ASU is not doing enough to unite its campuses

Students feel disconnected from students on other campuses

With an enrollment of 71,946 in 2016, ASU is one of the largest public universities in the U.S. It makes sense to split the student body into six separate campuses, but sometimes it feels like each campus is a college of its own.

Considering that most events take place on the Tempe campus, the students of the Downtown Phoenix, Lake Havasu City, West, Thunderbird and Polytechnic campuses can feel isolated.

"Convenience-wise it is easier to stay on your own campus for events," Kim Adversario, a freshman nursing major on the Downtown Phoenix campus, said. "A lot of the times we only promote campus events on our campus, so if something is going on in West or Tempe, Downtown is not going to know about it."

Nearly every big event is held on the Tempe campus, including all sporting events and most ASU traditions such as whitewashing the "A," the Lantern Walk, Pat's Run and the Homecoming "FestDevil."

It does not help that the campuses are so far apart. 

Students, faculty and staff on the Downtown Phoenix, Polytechnic, Tempe and West campuses have intercampus shuttles available to them on a first-come, first-served basis. However, students on the Thunderbird campus must first travel to the West campus before shuttling to Tempe, and the Lake Havasu City campus is too far for the shuttles.

Jackson Dangremond, senior nursing major and president of Undergraduate Student Government Downtown, did agree that the shuttles could be inconsistent, but ultimately concluded that it was due to so many students that were attempting to bridge the disconnect and travel to other campuses.

"There are definitely times where we hear that the shuttles may not be running as efficiently as possible, but that is due to the high demand of the shuttles services as well," Dangremond said. "So we, as student government, are always looking for ways to improve intercampus shuttle experiences. If students are having difficulties, ... please let us know because we don't want students to miss out on all the awesome opportunities on other campuses."

Although it is helpful that ASU provides the shuttles, they do not run 24/7 and can be inconsistent. A lot of the time, students on other campuses will miss out on events in Tempe simply because the commute is too much of a hassle. 

Freshman mathematics major Caitlyn Elazegui believes that the inconvenience of traveling from campus to campus is a major aspect of the disconnect.

"I think that there is a disconnect between campuses just because of the distance between them and how hard it is to commute to each campus," Elazegui said.

However, three out of the six homecoming events were on campuses other than Tempe. Sparky's Challenge and Carnival was held on the West campus, the homecoming dance was held on the Downtown Phoenix campus and Devil's Royale was held on the Polytechnic campus.

Daniel Pasco, sophomore aeronautical engineering major and the chair of University affairs on the Polytechnic Campus, agreed that living on campuses other than Tempe can be tough, but he believes that change is around the corner.

"I think that there are a lot of efforts being made more than ever to provide equitable resources between all four campuses," Pasco said.

The disconnect makes students on the smaller campuses feel isolated and unimportant because the only campus that seems to receive attention is Tempe. This can make it difficult for incoming freshman to adjust to college life.

Although it is appreciated that ASU is making strides toward uniting all of the campuses, the University has a lot more to do if it wants to make students on all of the campuses feel welcome.


Reach the columnist at jlferrig@asu.edu or follow @Jess_Ferrigno on Twitter.

Editor’s note: The opinions presented in this column are the author’s and do not imply any endorsement from The State Press or its editors.

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