Board to discuss $42K for University Garden on Friday


Esteban Ramirez



This Friday in ITV Studio C Associated Students Inc. Executive Vice President Jennifer Sanchez and Vice President of University Affairs Anish Mohan will bring a resolution to the board, asking for $42,000 in support of the University Garden.

Last Friday, Sanchez presented ideas for the University Garden at the board of directors meeting.

The exact cost without donating services is going to be about $170,000.

Some of the funding is coming from donors, and the rest could come from the board if the resolution is approved.

“There are so many things that are going to be donated,” she said. “For instance, the labor, we have so many relatives that work in construction and they have already donated services.”

The irrigation has been donated, and the land has been granted for free.

“It’s an evolving number, but it’s going to be about that much,” she said.

Sanchez said the absolute last option would be a raise in student fees.

“We are trying to avoid that,” said Sanchez.

The majority of the gardening is going to be vertical, which consists of pots stacked on top of one another. However, the outlying areas of the garden will have traditional boxed gardens.

“Although we are very rich in land, we still want to maximize land so we are building up,” said Sanchez. “It is more of an innovative way to grow plants. It actually uses less water. We are in a drought so that’s important.”

The reason it uses less water is because it goes directly to the roots and not to the soil.

“This is actually allowing us to produce [food] more quickly because the nutrients go directly to root of the plant,” said Sanchez.

The general idea of the garden is to feed the students, staff and faculty for free.

Sanchez added the reason why this garden is so important is because in 2013, professor of economics, environmental and global studies Aaron Hegde did a food on security study and found out that 40 percent of the population on campus doesn’t know where their next meal is coming from or have to cut back on groceries because of rent, gas or other utilities.

The garden will also feature a welcome center, student research area, a meditation circle, an outside dining area and outside student lounge area. They want to host events such as workshops to show you how to grow a garden, how to look for what you need and live-cooking events featuring community chefs or even famous chefs.

Sanchez said Aramark has agreed to purchase produce from the garden if its contract is renewed. However, she said it shouldn’t be too difficult to get a new vendor to agree to do the same.

“Some people talked about ‘Roadrunner Salsa.’ There is a lot of people that is excited about creating things at our community garden,” said Sanchez.

ASI’s Director of Budget Management Oscar Salazar asked Sanchez what kind of plants will be grown in the garden, and she said it will consist of California-native plants, fruits and vegetables.

“It’s going to be an edible garden,” Sanchez said.

ASI Director of General Studies Ruth Orozco suggested the idea of growing medicinal plants such as mint and aloe vera.

“I think that it is a good idea, but I think that we will have to see what part of the land or what part of the garden is available to do that,” Sanchez said.

Club Funding

ASI approved funding for two club events at its weekly board of directors meeting on Friday.

The Community Preventive Health Collaborative Club requested $1,012 for its Spring Health and Wellness Fair on May 12 from noon to 4 p.m. in the Student Union Patio and Runner Park.

According to CPHC club representative Chris Jabonillo, the event will promote health and wellness as well as provide health related info.

ASI Director of Sustainability Oscar Alvarez said it is really important that ASI supports the event.

Jabonillo said the event will consist of notifying people about health insurance information, health promotions and fitness activities. They will also have free health screenings and giveaways, consisting of stress balls and fresh produce items.

The Psi Chi International Honor Society in Psychology requested $2,403 for its 20th annual Psi Chi Research Conference, which will be on May 27 in Student Housing East Multipurpose Room from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

According to President Susie Villarreal, the event will give students at CSU Bakersfield an opportunity to get an idea of what national research is like and a diverse education experience that students might not have been exposed to.

Villarreal said the goal is to have students present their research and to have a guest researcher present research as well.

“Our whole purpose for doing it is to motivate students,” she said. “It’s a really good opportunity for them to practice and at the same time showcase their work.”

She added that it is going to the speakers, the researchers and the food.

ASI has its board of directors meeting every Friday in ITV Studio C from 3:15 p.m. to 5 p.m.