The Irish word ghob translates as beak or mouth. If gobsmacked, I’ve been hit in the mouth. In everyday terms, I’m rendered speechless. I was gobsmacked when I first heard of the university’s near tripling of parking fees for OLLI members. From your feedback, I know that many of you reacted the same way. Among the impacts, the fee increase has disrupted our familiar patterns, leading to modifications of class schedules, searches for other transportation, reductions in class enrollment, and the loss of some members.
It has also motivated us to be more vocal about OLLI’s contributions to the University and its mission of inclusive excellence. Here’s just a sample: upgrades to our surroundings with new lobby furniture and the outdoor patio for the benefit of the campus community, annual financial support to the LifeFit Center, an award to support student research in the field of aging, sharing our main classroom with the School of Social Work and improving the A/V technology in room 119, sponsoring the annual Brault Successful Aging Lecture for the entire CSULB community, volunteering as subjects for student and faculty research projects. Individually, more than 750 OLLI members donate to support the university.
We also benefit from our partnership with the university. The College of Health and Human Services hosts OLLI as a center. The Department of Design shares space with OLLI for the Saturday watercolor workshop and the annual art show. The LifeFit Center houses OLLI activity classes and offers discounted fees to our members. Our latest campus collaboration is OLLI Backs the Beach. The women’s basketball program is offering our members complimentary admission in an OLLI-reserved section for the Saturday, January 14th game at the Walter Pyramid. More details about the event will be forthcoming. I hope
we turn out in numbers to back the Beach and watch them gobsmack Cal Poly.