Catch up on campus news from the summer

Students will return to campus at the end of August, and although classrooms were relatively quiet over the summer, there was still plenty of activity at SF State. Read more below to catch up on some of the news that took place over the summer break.

A photo of the West Campus Green at SF State.

The West Campus Green, which features artificial turf and lighting to increase its availability for student use, opened early this summer.

Two new campus facilities opened in June, both aimed at improving student life. The first, the renovated Annex, will serve as a venue for concerts, talks, banquets and expositions. The second, the West Campus Green, located on Font Boulevard near the Village at Centennial Square, features an artificial turf playing field and increases the amount of space available for students to play sports, hang out with friends or relax.

Another new campus feature will benefit those who drive electric vehicles. Eight charging stations for electric vehicles were recently installed in the University parking garage and are available to the public for free. The stations will charge most electric vehicles in about four hours. Funding for the project came from a California Energy Commission grant.

Also in June, the Romberg Tiburon Center for Environmental Studies signed an agreement with the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, which is expected to lead to greater collaboration on critical ocean research.

A photo of SF State President Leslie Wong shaking hands with Smithsonian Institute Undersecretary for Science Eva Pell.

SF State President Leslie Wong shakes hands with Eva Pell, the Smithsonian Institute's undersecretary for science, marking the signing of an agreement between the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center and the Romberg Tiburon Center to work more closely together.

In July, the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) reaccredited SF State for 10 years, the maximum time period a college or university can obtain. The WASC commission specifically cited the University's commitment to its academic mission during financially difficult times, as well as its dedication to diversity and its leadership in incorporating social justice and community engagement in all aspects of campus life. Reaccreditation preserves access to federal funding, including for student financial aid and research grants, and ensures students' credit for courses taken at SF State are accepted at graduate schools and other undergraduate universities.

That same month, Diverse Issues in Higher Education named SF State one of the nation's top colleges for minority graduates, and Ronald Cortez began his tenure as the University's new vice president for administration and finance.

In August, the California State University announced a new program that will let SF State students take online courses offered at other CSU campuses. The program is aimed at increasing access to courses students need to graduate and relieving pressure on popular on-campus classes. Students can register with the program through Aug. 23.

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-- Jonathan Morales