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Commentary: CAPA students are shut out of on-campus events

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https://lvcampustimes.org/2018/03/commentary-capa-students-are-shut-out-of-on-campus-events/
Arturo Gomez Molina Arts Editor

Arturo Gomez Molina,
Arts Editor

The University automatically includes an Associated Students of University of La Verne activity fee into traditional undergraduate tuition that helps pay for the numerous on and off campus events, including their biggest of the spring semester, Lavernapalooza.

This fee is not included in the tuition of students who are enrolled through the Campus Accelerated Program for Adults, or CAPA, so they are not allowed to attend or partake in any ASULV funded events on or off campus.

I, like many other students I have met at La Verne, decided to go back to college to continue my education, find opportunity, finish my degree and get the college experience I never had.

Not being able to be a part of the campus community outside of an academic setting has made me feel like an outsider among my peers.

The Campus Activity Board hosts events throughout the semester, ranging from comedians and movie nights in the Campus Center Ballroom, with enough food to feed a couple of hundred students, to obstacle courses and food trucks in Sneaky Park.

The CAB is able to hold such elaborate events because they receive considerable funding thanks to the activity fee.

The ASULV activity fee breakdown on the University’s website presents a pie chart, showing that the CAB receives nearly 39 percent of that money.

This fee, which separates traditional undergrad and CAPA students from attending ASULV or CAB events together, isn’t mentioned at any time during CAPA orientation or anywhere in the CAPA tuition breakdown online.

So, coming in, CAPA students who want to attend on and off campus events with friends are unaware that they are unable to participate until they arrive.

This happened to me when I was being turned away at the door for CAB’s drag show, featuring Shangela, two semesters ago.

I felt a deep sense of isolation and embarrassment.

The University should revisit the tuition for CAPA students and really consider adding the ASULV fee, or at least making it an option for those who want to participate.

The University created and designed the CAPA program to meet the educational needs that full-time working adults were potentially missing in their lives.

Most of the students in the program have full schedules, leaving them to attend classes in the evenings and weekends, but there are CAPA students who attend regularly through the week, completing a traditional undergraduate degree.

To be admitted into the program applicants must be at least 24 years old, so there is still a community of younger CAPA students who are being isolated.

“It is interesting to see a university that is all about inclusivity, there are some students feeling left out,” Rebecca Wolfe, associate director of CAPA said. “Making the fee optional to incoming students would be a great topic to dive into.”

Administration should not assume that CAPA students do not want to be included in undergraduate-based events just because they are older than the average student and may work full time and/or have a family.

Some of the best memories in college can be made while attending campus community events with friends. Who is the University to say at what age that needs to happen?

Arturo Gomez Molina, a junior communications major, is arts editor for the Campus Times. He can be reached by email at arturo.gomezmolina@laverne.edu.

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