Friday, April 07, 2006

SJSU is a commuter school

According to Mercury News columnist Sal Pizarro [Link], speaking to the Rotary Club of San Jose on Wednesday, San Jose State University President Don Kassing said:

It's time, he said, for people to stop calling San Jose State a "commuter school." It makes SJSU sound second tier and inferior, he said, and it's insulting to the students who don't live on campus, including many who work to support a family.

It's a first step toward getting people to stop thinking of San Jose State as second-rate. The 30,000-student school has seen a 30 percent jump in applications from last year and admissions are also up, Kassing told the audience. And, he pointed out, the new library and Campus Village residence mean there are more students on campus now than there have been for decades.

I do not think there is anything wrong with being a commuter school. In my opinion it reflects our role as serving students who are not served by the traditionally more expensive, primarily residential, private and University of California universities. I do not think it makes us inferior. I think it makes us stronger. The long lines of cars filling the parking lots in the morning is evidence that the vast majority of SJSU students still live off campus and some commute long distances to attend SJSU classes. The great big library we have is not just ours, it is the result of partnering with the city. Like most of our students the library has one foot on and one foot off campus. I think embracing and being proud of that enables us to better serve our students.

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