University President

Spring Celebrations Continue in April

April 3, 2023

Dear Otters,

Welcome back from spring break. I enjoyed some time off with my family in Puerto Rico and New York but missed my Otter community. Students, I hope you used the week to refresh and relax, and I hope all students, faculty and staff took a moment to reflect on our history of social justice and advocacy on March 31, Cesar Chavez Day. Chavez fought for civil rights as a labor activist and was the co-founder of the National Farm Workers Association with Dolores Huerta. They both fought for the rights of workers and for education. Their legacy lives on in our region and reflects our commitment to equity.

April is Celebrate Diversity Month, and we continue to be dedicated to diversity, equity and inclusion at CSUMB. Spring celebrations continue in April with Passover beginning on April 5. “Chag sameach” to all who will be observing with a Seder meal. Passover is an important Jewish holiday that recounts the exodus from slavery in Egypt and a journey to freedom in Israel.

I also want to wish a happy Easter to all who will be celebrating on April 9. For those who celebrate, whether it is with an Easter egg hunt or attending Sunday mass, I hope you have time with family and friends this weekend. One thing all our celebrations have in common is that they can allow us to learn about others and build community. Be sure to check the calendar on the website for community events and MyRaft for student engagement opportunities this spring.

This month we will also observe Earth Week with a variety of activities including Earth Fest on April 19 from noon to 4 p.m. We remain committed to three goals around inclusive sustainability. We will reduce our greenhouse gasses and achieve carbon neutrality by 2030, and we will divert 90% of our waste from landfills. This includes working to eliminate food waste on our campus this year. I have also committed to making our campus free of single-use plastic by 2025.

Our last goal is to plant 2,030 trees on our campus by 2030. I had the opportunity to attend a tree-planting event in March with members of my cabinet. We had a great time planting trees with other volunteers near Seventh Avenue and A Street. Sign up for future plantings and help us move toward our goal.

I look forward to seeing you at many events this spring and continuing our progress this semester.

Vanya Quiñones
California State University, Monterey Bay