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February 1, 2005 > CSU Board Votes Unanimously To Change School Name To CSU East Bay

CSU Board Votes Unanimously To Change School Name To CSU East Bay

by Ceri Hitchcock-Hodgson

In a landslide vote on the evening of Jan. 26, the California State University Board of Trustees voted 15-0 to change the name of California State University Hayward to California State University East Bay. Within hours of the board's decision, those logging on to the school's website discovered the new home page of CSU, East Bay.

A majority of students, and a significant amount of staff and faculty, felt the name change to be unnecessary. The city of Hayward disliked the idea and had gone so far as to stage a march in December of last year opposing the switch.

The proposal to "update" the name of the school came as a surprise to a number of people at the school and in the community. Only a few months ago, the idea was introduced by university president Norma Rees and was immediately taken under serious consideration. Rees stated that the decision to change the school name stemmed from the fact that Cal State Hayward "fails to communicate [the] primary service area of the school."

CSU East Bay enrolls 14,000 students and serves a two-county region of nearly 2.5 million people. The university has three different locations in the Bay Area: the main campus in Hayward, an extension in Concord, and a center in Oakland. A number of students take courses at both the Hayward and Concord branches. The name CSU Hayward, proponents had claimed, limited the university to one specific city.

The day prior to the State University Board's vote, the trustees' Committee on Institutional Advancement voted 4-1 to endorse the name change. The decision to change the name was reached after an hour of presentations by proponents and opponents of the proposal. Those speaking in opposition included the school's Associated Students Chair D. McKinney, who said more student input should have been sought. Hayward mayor Roberta Cooper, a vocal opponent to the name change, stated more research was necessary.

Those speaking on behalf of the name change included students Krista Kohlberg and Masaho Ninoimiya, Professor Julia Norton, university associate vice president James Kelly, and Oakland City Councilman Dick Spees.

This is not the first time the campus has changed its name. The original name was The State College for Alameda County (informally referred to as "Alameda State College"). In 1960, its name was formally changed to Alameda County State College and, in 1963 the name was again changed to California State College at Hayward. In 1972, the school was christened California State University, Hayward.

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