ASI addresses students’ conflicts with professors


Ray Dean

ASI holding weekly meeting to discuss student concerns on September 25, 2020

Ray Dean, Reporter

The distance learning model at CSU Bakersfield has presented many challenges to students. Issues from connectivity, to navigating Zoom and being physically isolated from peers are some of the obstacles that have presented themselves inside the virtual learning environment. 

The Associated Student’s Inc. board addressed some of the issues related to distance learning at their Sept. 25 meeting. 

ASI executive director Ilaria Pesco spoke on how students have contacted ASI about issues with connecting to various departments on campus along with issues related to the virtual workload. 

“A new one came out yesterday about a professor saying that using tutoring services would be considered cheating,” Pesco said. 

Lab students such as Maria Espinoza, ASI vice-president of university affairs have encountered conflicts with lab work and classes that immediately follow. 

“I have to choose between either finishing my lab and turning it on time or paying attention in my lecture,” Espinoza said. 

Pesco reached out to students during the meeting in regards to issues that may be occurring in their classes. 

“For any students that are on, if you have issues relative to your professor you just need to let us know what class it is. Give us the class number and section, the professor and share what the issue is,” Pesco said. 

Highlighting previous issues related to breakfast concerns by housing students that are currently being worked out, Pesco noted that issues students bring to ASI will be taken to the Provost and addressed by the appropriate deans and department chairs. 

While the virtual environment has brought forth workload and class issues for some students, others have experienced trouble getting in contact with financial aid or other departments. During the ASI meeting Dwayne Cantrell, associate vice-president for enrollment management addressed some of these particular issues students experienced. 

“I heard the first week of the semester, it was hard to get to financial aid, it was hard to get to admissions. If you can envision, if we were in person, the week prior to the semester and the week after the semester starts, you’ve probably seen lines outside and wrapped around the building trying to get inside financial aid. Now, imagine that is virtual and you’re trying to call,” Cantrell said. 

In light of the virtual logjam, Cantrell said financial aid was still processed faster than it had been in the past, but acknowledge the real headaches experienced by students. If issues with financial aid or admissions arise or are still being experienced, Cantrell said to email: enrollmen[email protected], and they will guide and assist students as quickly as possible. 

Ziggy Siegfried, CSUB director of athletics updated ASI on National Collegiate Athletic Association guidelines dealing with a return to competition for athletic departments. Siegfried stated the most recent guidelines pertain to travel, training and COVID-19 testing. 

“Another thing that the NCAA did recently is they reset the minimum number of games that they require teams to play in order to be eligible for post-season competition,” Siegfried said. 

As an example, Siegfried noted basketball, under past NCAA guidelines, required teams play 26 games as a requirement for post-season eligibility. The updated guidelines dropped that number to 13. 

Siegfried announced that Luke Smith, assistant CSUB wrestling coach has been hired as the interim head wrestling coach after Manny Rivera recently stepped down. 

Siegfried also noted recent talks with Claudia Catota, CSUB chief diversity officer, about participating in a future Community Conversation addressing the role and impact that athletics have on social justice. 

Big West Undivided is a committee formed by CSUB’s new athletic conference—the Big West—to address diversity, equity, and inclusion. Siegfried and women’s basketball student athlete Vanessa Austin are both members of the committee. A subcommittee of Big West Undivided was also formed to address education in relation to those areas. 

“Vanessa, as she always does, stepped up and volunteered to chair that subcommittee,” Siegfried, who will also sit on the subcommittee, said. 

CSUB campus programming director, Emily Poole noted the Netflix watch party this past week, where participants in conjunction with the Kegley Institute of Ethics watched and discussed.  

“I was really proud of the interaction and the engagement that the students had,” Poole said. 

Poole also noted that CSUB will be celebrating Pride Month beginning this week. On Oct 8 the annual Coming Out Stories for Expression Night will take place. Poole noted this will be a time for faculty, staff, and students to come together and share their coming out stories in a safe and supportive environment. 

Other upcoming events for Pride Month include Drag Bingo, which will be in partnership with Hispanic Heritage month. Cynthia Lee Fontaine from season eight of RuPaul’s Drag Race will call out bingo in English and Spanish and a local educator will be reading LGBTQ+ friendly stories on Oct. 28.