Sept. 3, 1996 Vol. I, No. 2


Transit Center Decision Expected Soon

University officials are promising a decision within a month on the fate of a $2.1 million bus transit center project targeted for Parking Lot C that has drawn opposition from nearby residents.

CSUN officials are slated to meet this week with representatives of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority to discuss whether to drop the project, find another campus site or continue with the current proposal. A final decision is expected by early October.

The university, which was to provide the 1.5 acre site, and the MTA, which was to contribute up to $1,138,000 in funding, had been discussing the project for more than two years. The center is one of a half dozen proposed by the MTA in the San Fernando Valley.

But after reading news reports about the Cal State University system's Board of Trustees approving the project last July, some residents living east of the CSUN campus complained they had never before heard of the project and angrily warned it would cause noise, traffic and other problems.

During an Aug. 1 meeting with about 60 community members, CSUN President Blenda J. Wilson announced that university officials would reconsider the project. The original plan called for a small building and a series of bus bays to be built near the northwest corner of Zelzah Avenue and Prairie Street.

Student Senate Funds Return of Campus Shuttle

The Associated Students Senate has approved $61,000 in funding to restore an inter-campus shuttle service that began after the January, 1994, Northridge earthquake but was discontinued last year with the end of federal funding.

The service resumed Monday, Aug. 26, with the start of classes, running from Building 14 of the University Park Apartments to various locations on campus. The shuttles will operate weekdays at between five- and eight-minute intervals until 3 p.m.

At their August meeting, Associated Students senators approved $40,000 to purchase and maintain two nine-passenger vans that will be used for the service and $21,000 to increase the number of paid students working as community service officers who will run the vans.

"Because the university will be under reconstruction for the next three years, we felt the need to address the possibility of resuming the shuttle service," said A.S. President Vladimir Cerna, who made the proposal to restore the shuttle operation.

Cerna said the service was able to commence with the start of classes, prior to the arrival of the new vans, by using vans normally operated for a separate campus escort service. At dust, the escort service provides rides between classroom buildings and parking areas around campus.

Education Department Projects Record Enrollments in 1996

A new U.S. Education Department report projected total school enrollments this fall will set a new national record of 51.7 million youngsters attending classes from kindergarten through college and said California will be "the epicenter'' of future growth.

The annual back-to-school report by U.S. Secretary of Education Richard Riley said much of the projected increase is due to the so-called baby boom echo--children of baby boomers reaching school age. But it also cited high birth rates among minorities, immigration and lower dropout rates.

The total enrollment estimate for the nation would eclipse the prior record of 51.3 million students set 25 years ago. The report said enrollments will continue to rise during the coming decade to 54.6 million students by the year 2006, almost 3 million students above the current level.

College enrollments, estimated at 14.4 million this fall, were projected to increase 14% during the coming decade to 16.4 million students by 2006. The Education Department said that level would exceed the prior college enrollment record of 14.5 million students in 1992.

Among different segments of higher education, public institutions were expected to grow from 11.2 million students this year to 12.8 million by 2006, and four-year institutions were supposed to increase from 8.8 million students to 10.2 million over the same period.

Within California, the Education Department said total school enrollments will climb from 5.8 million this year to 6.9 million by 2006, an 18.3% increase. Of the more than 1 million increase in students in California, the department said 525,000 would be high school enrollments.

Student Financial Services Reorganized

Aiming for a more student-friendly environment, the offices where students pay registration fees, obtain financial aid payments and buy parking decals have been reorganized into a new Student Financial Services Department in the Center for Student Success.

New automated systems this year will permit students to pay their fees and order parking decals over the telephone using a VISA or MasterCard under a system called CashNet Express. For more information, contact the department at 818-677-2318 or -2306.

Future plans include creating an Internet-based system for students to conduct their financial business with the university, using bank debit cards and electronic funds transfers. Telephone ordering of parking decals also could be expanded to faculty and staff members.

The financial services department is located in the Education building, room 103, and will have extended hours during the first three weeks of classes. Those hours are 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Fridays.

CSUN Opera Night Comes to KCSN

Two CSUN opera buffs will share their love and knowledge of opera with audiences on KCSN public radio (88.5 FM) on Thursdays at 9 p.m.

William Toutant, associate dean of the College of Arts, Media, and Communication, and Don Cummings, director of CSUN's Annual Fund, will host the show, which will feature a full-length opera and their commentary.

Valley Trauma Center Seeks Volunteers

The Valley Trauma Center is seeking volunteers to be trained at Cal State Northridge as counselors to assist victims of rape, sexual abuse and domestic violence.

Prospective volunteers should contact the center's assistant director, Patti Dengler, at (818) 772-0196. "We're beginning interviews this week," she said. The training will be held Sept. 20 to Oct. 13.

The center provides individual and group counseling for survivors of rape, sexual assault and abuse; counselors who accompany victims to the police department, courts and hospitals; a 24-hour hotline; crisis intervention phone counseling, and violence prevention programs for local school children.

"It's wonderful work, very rewarding," Dengler said. "You get to be part of the solution." The program is directed by Charles Hanson, a CSUN alum and professor of educational pyschology. Hanson said the center assists more than 500 adult victims each year and about 150 child victims.

Volunteers must attend 60 hours of training. Classes are offered evenings and weekends on the CSUN campus. Persons who complete the training are certified as rape crisis advocates with the state. The program is funded by the state Office of Criminal Justice Planning.

The center's 24-hour hotline is (818) 886-0453, and its crisis intervention and counseling number is (818) 772-0196.

Sept. 3, 1996

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