ASI president invites students to engage in wide variety of semester activities

Hello students and welcome back to The Beach! As your student body president, I would like to welcome you to a great semester at Cal State Long Beach and encourage you to make the most of your time on campus.

Spring is in the air and with a new semester upon us, there has never been a better time to get involved and check out what Associated Students, Inc. has in store for you. Besides the beginning-of-the-semester tradition of Week of Welcome activities, scheduled for the week of Feb. 2-5, many other exciting events are scheduled for spring.

Construction of the Student Recreation & Wellness Center is finally underway and ASI is celebrating this historic event with a groundbreaking ceremony at 11 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 30 in parking Lot 11 off of Atherton Street and Palo Verde Avenue. The SRWC is designed to offer busy students a convenient way to stay active and healthy in their bodies and minds.

I am also thrilled to announce the grand opening of Sbarro on campus. Students were polled last year to ask what new food choices they would like to see at The Beach and most suggested having healthier eating options. With its variety of salads and pastas, Sbarro fit the bill. It is located on the second floor of the University Student Union.

While legislators continue to battle over the state budget, ASI is ensuring that students’ voices don’t go unheard by fighting back and supporting funding and accessibility to the California State University system. With the help of the Alliance for the CSU, more than 700 students filled out comment cards condemning recent and prospective budget cuts at a rally held at the Speaker’s Platform in December. Each card will be sent to Huntington Beach Assemblyman Jim Silva.

If you are interested in doing more to make your voices heard, join ASI’s Lobby Corps. As a team, we are actively engaged in advocating student interests and lobbying local and state legislatures.

Another one of my major concerns this year is the parking crunch. With the recent success of the U-Pass program, where students and staff can ride the Long Beach Transit for free, ASI and Long Beach Transit teamed up to keep students riding all year long. All you have to do is slide your CSULB ID card and you’re on your way!

This semester, you will also be able to check out all of the events going on in ASI on a flat screen in the Horn Center. While you’re studying or working in the Horn Center, you can always be in the know when it comes to ASI happenings.

Get ready to rock, 49ers, because there is another big concert heading to the Walter Pyramid this spring. Last year, ASI brought Ludacris to perform an awesome concert on campus. Details are still a secret for who this year’s artist may be, so stay tuned because it’s going to be big.

Don’t forget to come out to the annual Kaleidoscope Festival and Open House in April. This will give students and the community a chance to see the clubs and organizations, university programs and services, volunteer information, local businesses and more. There will be a lot of activities, exhibits, food and games, so be sure to check it out.

Lastly, ASI has a few open opportunities for students to get involved, including openings in the Senate, judiciary and subsidiary boards. Contact the AS Government Office at (562) 985-5241 for more information.

Once again, I would like to welcome everybody back to The Beach. It’s going to be a fantastic semester and I can’t wait for the fun to begin.

Erin Swetland is the Associated Students, Inc. president and a senior communications major.

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