By: Jaelene Galaz and Joshua Biragbara
There’s a constant debate among students on whether or not California State University, Long Beach has a strong campus community.
Students have voiced concerns about struggling to connect with other members of the CSULB community. There are many reasons that could contribute to the disjointed feelings of students, such as the pandemic, the commuter school status and university budget priorities. However, CSULB doesn’t have a strong reputation for hosting new varieties of campus events, which has become upsetting for some students.
Junnelle Maala, a senior at CSULB, serves as the Director of Public Relations for the Student Communication Association. Some of the school events she attended this fall were Week of Welcome, Cultural Welcome Week and the Native American Month’s Kick-Off Celebration.
“I really enjoy attending events at school,” Maala said. “I enjoy the sense of community that’s made, and it makes going to campus more fun.”
A few events CSULB has held recently were Smorgasport and Giveon’s appearance in May 2021. While those events were memorable, they’ve scratched the surface of variation for campus gatherings.
Maala said that she would like to attend more health and wellness events during exam weeks.
Senior Rafael Arnaud Huerta, an English Literature major at CSULB, attended Smorgasport in 2022 and did not enjoy the event as much as he had hoped to.
“I found it boring and unappealing, this is because it felt like the target audience was little kids rather than for college students of all ages,” Huerta said.
Other universities throughout the nation have held different events compared to CSULB. A few universities that regularly host contemporary events include: Slope Day at Cornell University, Devilpalooza at Arizona State University and Big Show at California State University, Northridge.
Although these events closely relate to a festival experience, they have the power to provide attendees with campus diversification. Additionally, different and interactive school assemblies have the potential to encourage students to connect more.
“I would love it if something interactive like that could be held at CSULB,” Huerta said.
ASI can attempt to help improve the issue of a lack of new events on campus by organizing more creative and contemporary get-togethers. Having an annual open forum with ASI in revamping the culture of the university is a possible solution.
Kealohilani Seril, senior Criminal Justice major, has attended karaoke nights and Week of Welcome at CSULB. She also sees the appeal in created a more connected student body through these events.
“I would like to see more interactive night events and movie screenings,” Seril said. “School life can get overwhelming, and sometimes students need a moment to mingle and enjoy themselves.”
There are many possibilities to enhance the campus culture at CSULB, a good first step includes starting a conversation on what occasions students would like to see more often.