Proenza talks about the future

” University of Akron President Luis Proenza spent Wednesday morning and afternoon traveling to various locations to meet with the student body. Proenza, who toured the campus on the Roo express, stopped at the Athletic Field House, Rob’s café and Polsky’s food court allowing students a chance to voice concerns about the campus.”

University of Akron President Luis Proenza spent Wednesday morning and afternoon traveling to various locations to meet with the student body.

Proenza, who toured the campus on the Roo express, stopped at the Athletic Field House, Rob’s café and Polsky’s food court allowing students a chance to voice concerns about the campus.

What are you excited about? Proenza asked the students. Any question is fair game.

While each student had their own issues to discuss with the president, certain topics found their way through all three locations.

Topics including parking, residence halls and UA going green were highly discussed and seemed important to students.

Proenza, who appeared to speak very candidly about the university and its future, spoke of the newest deck going up next to the Exchange Street Deck.

All of that comes at a cost, he said, then adding that the parking fees could rise to help the university afford additional parking.

He was able to narrow down the parking issue down to two factors, timing and location. He stated that while everyone wants to park close to their building, depending on what time they arrive determines what spaces will be open.

Crime was another issue students wanted to know about.

It’s a lot safer than you may have been led to believe, Proenza said in reference to the amount of crime around the UA campus.

Regardless, students need to be cautious for themselves and also their property.

Do not be careless with your own safety anywhere, Proenza said. He recommended walking in groups or calling for an escort if leaving the university later in the evening.

Another issue students seem to care about is recycling, and many students asked why there are not more recycling bins around campus.

Proenza stated that they were deciding where to place the bins, including in athletic venues.

Along with recycling were the issues of green spaces on campus such as the developing Coleman Commons around the Student Union.

The ratio of green space to buildings exceeds many other Ohio universities.

Proenza said that there are plans to develop more green areas on campus in the future including expanding Buchtel Field.

Students also questioned the president about revving up the school spirit on campus.

While he credited new sporting structures and teams winning records for increasing attendance at sporting events, he also expressed that there needs to be more encouragement for students to participate.

Having a new on stadium on campus will help lead toward a more spirited environment in which Proenza hopes students will contribute to and help shape.

There was also discussion on new buildings. While the next big project is the stadium, students can expect to see more construction, including a residence hall, demolition of Memorial Hall and a new Polymer Engineering building.

He even let on that he spoke with basketball head coach Keith Dambrot about a new arena. However, he gave no definitive plans yet.

With the addition of the Confucius Institute this past semester, Proenza replied to questions pertaining to more study abroad concerns.

After acknowledging the importance of international studies, he stated he hoped to make these opportunities easier for students in the upcoming years.

Proenza made his rounds talking to non-traditional students, early college high school students and student athletes who seemed to walk away with a good feeling about UA.

It’s nice to know he has interest in the Athletic department, right-handed Zips pitcher Tom Farmer said.

At the conclusion of his discussion in the Polsky building, students crowded around to thank him, get in one last question or ask for a picture.

Proenza also took the time to state his goal for UA.

It is to be recognized for the excellence that already exists here, Proenza said.

Judging by the student body turnout, this is a common goal between the students and administration.