CSU system celebrates EOP this month

Daily Sundial

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In honor of the Educational Opportunity Program’s 36th anniversary, CSUN will hold a celebration tomorrow between 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. in front of Bayramian Hall, formerly the Student Services Building.

The event will recognize the success of EOP and encourage students to learn more about the program, as well as feature a performance by hip-hop group The Groovaloos.

“The Chancellor’s Office officially said, ‘We want to recognize (and) acknowledge contributions of EOP in the state of California,'” said Jose Luis Vargas, director of EOP at CSUN.

In September 2004, the CSU Chancellor’s Office decided to set aside one month to celebrate the achievements EOP has made throughout the CSU system.

“We’re celebrating the partnership between colleges and other offices providing service to all students,” Vargas said. “We’re celebrating that we’re making difference.”

In 1969, California state legislators passed a law that required each CSU to establish the EOP at its campus.

“For the last 35 years, if the EOP didn’t exist, a lot of low-income students would never (have) been able to come to school,” said Glenn Omatsu, coordinator for the Faculty Mentor Program for EOP at CSUN.

Today, there are about 30,000 EOP students in California, and they primarily come from disadvantaged or low-income communities.

The EOP especially supports first-generation students because they are not familiar with college, Omatsu said. There are about 3,500 EOP students at CSUN this semester, which is about 10 percent of the total CSUN student body.

EOP students receive $800 in financial aid, and the program also provides many various workshops on topics that could help the transition to college life, such as time management, study skills and culture awareness. The program also provides each student with counseling and advisement during their time at CSUN.

Omatsu said the celebration would be a good opportunity to make people realize that EOP students are very successful and that they are culturally and racially diverse.

“Thousands of people do not know what the EOP is about,” Omatsu said.

“We also provide services to all students,” Vargas said. “That’s the significance of (our) contribution to the university.”

Aya Oikawa can be reached at aya.oikawa.73@csun.edu.