University Corporation student reps help make decisions affecting campus services

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Select students at CSUN are helping make decisions that affect The University Corporation, the auxiliary group that operates the Matador Bookstore, the Sierra Center and other food-service facilities on campus.

Alvin Durham, Beatriz Garcia, Amparo Ostojic and Safa Sajadi, all CSUN students, are the student representatives for The University Corporation Board of Directors, a 17-member board, with six positions designated solely for students, said Rick Evans, administrative services manager for The University Corporation.

Thomas McCarron, executive director of The University Corporation, said these student representatives are appointed by President Jolene Koester, and recommended by the current Associated Students president.

“(The student representatives) help make a lot of the same decisions as the other board members,” McCarron said. “They help approve the annual budget, give us input on the construction of new buildings, and help think of ways to finance new projects.”

Sajadi, one of the student representatives on the board, said it is important to have students on the board to find out what services students want on campus.

“We give feedback on a lot (of) student-related aspects,” said Sajadi, senior political science and religious studies major. “The board members listen to us and ask (us) what we feel the students’ needs will be.”

Sajadi has been a member of the board for the past six months, and said during this time, she has made important decisions about the Sierra Center, the newest and largest food service facility on campus, which opened in October 2003.

“I think (the Sierra Center) is the best thing that’s happened to the campus,” Sajadi said.

Students have always been a big part of the Board of Directors, McCarron said. There have been students on the board ever since The University Corporation started planning and financing projects at CSUN.

“They were giving their input every step of the way,” McCarron said of the students’ help in planning and constructing the Sierra Center.

Student board members serve 2-year terms, and there are currently two open spots for students, McCarron said.

The University Corporation enacted the creation of the Freudian Sip in the Matador Bookstore, as well as opening a new Subway in October 2004 as part of the University Student Union’s Phase I renovation project.

The University Corporation also provides grants to students through the Student Project Committee, a student grant project established in 1968 to encourage creative activity and facilitate student research.

Grants are awarded to CSUN students on a competitive basis. This academic year, The University Corporation’s Board of Directors awarded 25 students $47,517 in grant money.

Future plans for The University Corporation include a permanent replacement of The Exchange, which currently operates in a quad-wide trailer adjacent to the Engineering Building. If approved, The University Corporation anticipates breaking ground in June 2006, and opening the new store in 2007.