The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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Places to visit on campus

Populated primarily by commuter students, the CSUN campus resembles an airport terminal; students and faculty arrive and depart at all hours of the day, few remaining longer than is necessary.

‘ Students dart from the cramped parking lots to their classes only to hurry back again, phones out, keys in hand. Anxious to escape the academic environment and to have some fun, students flee the campus without a second thought. Few appear to recognize or make the most of what CSUN has to offer them outside of their studies. Contrary to what some critics say, there is a unique community experience to be had at CSUN, one that offers a variety of extracurricular enjoyments for students.

‘ Boasting a population of approximately 36,000 students, of whom, roughly only nine percent live on campus, the structure of student life at CSUN is anything but average. Like other universities, CSUN has numerous involvement opportunities for students such as student government, community volunteer work, and clubs and organizations. However, CSUN also offers students numerous leisure activities.

‘ The 356-acre campus is home to a plethora of commuter friendly possibilities. Whether students are stuck on campus waiting for their next class to begin or are looking for something affordable to do with their spare time, the CSUN campus has something to offer.

While most students know where to get food on campus, the University Club ‘Orange Grove Bistro’ is one of the lesser-known locations to get a meal. Although the restaurant used to only cater to University faculty and administrators, it is now open to the public. Nestled back in the CSUN orange grove, the appropriately named eatery offers reasonably priced meals, catering, event hosting, and on Fridays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. hosts an international lunch that features the cuisine of a different country each week. To view the lunch menu visit

‘ Students tired of exercising their mental abilities can work on their physical strength and health at the CSUN Fitness Centre. Open to students, faculty and staff, the gym facilities include strength training and cardiovascular machines, free weights, and a boxing room. In addition to traditional exercise amenities, the Fitness Centre also has an aquatics facility with a junior Olympic size pool. With reasonably priced, prorated membership fees, working out on campus is for the busy student, uncomplicated.

‘ Located between North University Drive and Halsted Street, art lovers can visit the CSUN Art Galleries, which often feature work by local artists and students. Open during the week from noon until 4 p.m. the galleries have numerous showings during the school year and offer guided tours of the facility. Beginning August 25 and continuing until October 11, the Main Gallery will present a collection of work donated to the university by former professor, Hans Burkhardt. All exhibitions are free and are open to the public.

‘ The 500 seat Plaza del Sol Performance Hall puts on many performances during the semester. Frequently featuring popular and well-known acts, including the Smothers Brothers, the nationally touring musical ‘Movin’ Out’, and a performance by the Paul Taylor Dance Company, most shows take place Friday through Sunday. Tickets are available online at

‘ For film buffs, the CSUN Cinematheque offers a surprising array of titles. As a year round film-screening program at the Alan and Elaine Armer Theater, located in Manzanita Hall, the Cinematheque shows classic and contemporary films, documentaries, and student projects. While priority seating is given to students using the theater in conjunction with coursework additional seats are made available to the public. The Cinematheque screening schedule is accessible online at

‘ Those interested in stargazing can visit the Donald E. Bianchi Planetarium, which presents weekly star shows and astronomy programs for CSUN students and the public. During September and October of the fall 2008 semester the planetarium programs will be held every other Friday at 7:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Presentations will include summer and autumn sky shows, as well as shows about the Hubble Telescope and the Voyager spacecrafts.

‘ Renting movies and music on campus is easy. Visit the Media and Music Collection located on the second floor in the East wing of the library. The Oviatt Library holds some 11,323 film and video materials and 13,251 sound recordings, most of which are available to the public. Guests can listen and watch scores, CD’s, videos, and DVD’s that they can either utilize immediately at viewing and listening stations within the library or check items out to enjoy at their own leisure.

‘ Fans of history and culture can visit the Urban Archives. Also located in the Oviatt Library in the Tseng Wing, the archives are open Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Established in 1979 in an attempt to preserve the history of the San Fernando Valley and California, the archives hold an abundance of research documents, rare books, and manuscript collections. The archives cover a wide range of topics including urban development, education, journalism, politics, and minority and ethnic studies.

‘ While the daily lives of commuter students and the atmosphere of a campus catering to the needs of that transitory population may not seem to promote a cohesive campus community, there are plenty of options for fun and recreation at CSUN. If students invest some time and take an interest in their campus rather than rushing to make a quick exit, they might find that there is more CSUN than its academic role, they might even find it entertaining.

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