In 12 years, Genesis Jara envisions Long Beach State as a campus where students who are in the greatest need, receive the most support.
Jara, Associated Students, Inc. president, imagines an overnight housing center, affordable textbooks and sustainable funding in order for the campus to not rely on inconsistent state funding. Jara wants a campus where students don’t have to go hungry or homeless.
Last year’s convocation introduced the university’s campaign: ‘No Barriers,’ which addressed the need to create resources for student success. This year, President Jane Close Conoley and Provost Brian Jersky presented Beach 2030, an initiative meant to provide solutions to those barriers through community input.
University officials behind the project are looking to both the city and campus communities for ideas on how to improve the institution. They announced a campuswide online event taking place Nov. 14-15 to gather community input.
Through a two-day function dubbed Imagine Beach 2030, community members will be able to share their ideas online through any mobile device, laptop, desktop or Twitter account. Comments or ideas are available for everyone to disseminate and reply to.
“Anyone — our students, faculty, staff, campus community, alumni, business and student leaders can and should participate,” Jersky said. “The more people participate in this building of our future, the better.”
The Beach 2030 plan consists of a partnership with Institute for the Future, a nonprofit organization which offers organizations strategic futures studies. The process will take two years, and is intended to help create a map of what the university should be within the next two decades.
“In order to gain outside interest, our campus will be reaching out to local media, community leaders, external stakeholders and enablers to invite them all to participate,” Jersky said.
To promote Imagine Beach 2030, action teams will be formed on different areas of the campus to help facilitate the event.
After gathering ideas from the program, the plan will move into its next phase, which includes workshops and retreats.
Jersky reiterated that these reimaginings and ideas will be shared and opened to the collective focus groups. Conoley stressed the importance of community participation in defining the university’s future.
“I am ready to take this journey with you,” Conoley said. “I’m ready because I’m convinced that while some problems are best solved while doing more of the same, the really big threats and opportunities will require new ways of thinking and doing.”