?
TM: Cheaters? Unfortunately, yes, I had a couple of times. It was a final paper and I was reading it and thinking, “God, this sounds familiar; I have read this before somewhere.” And I plugged it in and I found out that it was an academic article in a book. I called the student in and hoped that it was some kind of mistake. It appeared that he didn’t know how to do a research paper, and how to do the citations. I had him write it all over again.

DS: Did he finish the class?
TM: Yes, he rewrote the final paper and I let him finish.

DS: Did you have some funny situations during your lectures that you can recall?
TM: We always have a lot of fun, even if it’s serious studying. One day my students did a whole comedy show during the lecture. But I can recall times when students had made me cry. I had a female student that shared her story with me about her mom being deported from the country.

DS: Do you like to cook? And what is your favorite dish?
TM: I cook two times a year: Thanksgiving Day and Christmas. I don’t usually cook, but my family loves my green chili. They think it’s fabulous.

DS: What are you looking forward to in new semester?
TM: I am looking forward to teaching in the new semester. I love to work with graduate students, to discuss the issues that we are facing in our community and teach them how to engage and to do a research. I am also looking forward to an electoral victory in November. I am working hard in the campaign. I want to defeat Proposition 32 and to pass Proposition 30. And I look forward to seeing my students who are going to qualify for the Dream Act. I look forward to the contributions they are going to make. That is what keeps me going every semester.

President Harrison first two months spent meeting the Northridge community

Since assuming her new role as president of CSUN on June 11, Dr. Dianne Harrison has had a busy summer.

Harrison’s calendar included meetings with the university community, departments, faculty and staff (more than 1,100 contacts), Associated Students, leadership, students at convocation (more than 4,300 students).

“I will be (getting) 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,” Harrison said. “I can’t tell you how many places I’ve been (where they say), ‘We’ve had so many CSUN graduates.’ It’s a good partnering that needs to take place in many different elements of the community.”

Other meetings included some with board members for the CSUN Foundation and alumni foundation, president’s associates and donors.

“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,” Harrison said.

She also met with the university’s senior leadership team of the President’s Cabinet and deans, both one-on-one and in groups.

In addition, Harrison attended a CSU-wide board of trustees meeting and attended the CSU presidents’ retreat with the chancellor.

Her first official visit to campus was on March 27, when she gave her first formal address to the university.

The President’s Calendar (courtesy of the president’s office)

Since officially beginning her appointment as president of California State University, Northridge on June 11, 2012, Dr. Dianne F. Harrison’s schedule this summer has encompassed the following:

  • Visits to divisional and department offices and events and meetings with faculty and staff (totaling more than 1,100 contacts with faculty and staff during this period)
  • Update meetings with the university’s senior leadership team (President’s Cabinet and Deans), both one-on-one and in groups, and with her staff related to scheduling
  • Meeting with A.S. leadership and students (totaling more the 220 contacts with students plus welcoming 4,300 students at freshmen orientation)
  • Reaching out to and meetings and events with university friends, supporters and donors, including:
    • Members of the external university community, including members of the boards of the CSUN Foundation and Alumni Association boards, President’s Associates, and donors (totaling about 200 contacts)
    • Local and regional business and community organizations and leaders, related to the university’s position as a leading employer and civic institution in the Valley that provides education, programs, services and human capital to the community and to businesses (totaling about 400 contacts)
    • Local elected officials (6 individual meetings)
  • Required CSU-wide commitments, including:
    • Board of Trustees meeting
    • CSU presidents’ retreat with the Chancellor
  • Travel to meetings related to the President’s current professional commitments:
    • American Association of State Colleges and Universities’ annual meeting
    • Commissioners’ meeting of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges

Note also that in advance of her formal start on June 11, President Harrison visited the campus and had scheduled meetings on March 27, April 13, and May 4. The March 27 visit was her first official visit to the campus following the announcement of her appointment as president and included her first formal address to the campus community.

March 27

First visit to CSUN following the March 22, 2012 announcement of appointment:

  • Meeting with Interim President/Provost
  • Meeting with President’s Office staff
  • Tour of the campus
  • Working lunch with the President’s Cabinet
  • Meeting with A.S. President
  • Open meeting with senior leadership of the university, including deans, associate vice presidents and other senior divisional leaders and with campus members of the Advisory Committee for the Selection of the President (approximately 75 people)
  • First address to campus community, followed by open house reception with the campus community (attended by approximately 500 people)
  • Interview and photoshoot with Marketing & Communications for public relations purposes
  • Visit to University House (the President’s official residence)

April 13

This visit was in preparation of Dr. Harrison’s arrival to campus.

  • One-on-one meetings with four members of the President’s Cabinet
  • One-on-one meetings with three members of the President’s Office staff (Chief of Staff, Director of Administrative Operations, President’s Office, President’s Secretary/scheduling assistant)
  • Briefing meeting with CSUN Police Chief
  • Visit to University House to prepare for move

May 4

This visit was in preparation of Dr. Harrison’s arrival to campus.

  • One-on-one meetings with four members of the President’s Cabinet
  • Transition planning meeting

Week of June 11–16

  • Divisional showcases for:
    • Academic Affairs (45 people)
    • Student Affairs (260)
    • Administration and Finance (149)
    • University Advancement (50)
    • Information Technology (40)
    • University Corporation (8)
  • First formal President’s Cabinet meeting
  • Meet and greet with Associated Students (13 people)
  • One-on-one update meetings with four members of the President’s Cabinet
  • Meeting with the Chief of Police
  • Lunch with a member of the California State University, Northridge Foundation Board
  • Weekend breakfast with co-chairs of the Special Task Force on Engagement (6 people)
  • Two-day commissioners’ meeting of the Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (out of state)

Week of June 18-22

  • Three-day annual CSU Executive Council retreat in San Jose, CA
  • Two scheduling meetings with President’s Office support staff
  • One-on-one meetings with two members of the President’s Cabinet
  • Group meeting with all 10 university deans
  • President’s Cabinet meeting

Week of June 24-30

  • Scheduling meeting with President’s Office support staff
  • President’s Cabinet meeting
  • Working transitional/teamwork meeting with the President’s Cabinet
  • Meeting with Faculty President
  • Five one-on-one meetings with members of President’s Cabinet
  • Meeting with university’s General Counsel
  • Meeting with Alumni Association President
  • Meeting with visiting member of CSU Board of Trustees
  • Six one-on-one meetings with members of the Boards of the CSUN Foundation and the Alumni Association
  • Foundation and Alumni Board luncheon (7 guests)
  • Foundation Board member reception hosted by Foundation Board member (7 guests)
  • Two briefing meetings regarding to the university’s communications and positioning/branding efforts
  • Three briefing meetings with miscellaneous senior university administrators
  • Valley Economic Alliance’s Valley of the Stars Gala (350 attendees)

Week of July 1-7 (CSUN closed July 4)

  • President’s Cabinet meeting
  • One-on-one meetings with six members of the Cabinet
  • Tour of Student Affairs departments (45 people)
  • Meeting with Congressman Brad Sherman
  • Lunch with the leadership of the Valley Industry and Commerce Association (8 people)
  • Lunch with 5 CSUN Foundation Board members
  • Briefing on athletics with Athletics Director and Vice President for Administration and Finance

Week of July 9 – 14

  • Scheduling meeting with President’s Office support staff
  • Meeting of the President’s Extended Cabinet (consists of the President’s Cabinet, deans and faculty president)
  • One-on-one meetings with two Cabinet members
  • Tour of KCSN
  • Meeting on campus with State Senator Alex Padilla
  • Meeting with key university volunteer
  • 2012 Summer Council Meeting of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) (Out-of-state conference for which President Harrison served as co-chair)

Week of July 15 – 21

  • Board of Trustees meeting of the California State University at the Chancellor’s Office
  • Meeting of the CSU Technology Steering Committee at the Chancellor’s Office
  • Scheduling meeting with President’s Office support staff
  • One-on-one meetings with 6 President’s Cabinet members
  • Lunch with university donors Mike and Linda Curb
  • Meeting with local NAACP branch president
  • Two visits to Student Affairs areas of Housing, Children’s Center, and Counseling (20 people total)
  • Telephone meeting with Executive Director of Big West Conference
  • Briefings on university’s website activities and planning
  • Lunch meeting with L.A. Daily News executive editor Carolina Garcia
  • Visit to office of California Assemblymember Bob Blumenfield
  • Meeting with college dean
  • President’s Associates’ dinner (125 attendees)
  • Dinner meeting of the Trusteeship (professional women’s organization) (6 people)
  • Visit to Upward Bound Student Recognition Ceremony (95 high school Upward Bound students, 160 parents, and 40 CSUN students and staff)

Week of July 22–28

  • President’s Cabinet meeting
  • Scheduling meeting with President’s Office support staff
  • One-on-one meetings with 6 Cabinet members
  • Working meeting with 10 deans
  • One-on-one meetings with 2 university deans
  • Meetings in downtown Los Angeles with:
    • L.A. Councilmember Mitch Englander
    • L.A. County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky
    • L.A. County Supervisor Michael Antonovich
  • Meeting in downtown L.A. with Senior Vice President of Education and Workforce Development at Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Induction to the Board of Directors for the Valley Industry and Commerce Association (VICA) (40 people)
  • Dinner with members of the Foundation Board of Directors (14 people)
  • Alumni Association Reception hosted for President Harrison (22 people)
  • Conference call with the Executive Committee of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (President Harrison is a California Commission member)
  • Meeting with Faculty President regarding the state budget
  • Meeting with Professor Steven Loy regarding the 100 Citizens Program

Week of July 22–28
Family sick leave
Week of August 6–11

  • Deliver welcome greeting to 170 students attending First-Time Freshman Orientation for undecided/undeclared students (this is the first of seven freshman orientations that will encompass the President welcoming an anticipated 4,300 freshmen students)
  • President’s Cabinet meeting
  • Scheduling meeting with President’s Office support staff
  • One-on-one meetings with 6 President’s Cabinet members
  • One-on-one meetings with 3 deans
  • Lunch with members of the women’s soccer team (44 people)
  • Exit meeting with outgoing Director of Government and Community Relations
  • Meeting with the Faculty Senate Executive Committee (9 people)
  • Lunch with Big West Conference Executive Director
  • Meeting with the Faculty Athletics Representative
  • Meeting in downtown L.A. with senior officers of the L.A. Area Chamber of Commerce (2 people)
  • Delivered remarks at staff farewell (40)
  • Update meeting on university branding/positioning efforts
  • Briefing on Alumni programming

Newly opened Pride Center provides resources, support and mentorship to LGBTQ students

After almost two years of students’ hard work and petitioning for the creation of an LGBTQ resource center on campus, the Pride Center opened its doors for the first time yesterday.

Peer mentors gather in the new Pride Center located in the USU. The center aims to provide LGBTQ students with a safe space where they can talk with peer mentors, relax away from the everyday pressures of campus life and gain a sense of community. Photo credit: Kat Russell/ Multimedia Editor

The Pride Center is a place where students can go and talk to peers, get information on coming out, receive same sex health information, meet other members of the community, connect with students that may be going through similar experiences and be able to speak with peer mentors, said Sarina Loeb, coordinator for the Pride Center and LGBTQ Initiatives.

Almost two years ago, some students in the LGBTA club along with other students came up with the idea for a LGBTQ resource center. Together they prepared the paperwork needed to open up a resource center and got petitions started to show support for the opening of such a center, said Arutyun Ambartsumyan, president of the LGBTA club.

“I feel really great and proud to be a part of the process; from an idea to the physical space,” said Diego Flores, a senior psychology major and LGBTQ peer mentor who helped in sit-ins and with petitions.

The Peer Mentor Program is one of the resources that will be offered at the Pride Center.

Students will be able to meet with student mentors that will offer support and guidance during the coming out process, and will be able to talk to mentors about any concerns they have.

The Pride Center will be located in the former Living Well Lounge near the Student Recreation Center. The space for the center was chosen because it was available and it is a good location in terms of visibility, said Loeb.

The Pride Center will be open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

A grand opening celebration will be held on Sept. 27 and will include a ribbon cutting ceremony, free food and entertainment. There will be a reception at 9 a.m. and the grand opening celebration will begin at 10 a.m., said Hammond.

With the opening of the Pride Center, CSUN will be joining the list of UC and CSU campuses that have LGBT centers opened.

“Every UC institution has a center and now Cal State Northridge will be leading the way,” said Loeb.

Funding for the Pride Center will mostly come from the University Student Union, since the board of directors voted on supporting its funding, additional funding will come from the Campus Quality Fee, which will be used for the Peer Mentor Program and a portion of the renovations and furnishings for the Pride Center, said Hammond.

The opening of the Pride Center means different things to the campus, students and the people that will be involved with the center.

The Pride Center is a “step in the right direction for us to be seen and heard on campus more than we already have,” said Flores.

For CSUN its being able to support LGBTQ students.

“There is a large amount of LGBTQ students on campus and they needed a space and place to be comfortable and we wanted to do what we could to support them,” said Hammond.

Ambartsumyan sees the opening of the center as bridging a gap between the university and queer students.

“It provides a safe place for students to go and find support, resources, connect with each
other, and get networking that will help them in the future,” said Ambartsumyan.

The opening of the Pride Center is already generating buzz among student.

“I hear students saying that they can’t wait for it to open,” said Loeb.

Ambartsumyan has also heard excitement and anticipation from students about the opening of the Pride Center.

“Students are very excited and can’t wait to go in and check it out,” said Ambartsumyan.
“They are excited to have all these resource and to communicate with other students who understand the struggles and what they are going through.”

Searching for a new chancellor after Charles B. Reed retires

During a brief meeting with the Daily Sundial, Chancellor Charles Reed discussed his excitement to move to Florida after he retires and spend time with his grandchildren on August 22. Photo credit: Loren Townsley/ Photo Editor

The CSU system has been searching for a new chancellor  to replace Charles B. Reed after he announced his retirement in May. He served 14 years in the position.

The search for the next chancellor began with a closed meeting on Aug. 21.

During this closed meeting, the board of trustees reviewed the candidates up for the position, said Liz Chapin, public affairs assistant at the CSU.

Reed, 70, will stay on as chancellor until a replacement is found sometime early in the fall. The CSU board of trustees has formed a seven member committee, led by trustee William Hauck, to help find a candidate.

The committee held a public hearing on June 28 at their Long Beach office to find out what the Cal State community would want from the next chancellor and then held a closed session to go over public concerns.

Faculty and students said they want a chancellor with transparency and experience within a university system. Some students even requested that the new chancellor be in favor of a pay cut. Chancellor Reed currently makes $421,500 annually in addition to a $30,000 housing allowance provided by the CSU Foundation, according to an L.A. Times article.

The last few years with Reed have been filled with budget cuts and student protests as well as criticisms over new campus presidents’ increased salaries. Reed had even been scrutinized over spending habits regarding CSU board meetings and events. Reed, however, has also been praised for his leadership during the tough economic times.

“Our campuses have continued to flourish,” Reed said in a message announcing his retirement to all CSU students, faculty and staff. “Even in the face of budgetary challenges and tremendous growth. I want to assure you that the California State University will continue to carry out its mission every day to educate and serve its students.”

Current state treasurer, Bill Lockyer, has stated interest in the position. The CSU could not comment on his standing in the review process.

Lockyer, 71, is also a former assembly member from 1973-1982, former state senate leader from 1983-1998, and former attorney general from 1999-2007.

Matafest to welcome back students with Cajun style music and food

>>CORRECTION: CSUN’s new burger is called the Matador Burger and not the Mataburger.

The annual Matafest is almost here to bring  students back to school, Mardi Gras style.

The Mardi Gras is a “cultural celebration (and) it’s a welcome back to students before getting to business of studying and hitting the books,” said Shanell Tyus, event manager for University Student Union (USU).

During the event, students would learn about different organizations, clubs and departments the university has to offer. According to Augie Garibay, activities coordinator, there will be 90 clubs ranging from fraternities and sororities to the Karate Club.

“(Meeting different clubs) can help get them through a lot of the stresses,” said Garibay. “When returning in the fall they are able to see an opportunity and make a connection with the university.”

Garibay also said meeting with different clubs can help students broaden their minds and not feel like they are trapped into one program.

Randy Sorensen, event assistant, said each tent will have different activities like basketball or air hockey. There will also be a crafts table for students to create their own Mardi Gras masks and beads.

In keeping with the Mardi Gras theme, there will be Cajun food and New Orleans Cajun style music. There will also be shaved ice from Frozen Crush and other entertainment will include an R&B singer and a DJ, according to Tyus and Sorensen.

The Mataburger will also make its debut during the Matafest. They will give out 500 free burgers during the event, according to Kevin Lizarraga, marketing manager.

The Mataburger will be made with fresh ground beef, American cheese, roasted bell peppers, lettuce, tomatoes and bacon on a crispy bun, said Lizarraga.

Lizarraga said it was a long process to make a burger that was special to Cal State Northridge. The purpose of the burger is to show school pride, he said.

“We didn’t want to make a cheap burger,” said Lizarraga, “We made a food item that is unique to the campus and can only be found at CSUN.”

The name of the burger is still being debated between Mataburger and Matador Burger, according to Lizarraga. The burger will cost $5.55.

Students will get to win prizes such as a parking permit or a $350 gift card to the Matador Bookstore, according to Tyus.

Sorensen noted that students will be given a passport and they will get it stamped in every tent they visit. The more departments they visit, the more they have a chance to win the big prizes, said Sorensen.

Matafest will be Wednesday, Aug. 29 at the Plaza del Sol .The first part will be from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and the second part will be from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Women’s Soccer: Matadors face tough schedule as season begins

CSUN hopes to build off the momentum of last year’s third straight visit to the Big West tournament, where a loss to Long Beach State in the quarterfinals ended its season after compiling a 7-10-2 record including 4-3-1 in conference play.

Matador senior defender Stephanie Norton has helped the back line hold two opponents scoreless so far this season. File photo/ Daily Sundial

With the return of Big West Goalkeeper of the Year Cynthia Jacobo and 2012 All-Big West Preseason Team defender Katie Russ the Matadors hope to advance to the NCAA tournament for the first time.

A projected finish of fourth in the Big West Conference in the coaches’ poll would give them a fourth straight postseason.

Eight starters from last year return to lead the squad with experience of what it takes to field a winner.   Jacobo, head coach Keith West, and senior midfielder Stephanie Galarze agree that this year’s chemistry is just amazing.

“We have been together so long we just have great chemistry and know all of us play as hard as we can,” Galarze said.

With nine freshmen joining the team, they will be expected to produce in order for the team to achieve more than last year.

“We get great recruiting classes with the help of our alumni and the team’s commitment to win,”  West said.

Since arriving in 2003, West has been looking to build a culture for the team, and every year is just a step in the process for him.

The road to the NCAA tournament and Big West playoffs will be harder than any season in recent memory, with opponents in both the top-25 and top-50 in the nation.  A 1-0 win over Arizona State University in its home opener was their first in three attempts against the Pac-12 school. Their season continues with a visit down the coast of California to the University of San Diego, who received votes in the preseason NCAA and are projected to finish third in the West Coast Conference.

Jacobo, looking to etch her name into the CSUN record books, currently has 23 wins and needs seven more to pass Jenny Willemse for first on the career list.  She can also pass Willemse for first on the career shutouts list with 10 on the season.

Jacobo isn’t focusing on the records though.

“Reaching the NCAA tournament and Big West tournament is what’s more important,” Jacobo said.

After winning the 2011 Big West Goalkeeper of the Year award, Jacobo may have a target on her back.

“I feel like now I might, but  I know I have a great defense to protect and help me, they are like my rock,” Jacobo said.

Senior Forward Melissa Fernandez hopes to improve on her 2011 season in which she earned 2nd Team All-Big West Conference with career highs of four goals and 12 points.  She will help lead an offense that hopes to improve, and counter the stringent defense led by senior defender Katie Russ.