Fox ‘Unscripted’ Visits Old Problems, New Solutions

    In an event administrators billed as “unscripted,” Chancellor Marye Anne Fox’s town hall meeting with students was mostly the opposite. While Fox fielded questions candidly from students who attended the open meeting, most came from an organized effort to focus on environmental issues.

    Greg Dale/Guardian
    Chancellor Marye Anne Fox fielded questions about campus life during a town hall meeting.

    The campus atmosphere was a main focus of attendees’ questions. One speaker, a graduate student, said that architectural factors were to blame for the campus’ thin social atmosphere.

    “UCSD is completely disassociated from its community,” he said.

    Vice Chancellor of Resource Management and Planning John A. Woods answered by outlining plans that he said could strengthen local ties with campus.

    One plan, Woods said, would establish a trolley stop on campus much like the newly created trolley line that runs through San Diego State. The project — which Woods said would be supported through state and federal funds — is already a top priority for the state’s public transportation agency. He estimated the project to be completed by around 2012.

    In answering students’ concerns regarding the lack of diversity on campus, Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Joseph W. Watson promised results from his Undergraduate Student Satisfaction Report that was commissioned to provide administrators an inside look into student life. After the report’s release, Watson enlisted several committees to discuss possible ways to improve undergraduate life. So far, the committees have not released any recommendations, and Watson offered no timeline for them to do so.

    The one-on-one interaction created a few moments of levity, when students cautiously suggested that campus temperance was out of fashion. In response, Watson answered glibly, “I am deeply shocked that students are drinking on campus.”

    A coalition of students posed questions to Fox regarding campus efforts to support “environmental justice.” At one point in the meeting, students from the coalition all stood up in support of their agenda to, among other things rid all campus stores of apparel produced in sweat shops.

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