University officials give campus a chance to speak up about the future of SF State

Marli Diestel, an environmental studies major, expresses concerns about sustainability on a dry erase board during the Academic Senate's Strategic Plan meeting in the SF State Gymnasium Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014.Marli Diestel, an environmental studies major, expresses concerns about sustainability on a dry erase board during the Academic Senate's Strategic Plan meeting in the SF State Gymnasium Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014.

Students and faculty were given the opportunity to voice their opinion on SF State’s drafted strategic plan for the future by scribbling their ideas on whiteboards yesterday in the Gymnasium.

The Academic Senate and the Strategic Planning Coordinating Committee hosted Make Your Mark, a public forum where members of the campus community wrote down suggestions to the drafted plan, which was released last week.

“The value of today is that we’re all citizens of the campus,” President Leslie E. Wong said. “As citizens of the campus we all have our voice to put on the table around certain issues that are important to us.”

Deborah C. Masters, University Librarian, and John Elia, Associate Dean of Health and Social Sciences, discuss the topics expressed at the Equity table during the Academic Senate's Strategic Plan meeting in the SF State Gymnasium Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014. Eric Gorman/Xpress.

Deborah C. Masters, University Librarian, and John Elia, Associate Dean of Health and Social Sciences, discuss the topics expressed at the Equity table during the Academic Senate’s Strategic Plan meeting in the SF State Gymnasium Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014. Eric Gorman/Xpress.

The SPCC decided that they need to consider community input to the drafted plan, according to Trevor Getz of the SPCC and Chair of the Academic Senate.

“What we needed to do is get a shared vision of the future of the University,” Getz said.

According to the draft, the proposed strategic plan encompasses five core values that embody the spirit of SF State: community, resilience, courage, life of the mind and equity. These values are the foundation for the numerous projects the University hopes to launch, such as a University Academic Center, transit passes and increasing graduation rates.

Individuals expressed their concerns with the draft on its online forum page days before the event, citing what they failed to address. One user who went by the name John Sullivan, found the draft’s lack of funding sources dubious.

“This is a dream sheet, not a strategic plan,” Sullivan said. “Real strategic plans have numbers, dollars, accountability, measurable success metrics and they drive action.”

Zan Stine, assistant professor in the earth and climate sciences department expressed desire to have a bike-share program on campus and at the Daly City Bart to enhance access.

Marli Diestel, an environmental studies major, expresses concerns about sustainability on a dry erase board during the Academic Senate's Strategic Plan meeting in the SF State Gymnasium Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014. Eric Gorman/Xpress.

Marli Diestel, an environmental studies major, expresses concerns about sustainability on a dry erase board during the Academic Senate’s Strategic Plan meeting in the SF State Gymnasium Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014. Eric Gorman/Xpress.

“There a real need for better bicycle access to the campus,” Stine said. “Right now the bike connection would take about 11 minutes. I’ve waited longer than that in line just to get on the shuttle.”

But some wonder just how influential their suggestions are to strategic plan.

“I don’t know how well the campus is going to actually respond to what we have say,” said environmental studies student Jenean Thomas. “I’m hoping that they’ll invite our opinions and actually listen to them and it will get us somewhere.”

According to Getz, the plan is in its final review and feedback stage. The SPCC will take all comments and come together again in November and hopes to have a final plan by the end of the semester.

Wong stressed that the plan was simply a draft in an email sent Oct.15, and said Make Your Mark aimed at gauging student response to their objectives.

“The students have as much right for input and existence in the plan as any employee,” Wong said.

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