Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Disrespecting students and professors...

News Release – California State University, Northridge

May 6, 2015  Northridge—Hundreds of professors and up to 15,000 students were inconvenienced by a “Bridgegate” type crisis on the California State University campus today.

            An administrative decision to close some 500 parking spaces in Faculty Lot B2 and Student Lot B1 lie left teachers and students stuck in stop-and-go traffic on the last day of classes at the campus where 40,000 students and their professors already compete for limited parking.

The "special event” causing the all-day closure is a performance of Yo-Yo Ma this evening in the Valley Performing Arts Center.

Professors needing to meet their 8 am, 9:30, and 11 am classes were turned away from Lot B2 as thousands of students sat in classrooms waiting to turn in final papers and receive instructions for upcoming exam week.

Afternoon classes are also being affected as the two lots sit 90% empty, blocked by orange cones and guards.

“The decision to close these two lots without properly informing the professors shows great disrespect for us who teach at CSUN, as well as for our students,” said part-time professor Anne Eggebroten of the Religious Studies department, who moved cones and parked illegally to get to her class ten minutes late.

Students are allowed/advised to leave a classroom ten minutes after the appointed class start time if the professor does not arrive.

Larry Israel, Parking Manager, took responsibility for the decision to partially close the lots by 90%.  He did not know the total number of parking spaces eliminated in the faculty lot.

Neither department offices nor professors were alerted to this upcoming emergency by email.  In cases of a gunman on campus, professors received several phone messages at home per day, but no phone messages alerted them today to the danger of not being able to meet their students. 

Electronic signage placed on Nordhoff  on Sunday was inadequate to communicate the magnitude of the upcoming closure. 

Today’s closure at CSUN echoed the closing of the George Washington Bridge in New Jersey by the staff of Governor Chris Christie on September 9, 2013.  

On that day a few people made decisions placing many people into gridlocked traffic, not caring how that would affect them. 

In New Jersey, the closing was apparently a political decision; at CSUN it was just an administrative choice to prioritize one small group of off-campus guests over the needs of hundreds of professors and thousands of students.  

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