Blue skies and “Ask Me” volunteers greeted the thousands of Spartans who returned to San Jose State today for the start of spring term 2014. A special welcome goes out to more than 540 new transfer students and 640 new graduate students, joining approximately 30,000 existing students. More new Spartans are on the way. SJSU received 28,900 first-time frosh and 15,000 transfer applications for fall 2014. Don’t panic about the traffic! The admissions process typically yields around 7,000 new students each fall, replacing those who will graduate. Still, now is a great time to check out Transportation Solutions. Get your EcoPass and sign up for Bay Area Bike Share. On campus, you’ll see tons of construction underway. The good news is the Student Union west wing is nearly done. You’ll find the Spartan Bookstore there in temporary digs soon and, before long, all kinds of new eats at Union Square.
Speaking of books, it’s time to get to work. A huge shout out goes to the more than 12,000 students who have devoted 197,000 service learning hours over the past eight years to CommUniverCity San Jose. Recently honored as San Jose’s greatest civic gift, CommUniverCity helps students gain real-life experience addressing neighborhood issues near campus. In Long Beach, California State University Chancellor Tim White is preparing to deliver the first State of the CSU Address, which will be live streamed 11 a.m. Jan. 29. The chancellor will share his vision for the 23-campus system, including top policy priorities for 2014-15 to advance student achievement and degree completion. What about tuition? The governor’s proposed budget calls for no tuition increases while stabilizing state funding for the CSU. That means extra change in your pocket. You’ll find lots going on at the Event Center. Coming soon are Spartan men’s basketball Jan. 29 (free admission for students with ID) and Winter White featuring Steve Aoki Jan. 30. Of course spring term’s biggest events come at the very end: Honors Convocation April 25 and Commencement May 24. Good luck, Spartans!