Living the Matador Life
2013 – 2014

mission statement

The mission of the University Student Union is to foster the achievement of students’ educational goals by facilitating a strong connection between students and their campus community.

We are an engaging and energetic campus program that develops students through inclusive activities, meaningful employment opportunities, leadership experiences and innovative technologies, facilities, and services.


from the chair

Collin Johnson

It was another fantastic year for the University Student Union (USU) as its programs continued to draw greater numbers of Matadors.

Each of the USU’s centers: The Student Recreation Center (SRC), Pride Center, and Veterans Resource Center, saw increases in student attendance. From the SRC’s group exercise classes and Pride Center events, to Veterans Resource Center-sponsored discussions, more students came out to enjoy these experiences.

Another favorite service was the Computer Labs. One year after relocating to a larger space along the more visible Matador Walk, the labs saw a remarkable increase in the amount of students who took advantage of their 20 free-prints a day. Great customer service, greater access to workstations, and software training sessions all helped make the Labs — commonly called the ‘printing place’ — a student destination.

I enjoyed my work of leading this year’s Board. I gained so much personally and particularly appreciate the opportunity to practice and improve my public speaking abilities. This leadership experience changed me greatly and I wish continued success to the USU.

Collin Johnson
Chair, Board of Directors

from the vice chair

Perlita Varela

The 2013–2014 fiscal year brought many accomplishments to the University Student Union. One of the greatest accomplishments was usage of the computer labs.

Every day, the University Student Union saw more and more students fully use these resources — a large lab located along Matador Walk and a small lab housed inside of the Satellite Student Union near the residence halls. The addition of 10-minute, quick print computer stations in the large lab kept the place full and busy. This service demonstrated the USU’s mission of providing students with innovative technologies, facilities, and services.

There were many other successful events and programs this year too such as: Matador Nights, Carnaval, Craft Corner, and Tuesday Talks in the Pride Center which had a tremendous growth in attendance. Guest speakers such as Nev Schulman (best known as the host and executive producer of MTV’s Catfish — The TV Series) packed the Northridge Center with a standing-room only crowd to hear his message of being true to yourself and your dreams. To top off the year, the Student Recreation Center saw a rise in the number of students that worked out there.

So much was achieved this year and I am glad to have been a part of it.

Perlita Varela
Vice Chair, Board of Directors

from the executive director

Debra L. Hammond
Computing is not about computers any more.
It is about living.
— Nicholas Negroponte (1943–) — Greek American architect

Computing indeed is about living. It’s how we pay bills, bank online, stream videos, expand our knowledge base, access music and so much more. Yet, according to a 2010 Pew Internet Project survey, 12% of undergraduates (age 18 to 24) did not own their own laptops. While 92% of undergraduates were able to access the internet, it was through cell phones and other means. At California State University, Northridge (CSUN) and other institutions of higher learning, computer use is a necessity for research and note taking as well as report writing and communication. That is why the USU expanded the computing experience.

This year’s annual report takes a closer look at the USU Computer Labs. With two locations, a 124-station, full-service lab in the main facility and a 14-station lab in the Satellite Student Union located near the residence halls — both offered Matadors 20 free print copies per day. With an astonishing 21% year-over-year increase in students who use the labs, they have become vital contributors to student success at CSUN. From the Tech Series software workshops and one-on-one technical support to wireless print-only stations, Matadors packed the labs for both academic and life-management tasks.

Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.
— Mother Teresa

The Labs were but one of the USU’s gems. Getting the word out about the array of student programs and services sponsored by the USU is what the Marketing department did well and the numbers prove it. USU social media exploded this year. From award-winning poster ads to Social Media posts and Tweets, the USU reached larger numbers of Matadors and increased the number of patrons that our facilities serve. Check out the numbers in the report’s Services section.

The year also brought greater numbers of students to the Student Recreation Center. The Intramurals program and Group Exercise classes grew in popularity as staff promoted the fun, stress-relief and health benefits of bodies in motion.

I invite you now to take a look inside to learn more about the USU program in 2013–2014. It was a very good year.

Debra L. Hammond
Debra L. Hammond
Executive Director

featured department: computer labs


The USU Computer Labs continued their run as a destination location for Matadors. Known for free print copies, 100+ computer stations and tech workshops, crowds converged on the labs daily for service and training.

“The lab is very close to where I park,” said Taylor Austin, a computer science junior. “[I come for] printing, because it is free.”

Twenty pages of no-cost printing per day are but one reason why students flock to the large lab located on the main campus and a small version housed at the Satellite Student Union, said Neda Nickfardjam, a Computer Lab student supervisor.

we provide such necessary and essential resources to the students, all for free

“The lab is a very popular destination [because] we provide such necessary and essential resources to the students, all for free,” Nickfardjam said. “In college, there are numerous costs, and the Computer Lab helps to take off that load by providing free, convenient printing, Tech Series courses, and helpful lab technicians who have a vast technological knowledge and who are willing to help the students.”

As the largest computer lab on campus, the 6,000 square-foot main lab has 118 computers, 88 of which are two-hour workstations housed on the floor of the main lab while an interior room used as the Training Lab contains another 24. Six workstations are ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant. Students who want simply to print or scan documents have access to 18 print-only stations and eight scanners. The smaller lab has 14 computer stations. Printing assistance is the most requested service, Nickfardjam said.

“Many patrons are new to the lab and they are uninformed about exactly how the printing in the lab works,” she said. “We are located directly across from the International and Exchange Student Center and many students come in to scan their passports or other important documents. We do not currently have a copy machine so, in order to help manage the amount of students using the scanners, we inform patrons of a new scanning app they can download on their phones to scan their documents.”

Wireless printing, a fairly new service, allows students to store documents online and print them from kiosk stations located in both labs as well as inside of the University Student Union lobby — a very useful solution to waiting in long lines for a computer when their sole purpose in the lab is to print, Nickfardjam said.

A link to myCSUNsoftware is on every computer, giving users access to select software based on course curriculum. Software available to all students includes: the Microsoft Office suite, Aleks, AMOS, ArcGIS, Libre Office, Mathematica, Putty, R, and SPSS. For more information about myCSUNsoftware and a complete list of available software, please visit the myCSUNsoftware webpage.

“We’ve seen over the past year that most users tend to utilize either Web Browsers or Microsoft Office programs while visiting,” said Bo Afshar, lab coordinator. “By using the MyCSUNSoftware Portal, students can access the software from any computer.”

students are using our services more and more every day to achieve their educational goals

Other computer features include ZoomText — a screen magnifier for Microsoft Windows, reading and writing software that assists people who are blind, partially sighted, or who have learning disabilities, such as dyslexia and attention deficit disorder, Inspiration — a tool used for mind mapping, and Jaws (Job Access With Speech) — a computer screen reader program for Microsoft Windows that allows blind and visually impaired users to read screens either with a text-to-speech output or by means of a Refreshable Braille display.

The lab also is a learning laboratory for students, faculty and staff. Each semester, Tech Series courses offer free training in Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Adobe Photoshop. This year, the labs successfully introduced a new tech series workshop titled, “iPad Essentials and Campus Technologies,” which focused on raising awareness about campus software and tablet use.

Open until midnight four days a week, the staff grew from 19 to 24 lab technicians to accommodate the demand and to manage the flow of users during peak times.

“During the peak times, the lines go out the door,” said Nickfardjam who said lines begin to form at 8:30 a.m. on weekdays. “We have to open the training lab to accommodate patrons who want to use a computer for just 10 minutes to print. As for [lines that form to use the] two-hour computers, they are also very long and our lab techs have to coordinate with each other to keep the line moving and to occupy every computer immediately when it becomes available.”

With an eye on innovation and improving the customer experience, the labs implemented a skateboard locker rental program that was very popular and allowed students to enjoy the Computer Labs experience without risking stolen property, Afshar said. Also coming is LabMaps, a workstation availability Web guide that will enable students to view the number of available computers through the USU Website. For those outside of the lab, a window display will allow guests to view the number of available computers before they enter the main Computer Lab.

Each upgrade is part of the University Student Union’s collective effort to contribute to user engagement and the persistence of Matadors toward graduation.

“The Computer Labs is by far one of the most utilized services on campus,” said Afshar about the more than 400,000 logins made at the labs this year. “With that being said, students are using our services more and more every day to achieve their educational goals. Many patrons have told me personally that the Computer Lab is the reason why they’re able to be successful in today’s technology-driven campus. We provide the basic computing tools [that] each and every student on campus needs and [we] continue to innovate where we see opportunity.”


  • Students sitting at computer workstations in the USU Computer Lab
  • Students participaing in a computer lab workshop in the training lab
  • Students use the 10-minute print stations in the USU Computer Lab
  • Students use the 10-minute print stations in the USU Computer Lab
  • A student interacts with the Print Release station in the USU Computer Lab

computer lab statistics


icon of person sitting at a computer
unique patrons served (USU)
pages printed (USU)
average pages
printed per day
average pages
printed per patron
per day (USU)
icon of stack of paper
unique patrons served (SSU)
pages printed (SSU)
average pages
printed per day
average pages
printed per patron
per day (SSU)


administration highlights

Created an assessment team

  • Began a planned assessment approach to union-wide assessments
  • Created an assessment learning protocol for assessment staff
  • Interviewed managers and supervisors about assessment needs
  • Supported managers and supervisors with writing/editing assessment instruments and evaluating/reporting results

human resources highlights


icons representing 56 persons 56
full time staff
icons representing 360 persons 360
student assistant employees

Student Summit is a twice-a-year on-site conference for student assistant employees. Student Summit participants were asked about their summit experiences.

agreed or strongly agreed that it is beneficial for the USU to hold Student Summits for student professional development
agreed or strongly agreed that it is beneficial for the USU to hold Student Summits for their personal development
agreed or strongly agreed that through the Student Summit, they have gained knowledge that will be transferable to other situations throughout their life

New Programs

  • Began online supervisor trainings
    • Progressive Discipline
    • Monitoring & Evaluating Performance

Campus Collaborations

The Career Center and Disability Resources and Educational Services presented StrengthsQuest® workshops at USU Student Summit

operations highlights

Building Counts

outline of USU Sol Center
people per year (USU)
average people
per day (USU)
outline of satellite student union
people per
year (SSU)
average people
per day (SSU)

Operations Administration worked with Student Housing & Conference Services to transition operational control of the Satellite Student Union to Housing for administrative offices. Operational control successfully transitioned on June 30, 2014.


Guest Services

(Sol Center front desk)

icon of person giving greetings
in-person greetings
icon of person greeting by phone
assisted by phone
icon of person asking a question
assisted in person

marketing highlights

number of work orders successfully completed from all USU departments


Social Media


USU Facebook fans
SRC Facebook fans
Pride Center
Facebook fans
VRC Facebook fans
facebook icon
twitter icon
USU Twitter followers
SRC Twitter followers
Pride Center
Twitter followers
VRC Twitter
USU Instagram

SRC Instagram

pride center highlights

thumbs up icon
of student participants rated programs as “helpful” or “very helpful”
daily average
icons representing 57 persons
icons representing 51 persons
daily average (fall semester)
icons representing 65 persons
daily average (spring semester)
Note: LGBTQ Coffee Nights are included in customer counts and daily averages because it takes place within the Pride Center during regular hours of operation.

New Programs

  • First annual Rainbow Reception — a social/networking event to connect LGBTQ students with LGBTQ-friendly faculty and staff to build meaningful connections on campus
  • Established Karaoke Nights (monthly) — a social event held in the Games Room
  • Co-sponsored CSUN’s first LGBTQ presentation held during Black History Month with Pan African Studies and the Black Student Union. The event, “Where is Our Place in the Rainbow? Same Gender-Loving Africans in the African Diasporic World,” was a panel discussion where participants shared their experiences about being a part of both the LGBTQ and African American/black communities.
  • Trans* Awareness Week — a week of programs that celebrated the trans* community and educated participants about the struggles that trans* individuals face. The Pride Center collaborated with Queer Studies, Gender and Women’s Studies Department, Chicana/o Studies, Deaf Studies, MEChA, LGBTQA, Gamma Rho Lambda, Women’s Research and Resource Center, and the F Word. More than 500 students, faculty, and staff attended 11 events during the second annual event.
  • Co-sponsored “Sex in the Library: Scholarship, Exploration, and Intersectionality in the Archives” with the Oviatt Library and Gender and Women’s Studies. It was the first of an annual lecture series highlighting the Bullough Archive in the Oviatt Library.
  • The 8th Annual Transgender Leadership Summit was held at CSUN in collaboration with the Transgender Law Center.
  • “Beyond the Binary” — an interactive lecture presented by Dr. Mimi Huang Huang included a panel discussion about sexual identities outside of the binary, i.e. bisexuality, pansexuality, asexuality, fluidity). The Pride Center co-sponsored the lecture along with LGBTA.
  • The Pride Center co-sponsored two events with LGBTQA, MeCHA, and Dreams to be Heard:
    • “SegreGAYtion: Growing Up As A Queer Latino (Im)Migrant In A Religious Conservative Family.” Ronnie Veliz (CSUN Alumnus) shared his story and educated students about the adversities that queer immigrants of color face.
    • Mosquita y Mari. A film screening and lecture with the writer/director, Aurora Guerrero.
  • CSUN Alumnus Ronnie Veliz poses with students at the SegreGAYtion event
  • Students sit listening to speakers at Trans* Awareness Week
  • A group of students and presenters poses at Trans* Awareness Week

reservations and event services highlights


icon representing person in a meeting room

room bookings

src aquatics highlights

Three male students play water volleyball in the Rec pool while a female lifeguard watches at the Poolside DJ event.

New Programs

  • Junior Lifeguard Program: Following American Red Cross guidelines, participants ages 11 to 14 learned the skills needed to be a successful lifeguard
  • Lifeguard course: Adhering to American Red Cross guidelines, the Student Recreation Center successfully conducted its first lifeguard course for the CSUN community. Participants were taught the proper skills to thrive as lifeguards.
  • Poolside DJ at the SRC: A recreational event held three times each semester

src membership services highlights

Three female students dressed in workout clothes exit the SRC.
  • Participated in the CSUN Human Resources New Employee Welcome Orientations
  • Provided nearly 600 tours of the facility to approximately 4,200 people
  • Provided giveaways (such as towel/locker service, SRC memberships, personal training sessions, and guest passes) for campus partners such as the New Faculty Orientation, Department of Psychology, DuBois-Hamer Institute for Academic Achievement Silent Auction, Oviatt Library, and Department of Gender & Women’s Studies.

src facilities — operations highlights

  • Hosted Japanese students from JIKEI University (Japan) for a day of recreation activities and a facility tour
  • Collaborated with Project GRAD LA to host more than 120 regional high school students for a day of sport and recreation
  • Co-sponsored and hosted two Deaf Yoga classes for CSUN’s National Center on Deafness

src fitness and wellness highlights

icons representing 610 participants
joined the “New Year, New You”
member incentive program, Spring 2014
icons representing 325 participants
took part in “I Work Out”
member incentive program, Summer 2013
icons representing 312 participants
participated in the “I Work Out”
member incentive program, Summer 2014
A group of students who participated in the I Work Out member incentive program pose with Matty the Matador
icon representing group exercise on a laptop screen
  • Implemented new online group exercise registration software (MINDBODY)
  • Added private Group Exercise instruction
  • Supported Peer Nutrition Counselors, Welcome to Wellness Day, and the Wellness Center Project in collaboration with the Klotz Student Health Center, University Counseling Services and the Health and Human Development Department
  • Collaborated with University Counseling Services and the Klotz Student Health Center during tabling events and Welcome to Wellness Day

src intramurals highlights

Intramural Coed Outdoor Soccer Champions - Progresso
  • Hosted the 2014 National Intramural Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA) Championship Series Region VI At-Large Basketball Tournament — the second largest attendance for a regional basketball tournament west of the Mississippi River with 30 teams (24 men’s and 6 women’s) and 314 participants from 18 different institutions of higher education, including two men’s teams and one women’s team from CSUN
  • Collaborated with the Upward Bound Program to introduce Intramural Sports to incoming students

New Programs

  • 3-on-3 Athletic Director’s Basketball Challenge
  • Offered two one-day special events: a Rockwall Climbing Challenge and “Water World” — a pool version of Battleship with Kayak Water Jousting in collaboration with Associated Students Outdoor Adventures
  • All-University Intramural Cup Challenge


technology support services highlights

Doc -> PDF -> Webpage
  • Converted Word document forms to PDF forms
  • Converted Word/PDF forms to online forms
  • Implemented USU Virtual Servers in collaboration with Associated Students

veterans resource center highlights

Thomas Dang and Laura Hurtado lead an art therapy workshop
  • Offered Degree Progress Report Workshops and presented Resume Writing Workshops in collaboration with the Career Center
  • Collaborated with Associated Students Outdoor Adventures to host a Ropes Course Experience
  • Provided stress management workshops with the Klotz Student Health Center featuring Art Therapy
  • Participated in a Habitat for Humanity Service Project (10 volunteers, including two VRC employees)
  • Presented Operation Comedy in collaboration with the Student Veteran Organization and Sigma Tau Alpha, a co-ed fraternity
  • A group of students pose at the Operation Comedy Event
  • A comedian performing at the Operation Comedy Event
  • Students enjoy the Operation Comedy Event
  • VRC Students take part in a Habitat for Humanity service project


USU Featured in Episode of PBS “Visionaries” Series

Sam Waterston introduces the CSUN USU in PBS Visionaries Episode 1902

The USU was one of four student unions nationwide featured in the long-running documentary Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) series “Visionaries.” The episode highlighted stories of non-profit organizations that work to make a difference in their communities and beyond.

The two-part profile of the Association of College Unions International (ACUI) was hosted by Academy Award-nominated actor Sam Waterston. Other student unions included were Davidson College, University of Vermont and University of Wisconsin-Madison.

The full episode is available for viewing online on the PBS Visionaries website.


  • Matafest Fall 2013
  • Matafest Fall 2013
  • Matafest Fall 2013
  • Matafest Fall 2013
  • Matafest Fall 2013

Matadors were welcomed to campus in the fall with the annual Matafest festival held in the USU’s Plaza del Sol. The circus-themed event was laced with resource booths where students learned more about USU programs and services like the Games Room, Veteran’s Resource Center, Pride Center, Student Recreation Center, Marketing department, Computer Labs, Reservations and Event Services, Human Resources, and the Board of Directors. Participants dined on Matador Burgers, beef and veggie hotdogs, shaved ice, churros, popcorn, and beverages. There were DJ performances, a circus act, rock band, balloon artist, and hip hop artist. Activities included carnival games, prizes and a Craft Corner. 

Matador Nights

  • Matador Nights Fall 2013
  • Matador Nights Fall 2013
  • Matador Nights Fall 2013
  • Matador Nights Fall 2013
  • Matador Nights Fall 2013

The fall semester kicked off old-school style with the biannual late-night carnival. The theme was the 1950s and the Plaza del Sol was transformed by 3,923 Matadors, many of whom were dressed in sunglasses and bandanas. The night featured a root-beer float station and soda fountain machine, a Tornado carnival ride, roller skating rink, and giant carnival slide. DJ Eric D Lux performed with surprise guest performer Kid Ink on the Plaza Del Sol main stage. Also on hand were arcade games, casino games, and a photo booth sponsored in part by the CSUN Alcohol Policy Advisory Committee. Mock-tails were provided by the Klotz Student Health Center in conjunction with the entertainment industry’s road safety program (R.A.D.D). There were ambient performances by CSUN Hip-Hop and the CSUN Theatre Guild. Hamburgers, popcorn, and cotton candy were provided free to CSUN students.

Las Vegas, baby... More than 3,249 students celebrated the 21st installment of Matador Nights during the spring semester. For the Las Vegas theme, the Plaza del Sol was transformed into the Las Vegas strip, with a Step and Repeat backdrop for photos. From “the strip,” students ventured to “Circus Circus” in the Grand Salon to watch the CSUN Theatre Guild clown perform near arcade and carnival games, Ping-Pong, and karaoke. The Northridge Center was transformed into a classic Las Vegas hotel, complete with a bellhop. The West Valley Room served as the Wedding Chapel/craft corner for decorating sashes and top hats and watching “Elvis” performing faux wedding ceremonies. A “High Rollers Lounge” came complete with mocktails served by Klotz Student Health Center in conjunction with the R.A.D.D. program, while the Northridge Center served as the main casino, featuring performances by Brazilian Dancers, Dan Olivo—a Frank Sinatra-style singer, and Vincent Bantasan — a beat-boxer. At “Treasure Island” students rode the Scrambler and Casino rides and visited with Toyota’s interactive trailer and display cars. DJs Carisma, Amen and Dre Sinatra performed on the Plaza Del Sol main stage along with surprise guest performers Sage the Gemini and Ty Dolla $ign.


  • Zumbathon Fall 2013
  • Zumbathon Fall 2013
  • Zumbathon Fall 2013
  • Zumbathon Fall 2013
  • Zumbathon Fall 2013

The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation benefitted from the monies raised from this high-octane dance/exercise event. The Third Annual Zumbathon, themed “Party in Pink” featured a sold-out crowd of 300 who stepped to music in a 90-minute Zumba master class taught by the SRC Zumba instructors. Following the class, a breast cancer survivor and representative from the Komen foundation spoke to participants. Glow sticks and pink breast cancer support ribbons were distributed. USU Events and the SRC collaborated with Unified We Serve, and CSUN Intercollegiate Athletics to host the fundraiser.

National Coming Out Day

  • National Coming Out Day Fall 2013
  • National Coming Out Day Fall 2013
  • National Coming Out Day Fall 2013

The Pride Center, in collaboration with USU Events, hosted “Express Yourself” in conjunction with National Coming Out Day. The variety show featured self-expressions that celebrated the various stages of the “coming-out” process. There were performances by The Cuddlers, a subsidiary of The Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles, CSUN Hip-Hop, and the CSUN Theatre Guild, whose members performed coming-out stories that were submitted by CSUN students. Poets Madison Dinapoli and Jealinda Mills of the CSUN Poetry Slam Team also performed. About 200 people attended the event that featured a photo booth, a message wall, the history of National Coming Out Day and written personal narratives shared by students.

Student Showcase

  • Student Showcase Fall 2013
  • Student Showcase Fall 2013
  • Student Showcase Fall 2013
  • Student Showcase Fall 2013
  • Student Showcase Fall 2013

“Garage Band Studio” was the theme of this year’s talent show where CSUN students performed before peers for prizes. Eleven student acts, including bands, solo singers, poets, solo dancers, and group dance teams, performed before a crowd of 400 and were scored by a panel of judges, including CSUN alum Mike Viruet who appeared in the movie Pitch Perfect. Comedian Chris Spencer hosted.


  • Catfish Lecture
  • Catfish Lecture

Producer, actor, and photographer Nev Schulman, best known for the 2010 documentary Catfish and as the host and executive producer of Catfish: The TV Show on MTV packed the Northridge Center for an evening of anecdotes about social media, online relationships, sexuality, self-identity, and self-esteem. Speaking to a standing-room only crowd of 790, Schulman shared about his rise to fame and challenged students to be unique. Afterwards, Schulman met privately with 30 contest winners. The term “Catfish” has been coined to define a person who pretends to be someone that they are not and use social media to create a false identity to pursue deceitful online romances.

Veteran’s Day Roll Call

  • Veterans Day 2013
  • Veterans Day 2013
  • Veterans Day 2013

To honor the men and women of the U.S. Armed Services, names of California service men and women who lost their lives in battle from 9/11 to the present were read in the Plaza del Sol. CSUN student veteran Hugo Valencia gave the opening remarks, following the presentation of the colors by CSUN ROTC. Many of the 388 students on hand wrote notes of thanks to CSUN student veterans and made para-cord bracelets. The CSUN service program Unified We Serve was on hand with a letter writing campaign for Operation Gratitude, a national organization that sends care packages to new recruits, veterans, first responders, wounded warriors, and caregivers stationed overseas.

Matador Recreation Day

  • Matador Recreation Day 2014
  • Matador Recreation Day 2014
  • Matador Recreation Day 2014
  • Matador Recreation Day 2014

Wellness and recreation were the focus of this activity day and Matadors took part in intramurals, group fitness classes, circuit training, massage and personal training. Trivia questions and other challenges took place inside the Student Recreation Center while Peer Nutrition Counselors offered BMI (body, mass, index) assessments. Raffle prizes were awarded and included: $50 REI gift card, Polar Watch, $50 Matamoney gift card, $50 Sprouts gift card, $50 AS Outdoor Adventures Voucher, and an XBOX One. Students were given free produce from the “Healthy Hut” farmers market and Jersey Mike’s lunches for their participation and interaction with campus partners that provided services and information related to mind and body health. Partners for the event included: the Klotz Student Health Center, Peer Nutrition Counselors, JADE (Joint Advocates Against Disordered Eating), Kinesiology Majors Club, Associated Students Rec Sports, and CSUN Athletics.


  • Carnaval 2014
  • Carnaval 2014
  • Carnaval 2014
  • Carnaval 2014
  • Carnaval 2014

The 17th annual international event, “Wonders of the World,” showered CSUN students with educational and cultural experiences that showcased each continent. There were with informational banners and food samplings. Various cultural acts performed, including Hawaiian Poet Laureate Kealoha, Bollywood dancers, Celtic dancers, Native American storytellers, Brazilian Samba dancers, Aztec dancers, Chinese martial arts dancers Wushu Shaolin, Afro Caribbean dancers, and Polynesian hula and fire dancers. Activities included henna tattoos, Tarot card readings, and the making of crafts such as making “Ojos de Dios” (woven spiritual objects), African masks, and tepees. Games included Loteria (Mexican Bingo), Scrabble, Sudoku, and Chinese Checkers. International cuisine was provided to more than 2,000 students.

Four students holding CSUNopoly game boards

Campus Event Collaborations

  • Presidents Day Picnic in collaboration with the CSUN President’s Office
  • Sorority Recruitment Bid in collaboration with the Matador Involvement Center
  • CSUNopoly in collaboration with Financial Aid
  • Study Abroad Fair in collaboration with the International Exchange and Student Center

student leadership — board of directors

The University Student Union Board of Directors (USU BOD) is the official governing entity for the University Student Union that provides leadership, direction, and policy making for the advancement of union programs, services, and facilities.

BOD student director Diana Madueño participates in a BOD meeting

The Board is comprised of 10 Student Representatives, an Alumni Representative, a Faculty Member, the Principal Student Affairs Officer or designee, a Staff Member, the University President or designee, and the USU Executive Director.

Serving as the Board’s majority, student representatives engage in leadership development workshops, trainings and conferences, and serve as committee chairpersons as they learn and employ corporate leadership practices.

Several student representatives attended:

  • The California State Student Association’s CSUnity Leadership conference in Sonoma, CA.
  • The Association of College Unions International (ACUI) Region 15 conference in Honolulu, HI.
  • The ACUI Annual Conference in Orlando, FL.
BOD student directors Perlita Varela and Kandee Bracero sit at a session at the ACUI Annual Conference in Orlando, FL

All student representatives participated in the Gallup Organization’s StrengthsQuest® training throughout the year.

“In my role as a BOD student representative and Facilities and Commercial Services Committee chair, I was able to attend leadership conferences, such as ACUI’S I-LEAD and CSUnity Conference,” said Diana Madueño. “Such opportunities enabled me to see the meaningful purpose of representing one’s own campus community, and it also helped me reinforce my desire for a career in Student Affairs.”

I honestly, have to say I do not think that opportunities like the ones that the BOD provides could be found anywhere else on campus.


USU Board of Directors 2013-2014


SMART Goals and Decision-Making Tips

Each year, the Student Representatives of the USU Board of Directors and their committee members undergo a half day of committee training. Topics that are covered include identifying SMART Goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely) and Decision-Making tips. The student leaders are mentored throughout the year as they utilize the principles and are assessed at year’s end to measure what learning took place.

In 2013–2014:

Percent of respondents correctly indentified S.M.A.R.T. Goals.
Percent of respondents correctly identified three factors that make a goal specific.
Percent of respondents correctly identified one factor that makes a goal attainable.
Percent of respondents correctly identified one factor that makes a goal timely.
Percent of respondents identified that solving the “symptom” of a problem leads to solving the wrong problem.
Percent of respondents correctly identified that there can be more than one solution to any problem.
Percent of respondents understood that the decision-making process is complete when you evaluate your results.

Campus Collaborations and Contributions

The Board co-sponsored 47 events ($44,700) with various campus departments, clubs and organizations that drew 9,680 attendees

The Board sponsored eight Performance Hall events ($36,000) for campus departments, clubs and organizations

developing students

StrengthsQuest® Integration

The University Student Union (USU) has spent the past five years integrating the Gallup Organization’s StrengthsQuest® philosophy and training into its employee development program as a way to enhance the quality of employee communication, value added articulation, and workplace engagement. Beginning in 2009 with a limited number of staff, today the program is corporate wide, affecting more than 360 student and 56 staff employees.

The Philosophy

  1. People excel farther and faster when they build upon inherent talents instead of focusing on weakness fixing.
  2. There are 5 primary talents/abilities (a natural way of thinking, feeling and behaving) that people have used since childhood as a prism through which they see and manage circumstances.
  3. Enhancing those 5 talents with intentional time spent practicing, learning about, and developing one’s skills is what creates Strengths (the ability to provide near-perfect performance in a specific activity or task regularly).

The USU Plan

  1. Provides access codes to each employee upon hire and requires each employee to complete the StrengthsQuest® assessment (it takes about 20 minutes to complete).
  2. Invests in sending a few managers and supervisors each year through Gallup’s progressive and fundamental online training courses.
  3. Incorporates approximately six (6) StrengthsQuest-themed workshops into each of the USU’s Student Summit onsite development conferences.
  4. Encourages Strengths conversations during one-on-one supervisor/employee meetings, colleague-to-colleague discussions, department staff meetings, casual conversations, mediations, mentoring sessions, and the annual employee evaluation process.
  5. Broadcasts one (1) 60-second video on its Intranet weekly of a USU student or staff employee describing how they engage a Strength at work.
  6. Facilitates conversations, ideas, and shared development trainings with other California State University, Northridge faculty and staff.

Student Results

Percentage of students to recall their top five talents in August 2013.
Percentage of students to recall their top five talents in January 2014.

Proven Student Learning/Development/Leadership

A range of professional and personal development opportunities exist for the more than 360 student assistants who work for the USU. Their professional evolution begins at hire at the departmental level where supervisors mentor in timeliness, public speeking, customer service, engagement, teamwork, responsibility, accountability, and achievement. Departmental meetings promote these skills further through group exercises and by serving as a platform by which students are encouraged to deliver speeches, report on assessment findings, and lead functional work teams.

Corporately, students take part in two on-site development conferences each year known as Student Summit. The conferences mimic professional conferencing by allowing student employees to pre-select workshops, participate in pre-conference activities, and present or co-present with staff and/or fellow student employees. Students also apply to attend student affairs related professional conferences, including those sponsored by the Association of College Unions International (ACUI), and the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA). Many present workshops at these and other regional, national and annual conventions.

The USU’s focus on student development also prepares students for post-university employment. One means of doing that is inviting students to be a part of interview teams for both student and professional positions. In so doing, students gain valuable insight into the factors that employers consider when hiring by experiencing first-hand how candidates present themselves, articulate answers, and prepare for interviews.

Here are but a few examples of ways in which some departments developed students this year.


  • Brandon Urtiz, Assessment Assistant, was required to study and pass a knowledge test about assessment as qualification for continued employment. He passed.
  • Febe Ruiz, Operations Intern, tracked one of the union’s more sizeable budgets, prepared documents for bill payment, served as the liaison with vendors, and prepared contracts. She had a high level of responsibility and joined the Board of Directors’ Finance Committee to gain an insider’s experience with budget analysis and to work closely with the USU’s accounting supervisor and associate director of finance and business services to gain insights about budget use and management. This experience helped her land the job upon graduation as an associate at an unclaimed property management firm that works exclusively with the federal and state governments.

SRC Aquatics

  • The Aquatics department sent head lifeguard Eric Ceja to the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA) Conference. Ceja brought back useful information to the aquatics team. His leadership was evident by his willingness to take initiative and apply what he learned at the conference.

SRC Fitness and Wellness

  • The mentorship program for Group Exercise Interns was successful in preparing students for Group Exercise Instructor positions.
  • A supplemental training manual for Personal Trainers was developed.

Information Services and Special Projects

  • Bianca James, Customer Service Supervisor, served as a member of the Student Summit Presentation Teams for the fall 2013 and spring 2014 conferences. She also served as Matador Nights Volunteer Chair for the same semesters and completed both Pride Center and Veterans Resource Center trainings.


  • Student employee Ruther Agonoy, Facilities Repair Assistant, put forth a recommendation to relocate where certain pieces of artwork were slated to be hung. He was concerned that the scaling for the artwork was not accurate and that some pieces would not fit well in their allocated spaces. Agonoy was given the job of reassigning the art pieces. Ruther made changes, taking into account the size, color, and content of the pieces and created new locations for many of them. He then photographed the art pieces and created an inventory of where each piece was located that included descriptions.

SRC Intramurals

  • Intramural Sports Supervisors received greater opportunities to either assist or lead various sports training sessions for student officials and assistants. The supervisors worked together to create new and productive ways to make the trainings enjoyable and informative.
  • Student staff interested in learning more about officiating and/or the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA) attended Los Angeles Intramural Sports Officials Association (LAISOA) Officials’ Training Clinics for flag football and basketball. Three students also were selected to work at the NIRSA Regional Flag Football and Basketball Tournaments.
    • Participants in the Flag Football Officials’ Training Clinic hosted at UC Riverside were:
      • Christian Kerr — Student Intramural Supervisor
      • Keith McElhannon — Graduate Assistant, SRC Intramurals
      • Devyn Moore — Student Intramural Official
      • Sean Smiley — Student Intramural Official
      • Jeron Walker — Student Intramural Official
    • Participants in the Basketball Officials’ Training Clinic hosted at CSUN were:
      • Benjamin Asare — Student Intramural Official
      • Timothy Fong — Student Intramural Official
      • Dalton Kebely — Student Intramural Official
      • Christian Kerr — Student Intramural Supervisor
      • Devyn Moore — Student Intramural Official
      • Payton Moore — Student Intramural Official
      • Sean Smiley — Student Intramural Official
    • Students selected to work at the NIRSA Regional Tournaments were:
      • NIRSA Region VI Flag Football Tournament hosted at UCLA:
        • Jeron Walker — Student Intramural Official
      • NIRSA Region VI At-Large Basketball Tournament hosted at CSUN:
        • Dalton Kebely — Student Intramural Official
        • Devyn Moore — Student Intramural Official
  • Student staff attended the NIRSA Region VI Conference in Los Angeles and the Annual National Conference in Nashville, Tennessee. Undergraduate James Hamlin, Student Intramural Supervisor and Emergency Temporary Hire Graduate Assistant, secured a graduate assistantship at Texas State University.

professional activities and presentations

Kingson Leung
Patrina Croisdale
Dylan Moore
Natacia Medina
Matt Eickhoff
Debra L. Hammond
Michal Jankowski
Sharon Kinard
Sarina Loeb
Sandra Salute
Audrey Martinez
Jenny Soto

Kingson Leung, Coordinator, Special Initiatives, facilitated a New Student Orientation Group on behalf of the Office of Student Involvement and Development.

Patrina Croisdale, Coordinator, Veterans Resource Center:

  • Spoke about the Veterans Resource Center at Los Angeles Valley College and Los Angeles Pierce College tabling events
  • Attended a Student Veteran Association meeting at Pasadena City College

Veterans Resource Center student assistant employees Dylan Moore and Natacia Medina attended an Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America conference to learn about the Rapid Response Referral Program.

Matt Eickhoff, Program Coordinator, Training & Development, served as the advisor to Acasola, CSUN’s original acapella singing group

Debra L. Hammond, Executive Director

  • Served as Guest lecturer at the California Institute of Advanced Management, a non-profit university that has an accelerated MBA program (11 months). She presented on Change Management.
  • Served as one of the facilitators for the Association of College Unions International’s (ACUI) online webinar, “Designing for Diversity”
  • Presented two educational sessions at the Auxiliary Organizations Association (AOA) conference in Sacramento: “What Are you Reading” and “Assessment Results: Telling the Associated Students/Student Union Story”
  • Taught Educational Psychology and Counseling (EPC) 695S: Selected Studies in College Counseling and Student Services (CC/SS), a capstone course for the CC/SS students. She also co-taught EPC 622, The American College Student and the Campus Environment.
  • Presented at the New Faculty Orientation Program regarding Student Affairs Resources
  • Spoke to the CSUN women’s basketball team on Strategies for Success
  • Presented to the CSU Chancellor’s Office, in conjunction with architects LPA, related to the Wellness Center project as a part of the project’s administrative review approval process
  • Coordinated a panel of successful first-generation CSUN students/graduates on the Student Retention Think Tank which coordinated the program “Helping Our Students Achieve Their Academic Potential.” The program was geared primarily towards faculty members. Ani Avetisyan, Special Assistant to the Executive Director, assisted.

Michal Jankowski, Manager, Student Recreation Center (SRC) Facility Operations co-presented (with Liat Vorobiev, International Student Advisor from the International and Exchange Student Center) the online ACUI webinar, “How Do You Support International Students?”

Michal Jankowski, Manager, SRC Facility Operations and Sarina Loeb, Coordinator, Pride Center and LGBTQ Initiatives, co-presented the online ACUI webinar, “How Do You Support LGBT Students?”

Sharon Kinard, Manager, Administration and Communications, served as the advisor to Campus Advance — a Christian club

Sarina Loeb, Coordinator, Pride Center and LGBTQ Initiatives:

  • Co-instructed Queer Studies 401L: Queer Leadership with Professor Wendy Yost
  • Hosted Rainbow Reception — a social/networking event to connect LGBTQ students with LGBTQ-friendly faculty and staff to build meaningful connections on campus
  • Introduced Karaoke Nights as a monthly LGTBQ social event to the Games Room

Audrey Martinez, USU Events Supervisor, served as the advisor to the CSUN Hip Hop Culture Club

Jonathan Navarro, Accounting Supervisor, served as the advisor to Hermanos Unidos, a social change club

Sandra Salute, Manager, SRC Fitness and Wellness:

  • Presented, “Health & Wellness Workshop” for Associated Students during its summer staff training
  • Presented “Maximize Your Nutrition” for CSUN Human Resources Staff and Faculty
  • Presented, “Making Wellness a Priority” — a USU Short Course

Jenny Soto, Marketing Supervisor:

  • Served as the advisor to the campus organization Lambda Sigma Gamma Sorority, Inc.
  • Served as a member of the Social Media Policy Committee for CSUN University Advancement. This group develops social media policies and corresponding guidelines for the University.


Brenda Cruz
Kristie Godfrey de Leon
Kimberly Gonzales
Michele Mendiola
Debra L. Hammond
Michal Jankowski
Sarina Loeb
Joseph Cayanan
Kingson Leung
Thomas Sekayan
Christopher Marshall

The Association of College Unions International (ACUI) Region 15 Conference in Honolulu, HI

  • Brenda Cruz, Student Commercial Services Assistant, served on the Conference Planning Team as co-coordinator for student activities.
  • Kristie Godrey de Leon, Assistant Director, USU Operations, and Abbie Rombaoa, Student Clerical Assistant, Administration, presented “Understanding Your Communication Style”
  • Kimberly Gonzales, Student Marketing Assistant, and Michele Mendiola, Student Motion Graphics Designer, presented “A Click Away to Reach Viral Engagement”
  • Debra L. Hammond, Executive Director
    • Presented the workshop, “Mentoring and Motivation: Creating an Environment for Growth”
    • Interviewed Marsha Herman-Betzen, ACUI Executive Director for the segment, “Up Close, Personal and Unscripted”
  • Michal Jankowski, Manager, SRC Facility Operations, moderated the panel discussion, “Transitioning from a Student Employee to a Professional Staff”
  • Sarina Loeb, Coordinator, Pride Center and LGBTQ Initiatives, and Joseph Cayanan, Pride Center Student Supervisor, presented “Supporting LGBTQ Students in Your Student Union!”
  • Kingson Leung, Coordinator, Special Initiatives, presented, “Free Parking! How It Can Unify the Union & Change the World”
  • Thomas Sekayan, Operations Coordinator, served on the Conference Planning Team. He also co-chaired the conference Silent Auction which set a record for the amount of auction funds raised in the region.
  • Christopher Marshall, Operations Supervisor co-presented (with Kyle Zive from the University of Nevada, Reno) “Mentoring New Professionals & Aspiring Students”
  • Abbie Rombaoa and Kathy Vo, Student Clerical Assistants for Administration, and Febe Ruiz, Administration Intern, presented “From Good to Great: Nailing Your Dream Job”
  • Shanell Tyus, Manager, USU Events, Audrey Martinez, Supervisor, USU Events, and Joseph Cayanan, Pride Center Student Supervisor, presented “Student (Employee) Development...A Holistic Approach to Supervising Students”
  • Steven Wein, Web Designer, presented, “Moving Your Annual Report Online”
Kathy Vo
Shanell Tyus
Audrey Martinez
Steven Wein
Jeremy Hamlett
Kaila Lavin
Sandra Salute
Jimmy Francis
Amanda Christianson

The ACUI Annual Conference in Orlando, FL

  • Debra L. Hammond, Executive Director, presented the following workshops: ACUI was There, ACUI Grows Up, Issues and Trends for Today’s College Unions, Celebration of Leaders, Legacies, and Learners. Also presented or participated in the following activities: Dick Scott Presentation, ACUI’s Fireside Chats, Affirmative Action Scholarship Discussion, ACUI CEO Retirement Planning Committee, and Butts-Whiting Award Presentation for Whit Hollis.
  • Kristie Godrey de Leon, Assistant Director, USU Operations, served as a member of the Conference Planning Team
  • Jeremy Hamlett, Commercial Services Manager, co-presented “ACUI: An Association of Volunteers”
  • Michal Jankowski, Manager, SRC Facility Operations, co-presented with Vincent Jackson, Facilities and Events Manager at the University of Delaware, the educational session, “What About the ‘I’ in ACUI? — the Importance of International Students”
  • Kingson Leung, Coordinator, Special Initiatives, co-presented, “Celebrating Multiculturalism Past, Present, and Future” about the association’s Community of Practice for Multi Ethnic Professional and Allies (COMP)
  • Sarina Loeb, Coordinator, Pride Center and LGBTQ Initiatives, presented “Supporting LGBTQ Students in Your Student Union!”
  • Steven Wein, Web Designer, presented, “Moving Your Annual Report Online”

National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA) Annual Conference in Nashville, TN

  • Kaila Lavin, Manager, Membership and Aquatics, co-lead a Membership Services roundtable discussion and co-lead a technology roundtable discussion
  • Sandra Salute, Manager, Fitness and Wellness, co-presented, “What! I’m Fired?” with Jimmy Francis, Director, Student Recreation Center

National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA) Regional Conference in Los Angeles, CA

  • Sandra Salute, Manager, Fitness and Wellness, presented “Teaching an Old Dog New Tricks: Mentoring Your Group Exercise Instructor” with Amanda Christianson, Coordinator, Fitness; and Mike Wong, Graduate Assistant, Fitness and Wellness


Year-End Celebration Awards

  • Board Chair Award: Collin Johnson
  • Aida C. Salazar Award: Demontae Thompson
  • BOD Achievement Award: Breanne Acio
  • Commitment Award: Brenda Cruz
  • Spirit Award: Jose Espino
  • Most Inspiration Student Employee Award: Trudy Pilgrim
  • Staff Member of the Year Award: James Matzen
  • Janie JJ Jones Outstanding Team of the Year Award: SRC Fitness and Wellness Department

Student Assistant of the Year
Troy Thornton

Staff Member of the Year
James Matzen

Aida C. Salazar Award
Demontae Thompson

BOD Achievement Award
Breanne Acio

Board Chair Award
Collin Johnson

Proctor Award
Debra L. Hammond
Joe Illuminate

Commitment Award
Brenda Cruz
Pero Akinbohun

Janie “JJ” Jones Outstanding Team of the Year Award
SRC Fitness and Wellness
Veterans Resource Center

Most Inspirational Student Assistant Employee
Trudy Pilgrim

Most Resourceful Student Assistant
Jorge Lopez

Spirit Award
Jose Espino

Bianca James

ACUI Region 15

Bob Alexander Memorial Scholarship, ACUI Region 15
Bianca James

Debra L. Hammond New Professional Award, ACUI Region 15
Samantha Liu

The USU was recognized at the 2013 ACUI Region 15 Conference’s Steal This Idea contest with the following awards:

  • Pub Red Rally Graphics
  • Fagbug Flyer and Poster
  • Pride Center Online Chat Poster
  • Tuesday Talks Poster
  • SRC Brochure
  • Annual Report 2011-12

2nd Place
Red Rally Pub Graphics, Anthony Brown

1st Place
Fagbug Poster, James Matzen

3rd Place
Pride Center Online Chat, James Matzen

Honorable Mention
Tuesday Talks, Marlene Orozco

1st Place
Fagbug Flier, James Matzen

1st Place
SRC Brochure, James Matzen

1st Place
Annual Report 2011–12, James Matzen and Steven Wein

California State University, Northridge

President Harrision with Sarina Loeb

Sarina Loeb
As Coordinator of the Pride Center and LGBTQ Initiatives, Loeb was recipient of the university’s first CSUN Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion Award. The award will be presented annually to an employee who exemplifies through leadership and positive interactions with others, a commitment to the spirit of diversity and a profound respect for all people from different backgrounds, life experiences, learning styles, and points of view within the University community.

Matt Eickhoff
Advisor of the Year (CSUN Clubs & Organizations Awards Ceremony)

financial statements

Statement of Financial Position 2014 2013
Current Assets    
Cash and cash equivalents $2,531,909 $7,214,880
Short-term investments $2,119 -
Accounts receivable, net $42,118 $41,755
Prepaid expenses and deposits 54,572 $49,168
Total Current Assets $2,630,718 $7,305,803
Property and equipment    
Equipment and software $1,527,522 $1,698,700
Leasehold improvements $882,393 $1,025,026
Accumulated depreciation ($1,467,415) ($1,555,224)
Construction in progress $28,224 $8,305
Total propery and equipment, net $970,724 $1,176,807
TOTAL ASSETS $3,601,442 $8,482,610
Current liabilities    
Accounts payable $700,908 $538,380
Accrued liabilities $312,427 $282,560
Deferred revenue $250,886 $225,865
Current portion of postretirement benefit payable $7,023 $6,210
Total current liabilities $1,271,244 $1,053,015
Noncurrent liabilities    
Postretirement benefit payable $1,108,768 $981,557
TOTAL LIABILITIES $2,380,012 $2,034,572
NET ASSETS $1,221,430 $6,448,038
Statement of Activities 2014 2013
Student activity fees $10,884,854 $10,540,000
Program income $452,523 $404,505
Rental income $732,474 $665,532
Recreation center income $648,704 $475,534
Commission income $163,795 $150,129
Other income $73,284 $411,835
Total revenue - unrestricted $12,955,634 $12,647,535
Net Assets released from restrictions $105,072 $301,125
Total unrestricted revenue $13,060,706 $12,948,660
Program services $10,647,125 $9,654,950
General and administrative $1,135,494 $1,380,841
Total expenses $11,782,619 $11,035,791
Operating income $1,278,087 $1,912,869
Pension related changes other than net periodic pension costs ($9,020) ($92,749)
Interest income $4,325 $584
Transfer to the University for construction projects ($6,500,000) -
Net nonoperating (expense) revenue ($6,504,695) ($92,165)
(Decrease) increase in unrestricted net assets ($5,226,608) $1,820,704
Grant revenue $105,072 $113,423
Net assets released from restrictions ($105,072) ($301,125)
(Decrease) increase in restricted net assets - ($187,702)
CHANGE IN NET ASSETS ($5,226,608) $1,633,002
NET ASSETS AT BEGINNING OF YEAR $6,448,038 $4,815,036
NET ASSETS AT END OF YEAR $1,221,430 $6,448,038