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California State University, Northridge,is a public (government established) institution located in Northridge, California. CSUN is a constituent campus of the distinguished California State University (CSU). It was initially incorporated as Valley Satellite campus, a constituent school of the Cal State Los Angeles College (CSULA). In 1958, the college became an independent institution and was subsequently renamed San Fernando Valley State College. Significant resources, such as major architectural master planning and subsequent construction, were dedicated towards elevating the college’s status. In 1972, the college acquired university status and adopted the name California State University, Northridge. Currently, CSUN offers various programs which lead to bachelor's degrees in 61 fields, master's degrees in 42 fields, and a doctoral degree in educational leadership. There are over 200,000 postgraduate students who have joined the university’s alumni association. CSUN has been extremely successful on the international arena. This has not only been enhanced by its world class facilities but also its ability to continuously mold students into well-recognized personalities across the globe. Recently, the grand opening of unique architectural facilities such as the much acclaimed state-of-the-art Student Recreation Center and the Valley Performing Arts Center have erased any doubts as to the university’s intentions towards gaining international recognition as well as investing in world class facilities. This research paper shall evaluate particular facets of the California State University, Northridge and seek to establish which facilities best define the campus. While some may disagree, California State Northridge is defined by the Oviatt Library, the Valley Performing Arts Center and the Student Recreation Center. A detailed description of each of these three key facilities and an analysis of their impression and impacts on and off campus has been conducted here-in.
There are various locations and facilities that generate huge interest and an equal measure of criticism. First, the Delmar T. Oviatt Library has rightfully earned its place in the campus ranking as one of the most comprehensive libraries. Additionally, the campus boasts of the recently opened Student Recreation Center, a facility that is entirely dedicated towards the students needs. Finally, the campus boasts of the indispensable Valley Performing Arts Center. This center is one of the major reasons why students enroll in CSUN. The fact that CSUN is located in California, home to the world-renowned Hollywood movie industry adequately serves towards fanning professionalism and encouraging innovations in the center. However, it is highly debatable which among these facilities, sites or pieces of art best define the campus. While a majority of students may vouch for facilities or departments in which they are enlisted in, it remains highly dubious as to which places of interest are most acclaimed. This essay shall seek to establish that the Oviatt Library, the Valley Performing Arts Center and the Student Recreation Center are supreme and are CSUN’s defining facilities.
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The Oviatt Library
The Oviatt Library is one of the most influential and must-have facilities on the campus. It is virtually impossible for a student or member of staff not to have visited the facility during their course of study or duration of employment respectively. The library is suitably named after Delmar T. Oviatt, one of the founding members of San Fernando Valley State College which paved way for the commencement of CSUN. There are various factors that are in support of the opinion that the library is one of the campus’ best defining features.
First, the library is representative of the campus’ history and attempts at continuous self-improvement. This claim is supported by several reasons. First, the library is named after one of CSUN’s founding fathers. While an opposing school of thought may be of the opinion that Delmar Oviatt was not necessarily the chief campaigner or initiator in favor of the establishment of CSUN, initially the San Fernando College, his contributions towards the establishment of a common pool of knowledge and his desire to have a well-stocked library are well-documented. Secondly, the library was built in two phases. The initial phase was completed and opened as early as 1973 while the second phase was completed and opened in 1991. As the campus expanded from a little known college to an internationally recognized university, it was absolutely necessary to build a bigger, well-equipped library. Therefore, it does not merely represent a source of interest unlike most of the aforementioned locations or facilities; it is part and parcel of the campus’ struggles towards the attainment of an international status.
Secondly, the library is a common meeting point for all and sundry within the campus. At any one point, students as well as lecturers are bound to visit the library or the library’s website in the quest for knowledge or clarification. Unlike other places of interest, the visitor leaves the library having gained some knowledge, which is the first and foremost objective of any institution of learning. The library is well known for its wide variety of books, ample reading space and the provision of a suitable learning environment. Therefore, the library is a common ground and a unifying factor for each and every person associated with the institution.
The Valley Performing Arts Center
Over the years, CSUN has increasingly been in need of a state-of-the-art performing arts center. This dream came true when the 166, 000-square-foot, 1700-seat facility was officially opened on 29th January, 2011. The building, which was named as the Valley Performing Arts Center is an essential central part of the campus. It has attracted a huge source of interest as well as criticism despite the fact that it has only been in full operation for just over a year. There are various factors in support of the opinion that the Valley Performing Arts Center is one of the most defining features on the campus. First, CSUN is located close to Hollywood, the world’s leading theatre industry. Therefore, the Valley Performing Arts Center is in a prime position to model its students to become world-renowned superstars. A university can only be gauged as successful if its students achieve success after leaving the institution. Unlike any other places of interest within the campus, the Valley Performing Arts Center directly serves the needs of the students as well as residents living in the San Fernando Valley in achieving a rich and fascinating blend of art and culture. Secondly, the Valley Performing Arts Center is one of the major reasons that have enticed students towards enrolling in CSUN. Although some may be of the opinion that students are more attracted by activities or facilities considered as fun, it is quite obvious that the true needs of these students must be satisfied first: to better themselves in their respective fields. Therefore, in consideration of these factors in support of the Valley Performing Arts Center, it is glaringly obvious that this world-class facility is one of the most defining features on CSUN.
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The Student Recreation Center
This is arguably the most ultra-modern building on campus. Located on CSUN’s east end, the 138,000-square-foot recently constructed building is a majestic defining feature that ceaselessly attracts visitors from all corners. The two-storey building was built at a cost of $62.3 million. Most of these funds were met by the students, who selflessly imposed these as part of their fees. It contains world-class courts for indoor games such as badminton, basketball and volleyball. In addition, the facility contains a 7500-square-foot swimming pool complete with three fully dedicated lap lanes. However, the most outstanding feature is the indoor 40-foot rock climbing wall. This facility is undoubtedly the most frequently visited building throughout the semester. There are two outstanding reasons why the Student Recreation Center is regarded as one of the most defining features. First, students identify themselves with the facility due to the fact that they paid for its construction. While some may be of the opinion that most of these students have graduated from CSUN and no longer enjoy the services availed by this world-class student center, it is quite obvious that collective responsibility and the sense of ownership are passed from one generation of students to another. Secondly, a majority of students are attracted towards enrolling in a campus if they feel that they shall have an exciting experience. The Student Recreation Center adequately caters for all student needs while encouraging professional athletes and sportsmen to develop their careers. Therefore, this facility is one of the most defining features on CSUN.
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In conclusion, the services and utility derived from Oviatt Library, the Valley Performing Arts Center and the Student Recreation Center greatly exceed any utility or pleasure attained by visiting other areas of interest. All work and no play make Jack a dull boy. While the Oviatt Library and the Valley Performing Arts Center are mainly sources of knowledge and act as learning centers, the Student Recreation Center complements these two facilities by providing an avenue via which students can relax and release their stress. Therefore, these three facilities form a central part of CSUN and without these three facilities CSUN would not be the world-recognized university it is today!
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