Fresno State Classes Back in Session

August 24, 2009 10:08:36 PM PDT
Thousands of students descended on the Fresno State campus Monday. Long lines and traffic jams are always part of the first day on campus, but the university is facing some unprecedented financial challenges this school year. The Bulldog band provided the background sound as 21-thousand students scurried around campus. Many students simply meandered to class. Other students braved the usual long lines for parking passes and student aid.

Fresno State student Casey Roberts said, "You know what ... it's one of those things you have to do ... you learn to do through college ... you just have to stand in line ... no matter what you want ... parking pass ... football tickets ... all that kind of stuff you have to stand in line for. You get used to it."

Another Fresno State student Stan Jackson said, "This isn't so bad though ... it's moving along pretty good ... I've only been here 15 or 20 minutes or so."

Freshman Jolecia Kendrix waited in the long line for financial aid. She said, "I am waiting to see when I'm going to get my check ... my financial aid check."

Financial challenges have hit every aspect of campus life. Seventy eight percent of students are receiving some sort of financial aid. Student fees have increased almost 500 dollars a semester. And state mandated furloughs are in effect. Fresno State's Vice President of student affairs Paul Oliaro says one day each semester the campus will close completely.

Oliaro said, "We've tried to minimize the disruption to classes with the furlough days in the fall and spring semester.

There will be several administrative furlough days this school year where classrooms will be open, but offices will close.

Oliaro said, "During those administrative furlough days classes will be held as normal but most of the offices on campus will be closed except for the library and the student union and the bookstore and our student recreation center and our childcare center."

Fresno State's financial squeeze continues next semester. It's no longer taking applications for spring and those applying for fall 2010 will see their chances of acceptance dwindle. Fresno State will be cutting its student populations by nine and a half percent.

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