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Uncovering the paint behind the viral Michael Crow meme

The State Press looks at previous reporting to address frustrations from some ASU students


Illustration made by ASU sophomore Jordan Haagen for his intro to digital media class in September 2019. Published on Thursday, Sept. 26, 2019. 

If there is anything a diverse group of over 100,000 students at ASU can bond over, it’s memes. 

When one student created an ASU-related meme the day ASU was named No. 1 in innovation, his peers were quick to interact and use it as an outlet for an array of frustrating problems and questions about the University.

Jordan Haagen, a sophomore studying digital culture, crafted the image in Photoshop for his intro to digital media class in early September and posted it on Twitter. But the picture gained the most traction after being reposted by Tempe Barstool's Instagram.

Haagen said its creation all stemmed from his frustration with Walk-only zones. Walk-only zones, like many other questions presented in the meme, have been covered by The State Press. 

Here's a look through previous coverage from The State Press to answer every question on the “Crow meme:"

“Why are my textbooks $300 and we didn’t use it, and I can’t return it at the bookstore?”

Read more: Bookstore Beware: Save big bucks on books with these 11 tips for ASU students

You can’t return anything at the bookstore without a receipt. Additionally, if you wait to buy your books after going to class, you will have one week or less to return them for a full refund with the receipt.

The reporter's best advice? Wait until the professor tells students if a textbook is necessary for a class.

“Is ASU overcrowded?”

Read more: ASU partners with Roosevelt Point to provide additional student housing

During the fall 2018 semester, increased enrollment caused overcrowding in the Taylor Place dorms, and some of its residents had to move into off-campus housing until space was made available at the end of the semester.

As for the other campuses, The State Press is currently investigating complaints regarding overcrowding.

“Will the construction on Apache ever end?”

Read more: What's going on with all the construction around Tempe?

The Tempe Streetcar construction is to blame for a majority of the construction on Apache Boulevard and has an estimated end date of 2021. 

Here's a look at some of the projects taking place on and around campus with expected end dates. Despite the heavy traffic these endeavors are causing, they are expected to bring more businesses and improved transportation to the area. 

“Why did Hayden’s completion time get pushed back a semester?”

Read more: A student's guide to the renovated Hayden Library

The underground lower concourse of the renovated Hayden Library is open and ready for students to use after many months of construction.

The Hayden 2020 renovations are still on track — set to open January 2020.

This section of Hayden includes new study rooms for students, wellness rooms, a silent reflection room, new classrooms, lactation rooms for parents on campus and a student help desk that is currently available for use.

“Why did you close the Walmart?” 

Read more: Walmart on the ASU campus to close its doors after over six years

Tiffany Wilson, director of corporate communications for Walmart Inc., said that after a review process, the decision was made to close the store. 

“We plan to close the store by June 28, ending the pilot we started a few years ago,” she said. “We will continue to integrate the positive business practices we gained from these campus-based stores into the broader fleet moving forward."

“Why is my tuition going up again?”

Read more: ABOR passes tuition, fee increase for Arizona Universities

Along with a 2.8% increase for in-state tuition, the proposal that passed includes an overhaul in ASU’s tuition for the 2019-20 academic year to what ASU has called a “tiered tuition model,” that collapses dozens of class and program fees and simplifies tuition into four major-specific buckets. 

In addition to the new system of fees, the University plans to extend its cap on tuition increases to ensure predictability for students. 

Read more: ASU overhauls fee structure in new tuition proposal

“The first problem we are trying to solve for is predictability,” Crow said in a meeting with The State Press on March 18. “We said seven years ago that tuition wouldn’t go up by more than three percent for in-state students for seven years, and in those seven years it has gone up on average 1.7 percent, which is at or below the inflation rates averaged over that same time frame. 

“Why are 75% of all pathways Walk-only?”

Read more: ASU hires event security company to monitor walk-only zones

JC Porter, assistant director for commuter services said that, despite some cuts to the areas biking is allowed, campus is safer with Walk-only zones. 

"If you were to go back before Walk-only zones, there were so many near-misses and collisions, and how hard it was to get around campus and compared to now — it's definitely better," he said. 

“Canvas is down.”

Read more: ASU's switch from Blackboard to Canvas is complete

Ruvi Wijesuriya, ASU's director of academic technology support, said students should expect continued changes to the Canvas system as a whole.

“Nothing is ever static in this world," Wijesuriya said. "We’re constantly evolving and growing the functionality. In the past year, we’ve added probably close to 40 new tools to Canvas and that's ongoing,”

“Why do I have to pay for parking at a school I pay to attend?”

Read more: ASU parking tickets brought in almost $1 million in 2017

Parking and Transit Services receives no money from the University or from students’ tuition. 

“Parking revenue pays for everything, including the entire parking staff, the operations, the paper clips, the shuttles, any of the vehicles we provide,” said Parking and Transit Services director Melinda Alonzo. “We are completely self-supporting.”

“Why do I pay a special class fee every class for my major?”

Read more: ABOR passes tuition, fee increase for Arizona Universities

According to the 2019-20 tuition proposal, special class fees are now covered in a blanket cost for each specific college.

“Objective number two is to try and make these not only predictable but to make the tuition model that we have as simple as possible,” Crow said. “So we are going to be eliminating all class fees and all program fees, and going to a different model — we are eliminating the fees and coming up with a single base tuition level, and then four fee levels.”

Related: ASU overhauls fee structure in new tuition proposal

The four program fee categories break down the various schools into fee buckets ranging from $0 for colleges like the Teachers College and the humanities programs in the New College for Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, to $1,050 for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

The same concept with higher price tags applies for non-resident undergraduates and international students. 

The new structure replaces the approximate 150 program fees and 6,000 course fees at ASU that impacted 92% of Undergraduates, according to Crow. 

“My 24th bike got stolen.” 

Read more: Five ways to save your bike from theft on campus

From investing in a U-lock to placing bikes in strategic hidden spots, there are several preventative measures students can take in order to reduce the risk of bike theft. 

In the 2018 calendar year, there were 308 bike thefts at ASU, according to ASU PD crime logs. There have been 172 reported bike thefts to date in 2019.

Related: Records show lowest number of bike thefts at ASU in years 

Editor's Note: Ellie Borst and Itzia Crespo compiled previous State Press coverage for this story.

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