Fresno State President holds annual address to mark the start of new school year

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As Fresno State prepares to begin its 107th school year, the University President Joseph Castro held his annual address. (KFSN)

As Fresno State prepares to begin its 107th school year, the University President Joseph Castro held his annual address, announcing new investments to campus infrastructure as the college embarks on its 62nd academic year at Shaw and Cedar.

With 25,000 incoming students this fall and national tensions on the rise, faculty expressed their concerns about recent events in Charlottesville, and wanted to know what will be done to protect the campus, students, and staff from similar violence.

"I think the CSU, not just the President, the CSU needs to be a leader in denouncing white supremacy and violence and speech that promotes violence in certain groups of people," said Associate Professor Cristina Herrera.

President Castro's response to making sure free speech remains a safe environment at Fresno State during such a crucial time is putting together organized gatherings for people to exchange their views.

"Everybody has the opportunity to express their views, but we have to be careful to make sure that's done in a civil and respectful way, and I think it's important for us to model that."

Aside from staff questioning how to secure their campus this year, they said they were pleased to hear that $26-million will be invested into the schools infrastructure.

"As we focus again on our mission of student success, we want to make sure our facilities are modern and support the high aspirations our students and faculty have," said Castro.

The school said those investments will go toward modernizing their gyms and some of their oldest teaching spaces and includes a plan to modernize 12 of the most widely used classrooms by 2019.

The school also announced another change coming soon-- they will become a non-smoking campus along with all other California State Universities.

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