20-year-old Argenis Rodriguez is a student at San Joaquin Delta College.
“I feel it would be a great opportunity for young students here," Rodriguez said.
The broadcasting-film major is excited at the prospect of a public university coming to Stockton.
“People leave Stockton because we don’t have a lot of opportunity here. But if we were to bring one here, I would feel like Stockton would have a bigger rep," Rodriguez said.
Bigger reputation, bigger opportunities.
According to the University of the Pacific’s Business and Policy Research Center, the economic benefits for having a CSU in Stockton are staggering. Close to 4,300 jobs could be created adding up to as much as $773 million of total economic impact associated with construction.
According to the study, it's the largest metro area in California and second largest in the U.S. without a university. It's nearly three times farther from a CSU or UC than any other of California’s large cities, and San Joaquin County’s population is among the fastest growing in the state.
“This is going to be a many year campaign," Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs said.
The mayor sees it as a game changer, attracting new businesses to the city.
“You always need qualified people with the skills to do the job. Whether it’s a four-year degree or two-year degree. So having a public institution here will serve as a pipeline for those businesses that are here and also the businesses that don’t exist," Tubbs said.
Stockton Assemblymember Susan Talamantes Eggman says it just makes sense to have a public university in the city.
"When we look at the amount of concentration of public universities, perhaps in the Bay Area or Los Angeles or San Diego, and to see the dearth of it in Northern California, an especially when you hit that Central Valley, there's just not good equity there," Talamantes Eggman said.
Still, it may be years before you may see students walking on a public university in Stockton. As always, it comes down to money and politics.
Argenis Rodriguez sees it as something positive all the way around.
"People will come from other places in California just to come here," Rodriguez said.