West students look forward to campus expansion, hope it doesn't turn into Tempe

Following a proposed expansion of ASU's West, students are excited about the potential growth and hope the campus' retains its identity as a smaller, tight-knit alternative to other ASU locations.

In a meeting with State Press editors, President Michael Crow said the goal is to double the current size of West’s New College.

"We want to see more business students on the West campus; we want New College to grow," Crow said. "We're looking for substantial enrollment growth and expansion of program growth on the West campus."

However, ASU hasn’t given more specific details on how much money it’s investing in the expansion, nor how much land will be bought or what specifically will be built.

Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences freshman Alexandra Cobain said she’s open to the idea of an expansion, so long as it serves the students’ best interests.

“As long as what they’re building has a function, I don’t think it can deter the campus or school in any way — it’ll help improve it,” she said. “If not, it’s like, ‘there goes my tuition.’”

Cobain said there’s not too much she would change about the West campus, adding that she thinks ASU will spend the money for the expansion wisely.

“I don’t feel like, in high school, where they would spend money on the football team and not have enough money for books,” she said.

Forensics junior Arielle Herguth said she wants the expansion to give way for more classrooms and professors at the West campus, and to provide students with more options.

“If you take a certain science class, you can only take it on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 9 a.m., and there’s no other choice for the class,” she said.

Herguth said she hopes the expansion will shine more light on the West campus as an option for students seeking a calmer atmosphere than ASU Tempe.

“I originally took a tour of Tempe and it was really nice, but really big,” she said. “(ASU West) is really close-knit. Everyone knows everyone, because it’s small, but it’s big enough that you can meet new people.”

And having more meeting places is important for chemical engineering freshman Haley Ziesemer.

“There aren’t many places just to go and be with friends or sit when you have breaks when you’re not trying to study,” she said.

Ziesemer took most of her classes on West last semester but is now commuting to the Tempe campus more often to take classes for her major.

While she said she enjoys seeing her friends from her major who are on the Tempe campus, she added that studying is harder than socializing on the main campus.

“I like (the West campus) because it’s pretty easy for me to sit down somewhere and study,” she said. “That’s harder to do at Tempe. On most days I get approached by someone wanting to hand something out or sell something.”

At the end of the day, Cobain said she hopes the expansion doesn’t turn ASU West into another Tempe campus — especially when it comes to distance between classes.

“As long as I don’t have to cross five streets to get to a class, I’m good,” she said.

Reach the reporter at brieanna.frank@asu.edu or follow @brieannafrank on Twitter.

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