ASU students reap benefits of campus improvements
John Burgmeier’s major is about the only thing he is undecided on at the Polytechnic campus. Vice president of hall government for the freshman residence halls, Burgmeier, a freshman, is involved in several clubs and organizations on campus including Campus Ambassadors.
“We organize events and workshops. Through these organizations I have met many people, and I hang out with them everyday,” says Burgmeier, who is leaning toward pursuing a double major in air traffic management and professional flight.
“This semester I am taking advantage of the tutoring center for calculus. Last semester when I took pre-calc I struggled. This semester I am in Calc 1 and I am taking advantage of the math tutoring, and I am beginning to understand calculus,” says Burgmeir, who frequently meets with his academic advisor about his degree program.
“My advisor has given me so much advice and helped me choose classes that will help me go into the degree program that I want to go into. She is also there if I just want to talk or say hi.
“I also use the facilities each day. The union is a great place to socialize and meet new people. Going to the union is part of my daily routine.”
Communication Studies major
In his junior year, Edgar Martinez is narrowing his communication studies major with an emphasis on public relations event management. His upper-level courses in which he is enrolled this semester at the West campus, his work toward earning an Events and Management certificate, and his efforts to find an internship next semester will ultimately help him toward that goal, he says.
“The classes I am taking now are all about my major,” says Martinez. “The professors are really focused on students’ achievement. They really take time to work with you and help you with that next step.”
Martinez says that it is not uncommon for students to meet up with professors frequently and work with them on various projects. One project in which Martinez is involved is a faculty- and student-led task force that is working with student government members to develop an open space on campus and transform it into a student lounge with more computer labs and study areas. Martinez meets weekly with fellow classmates to discuss the planning.
Community-driven is one way he would describe the West campus.
“I like it here a lot because you get to meet people and make a lot of connections. On the Tempe campus, you might meet someone and then not see them again for months. Here, there is a visible community,” says Martinez.
A convenient schedule with a sufficient amount of course offerings and a diverse student body are among the advantages of being an ASU student, he says.
“I like my school schedule, and when I’m on campus I see a lot of different people from all different backgrounds.”
A Provost’s Scholar, Martinez adds that his financial aid package is a nice benefit and helps make ASU the best option for him in receiving a college education.
Journalism senior Maribel Pena always knew she wanted to go to ASU.
“ASU has been a part of my life since I was 16 years old. I was a part of ASU’s Upward Bound program my junior and senior years in high school. I always knew I wanted to go to college, but I wasn’t sure what I had to do to even get accepted. Upward Bound helped guide me in the right direction,” says Pena, who is the first in her family to pursue a college education.
Pena has been a student worker at ASU since she was admitted, which has helped her better manage the cost of her college education while it also opened her up to various professional opportunities.
“I am currently doing an internship with the Media Relations department on the Tempe campus. It is the perfect fit for me, and I have learned a lot. It is where I would like to move toward in my career.”
Over the past year, Pena has noticed dramatic changes in the Memorial Union (MU) on the Tempe campus.
“The one facility I most often take advantage of is the MU and its many food options. It has always been so convenient.”
Downtown Phoenix campus
Sophomore nursing student Roy Aguayo moved from the Tempe campus to the Downtown Phoenix campus when his program gained a state-of-the-art facility downtown to match its national reputation.
“The nursing school is one of the most recognized in the nation among academic institutions,” says Aguayo, who is eagerly awaiting acceptance into the program.
Other than the nursing school, Aguayo has found many agreeable things at the Downtown Phoenix campus.
A President’s Scholar, Aguayo admits that not having to worry about finances is a definite plus.
“I can put all my energy into school instead of thinking about money,” says Aguayo, who enjoys the friendly environment that the Downtown Phoenix campus offers.
“Over here, it’s very friendly; it’s easy to meet and get to know people.”
Aguayo has been able to meet people easily at the Residential Commons dining hall, a place he frequents because of its reasonable prices and “good and greasy” food selections.
He also says the study areas and computing commons in the library and throughout the campus are nice spots to finish homework, study in between classes, surf the Internet, and meet other students who also are waiting for their next class to begin.
Aguayo occasionally checks out the nearby city restaurants when he wants to splurge, and he says the free YMCA membership is an especially valuable service.
When Brian Jauregui transferred from Glendale Community College to Arizona State University at the West campus, his college transition was seamless, he says. Now, a psychology major focusing on interdisciplinary organizational studies, Jauregui says his professors are even more helpful than his advisors who helped him get here.
“The classes I’m in are really small and interactive, and the professors are very much involved in students’ development,” says Jauregui, who says he will receive help from one of his professors in finding an internship for next semester.
“My professors have been great. They help their students find internships and often hire them on as research assistants.”
Jauregui also is building his professional psychology connections through his membership in Psi Chi, the ASU honors society for psychology students who carry a minimum 3.0 GPA.
While on campus, Jauregui uses the study rooms in Fletcher Library frequently and finds the late-night operation hours to be especially convenient.
“I also receive a small grant from ASU, and that has definitely been helpful, too.”
Social Work major
Downtown Phoenix campus
When second-semester ASU freshman Irma Canseco returns to the campus in 20 years, she will be able to say that she was part of the Downtown Phoenix campus residential life from the start.
“I signed my name on a beam that went into Taylor Place at the Construction Carnival event,” says Canseco of the new residence hall that she will move into when it opens for the fall 2008 semester. She is currently living at Residential Commons, a former Ramada Inn that provides students with extra-large dorm rooms and more private bathrooms, says Canseco.
Although Canseco, a social work major who is dabbling in women’s studies, enjoys being part of the campus at its historical beginnings, she says she is looking forward to next fall when the campus will feel much fuller with the arrival of the Cronkite School and Valley Metro Light Rail.
“I see that the buildings are becoming more developed as we prepare for more students,” says Canseco, a President’s Scholar and Residence Hall Association advisory board member.
“What I also like about ASU is that there are lots of opportunities to get involved. There are a lot of clubs to join and other benefits of being on this campus.”
Canseco is referring to the free YMCA membership she receives through its partnership with ASU and the discounted sporting event tickets she gets through the Student Center.
“Wells Fargo Arena gives ASU $30 tickets to Suns games. All you have to do is sign up at the Student Center and pick them up at the social that happens before the game. Then everyone walks over to the arena together.”
Canseco is applying for a community assistant position with Taylor Place for next semester with the hope to further her foot plant in the campus’ origins.
At the Polytechnic campus Jenni Frank says she sees more construction workers than students some days.
“The campus is changing and growing so much,” says Frank, a nutrition major with an emphasis in dietetics, who is particularly excited about the construction of the new building that will house her degree program.
“The nutrition students are moving to a new building with state-of-the-art equipment. It will be a nice incentive to endure long hours of labs,” says Frank, who has witnessed a variety of recent upgrades on the campus as its industrial appearance becomes more modern with each day.
“The labs at the Polytechnic campus are very impressive. Often, the students are working with the same equipment that professionals use in that specific field of work.”
Frank adds that the ongoing construction has enabled classes to be smaller, as more classrooms are built to accommodate a growing number of enrolling students.
“My introductory chemistry class only had 50 students, and the upper-level courses in which I am currently enrolled are very small,” says Frank.
As Polytechnic’s academic facilities and course offerings continue to expand, Frank says she enjoys the relaxed atmosphere of the campus community, where students gather at the student union, the Chipotle down the street, or the large lawn areas surrounded by trees and polished landscaping.
“I’ve recently been enjoying the Nursing School’s monthly educational newsletter,” says Frank of the bathroom literature that is hung over toilet stalls on the campus and appropriately named The Stall Street Journal. “Other than the fact that there is practical health information that is good to know and it is presented in a humorous way that college students appreciate, the newsletter is something that is unique to our campus culture and offers a sense of community.”
Senior Claire Bunch’s National Merit Scholarship brought her to ASU, where she received a full-tuition scholarship along with a generous stipend that allowed her to study abroad in Germany for an entire year.
“It allowed me to have a high level of flexibility in terms of my academic and lifestyle choices,” says Bunch, a German major.
Bunch is most proud of her university’s attempt to lead the way in organizational sustainability and course options that ASU offers and plans to offer in the near future.
“Universities can be great models for other sectors of society in this area,” says Bunch.
Although her undergraduate status prevents her from fully participating in the graduate School of Sustainability, Bunch was able to take a few of the offered graduate-level classes.
“I flirted with the idea of entering the school once I was finished with my undergraduate degree, but decided against it,” says Bunch.
“However, the courses I took through the school and other courses I took, such as ecology, have led me to pursue some additional schooling in hydrology from Gateway Community College.”
ASU’s new sustainability initiatives have led her to several on-campus groups – one of which is focused on bringing a Farmers Market to the Tempe campus.
Bunch can be found using the Coor computing lab, the SRC and the Hayden Library on a regular basis. She says the yoga program offered at the SRC is especially a good value.