Turlock Mayor Gary Soiseth spoke with students at California State University, Stanislaus on Tuesday to discuss the City’s desire to build a growing bond with the University, as well as tackling key issues.
“Our council is committed to working on the relationships between the campus and the City,” said Soiseth on Tuesday.
For many years, there seemed to be a disconnect between the City of Turlock and CSU Stanislaus, as two separate entities simply sharing a town. However, recent moves have begun to create a budding relationship.
Perhaps most excitingly, the CSU Stanislaus recently announced that the popular Fourth of July firework show will be returning to the University this year.
The firework celebration was hosted at the University for 24 years before being cancelled. The Stanislaus County Fairgrounds hosted the show for a few years, although it was never as popular as the University’s show, which attracted more than 200,000 people to CSU Stanislaus.
In addition to the fireworks, CSU Stanislaus recently opened a student art gallery in Downtown Turlock, the “Art Space on Main.”
“One of the things we’re trying to do is not only lure you out from campus through the public-private partnership that is the art exhibit Downtown — which is a great thing for all of you to be apart of,” said Soiseth. “But also, what can we do around the campus that makes it more attractive for you to come work, play, recreate, and enjoy Turlock.”
The mayor, who taught at CSU Stanislaus as an adjunct professor, has also promised to give back to students in the way of a scholarship.
According to Soiseth, he will be putting his monthly stipend into a fund to create a public policy scholarship, around $1,000 to $2,000, for students to compete for and help tackle Turlock’s key issues with fresh, new ideas.
“I’m very, very excited about this scholarship opportunity,” said Soiseth, adding that more details will be released in the future.
While the students in attendance were interested in the scholarship, they were more interested in one of the biggest issues facing current students: parking.
Currently, students must pay $180 per semester to park on campus; the high cost of parking permits have led many students to park in surrounding neighborhoods, which cause problems for the City, residents, and students.
“I will just do as much as I can to assist President Sheley and make sure you have a good, affordable option to park here on campus,” said Soiseth, who mentioned that the parking issue is multifaceted.
Soiseth hopes to return to CSU Stanislaus regularly to continue talks with students and the University and keep growing their relationship with the City of Turlock.
“I want you guys to know that your City Council really does care about the campus and the City coming together and working toward some common goals,” said Soiseth.