STAFF EDITORIAL: Inclusivity needed from CSUB

When the CSU Bakersfield men’s basketball team made it to the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament, all eyes were on CSUB.

Suddenly, restaurants and sports bars were hosting viewing parties, the city was invited to watch an open practice session and most importantly, a community conversation began.

Since then, however, the conversation has all but ended, and the interaction between the CSUB community and the greater Bakersfield populous is once again lacking.

When a city invests in its universities and those universities contribute in return, great things happen.

CSUB needs to be actively involved with the community, while not just relying on sports to build that support for us.

Our community thrives when there are events or programs that both students and community members enjoy, and we saw this last weekend when our campus hosted the Third-Annual Mac n Cheese Festival.

The event, however, was for those over 21, leaving out a considerable amount of CSUB students.

We must also give our props to ASI, campus programming, Student Recreation Center, Office of Student Affairs and Housing for being able to bring Coachella-bound Alessia Cara to our Runner Nights event, but again, this is a student-only event, excluding the community.

Though we understand it is probably a safety concern to open a concert up to the general public, the money raised from a $5 ticket charge could better fund the $16,000 cost to do so.

The doors are already open to the public during sports events held in the Icardo Center.

The issue isn’t that there’s nothing to do in Bakersfield, it is that there’s nothing with to do with Bakersfield.

We think it’s important that CSUB begins to promote campus-community inclusivity.

There could be a multitude of events and meetups at local places: a CSUB student and faculty team for trivia nights at Temblor, student-run spoken word at Dagny’s, field trips for transfer students who live on campus who may not be familiar with their new town beyond the Marketplace and Stockdale shopping centers.

There’s plenty to see: The California Living Museum, Historic Downtown, Beale Library, Hart Park, even outlying locations like the Wind Wolves Preserve. Our school could also purchase a section of spots at First Friday to allow our own art students to display and sell their work.

In turn, CSUB should encourage the community to be on campus.

Other CSU schools allow vendors such as food trucks and local produce growers for weekly farmers markets.

Because of our strict food contract with Aramark, we are unable to support the agriculture in our own backyard.

On the entertainment side, the number of venues for local bands is dwindling.

Our campus could easily fill the niche, support budding bands and entertain our campus during lunch time or evening shows.

This is not just an entertainment issue, but a sustainability issue.

Students want to belong to something worth bragging about, and CSUB needs to build relationships with members of the community who can invest both time and resources into our school.

When we invest in our city, our city will invest in us.

The responsibility shouldn’t solely be on our sports teams to bring us and the community together.