Contrary to critics’ beliefs, Cal Poly President Jeffrey Armstrong has still not made a decision on the semester debate, Semester Review Task Force chair Rachel Fernflores said Wednesday.
Fernflores spoke to a relatively small crowd at the first of four open forums in the Julian A. McPhee University Union about what the task force will do fall quarter before making a recommendation to Armstrong in early December. She outlined the purpose of the 23-member committee, introduced some of its members and fielded questions from those in attendance at the meeting.
“The president has told me he hasn’t made a decision,” Fernflores said. “He’s told me he doesn’t want to lie to people and say he doesn’t have a view. I can’t do this if I believe he’s lying to me.”
Students, alumni, parents and professors were all in attendance, though only four students came to the forum.
Associated Students, Inc. (ASI) President Katie Morrow said she was not shocked by the low number of students present. Morrow said she understands asking students to come to a forum during the day is not effective.
Instead, Morrow plans to begin an “on-the-ground outreach campaign.” Working with the three ASI representatives on the task force, she said the outreach campaign will bring information to students and solicit their opinions.
“We need to find more creative ways to outreach to (the students),” she said.
But Morrow and Fernflores agree outreach will not include a student vote. There is dispute among those on the task force over whether or not a vote would prove useful to the president when he makes his decision, but Fernflores said there is other information she would rather see asked in a campus-wide survey.
“I want to know how this university can get to the next step, and that’s what I want to know,” Fernflores said. “With quarters, can we make a big change like this?”
A vote with students might not be useful, Morrow said, because more constructive questions can be asked other than whether or not Cal Poly should convert. She said every student on campus has a voice that should be heard, though she personally has not decided whether conversion is right for Cal Poly.
“I consider myself a very informed student,” Morrow said. “But I even don’t fully know what it would fully mean for us to convert to semesters. So I don’t even feel comfortable saying yes or no.”
Sean McMinn contributed to this report.