The Newsroom

3 12 2010

Want to learn more about the Mustang Daily? Check out this video to hear from some of the faces in the Newsroom about their experiences!

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Words of wisdom from a senior…

13 11 2010

Take a look at what soon-to-be Cal Poly alumna Sara Adams has to say about how getting involved outside the classroom enhanced her college experience…

Check out these links to learn more about the activities Adams got involved in…
Week of Welcome
Club Field Hockey
Greek Life
Intramural Sports
AIESEC
Study Abroad





Get to know Cal Poly’s LGBT community at the Pride Center

9 11 2010
  • Cal Poly’s Pride Center offers students a variety of free resources and programs.
  • Students can volunteer at the Pride Center or apply for paid positions.
  • The Pride Center is not limited to LGBT students — straight allies are welcome and encouraged to attend events.

Did you know that one in 10 people identifies as gay, lesbian or bisexual?

According to About.com: Gay Life, approximately 8.8 million Americans are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (or LGBT as it is most commonly referred to today). This means that on a campus of over 19,000 students, almost 2,000 of the faces at Cal Poly classify themselves as LGBT.

Cal Poly Pride Center

The Pride Center is located on the second floor of the University Union and is always open during the hours of the UU. All students are welcome and encouraged to stop by.

Although our country is making strides toward social acceptance of the gay community, it is not unknown that homosexuality is a controversial issue. So how is Cal Poly helping to promote acceptance of the LGBT community? The answer to this question can be found on the second floor of the University Union — at the Pride Center.

A part of Cal Poly Student Life and Leadership, the Pride Center’s mission statement — which can be found on its website — reveals that the entity is dedicated to “the promotion, education, and celebration of the LGBT, queer, questioning and ally communities,” and offers a variety of resources, programs and services to students, LGBT and straight allies alike.

To put the technical terms aside, Cal Poly alumna and Interim Pride Center Coordinator Jessica Cresci explained that the Pride Center is a casual environment that welcomes all students.

“It’s a physical space for students to hang out,” Cresci said. “It’s an organization that promotes education, equality, acceptance, and tolerance on campus.”

Civil engineering sophomore Pat Link said the Pride Center is a great way for LGBT students at Cal Poly to meet and build a support system of peers.

“It’s awesome that we actually do have a hangout spot on campus,” Link said. “It brings us together, and it’s especially great to have if you’re struggling — it’s nice to know other students who have been through the same issues.”

Approximately 30 students make up the paid staff that operates the Pride Center. Students who are involved in the Pride Center work approximately one to two hours per week — which they are choose themselves based on their class and study schedule — and fall into a variety of roles:

  1. Peer Counseling Program. Known as PRISM, the Pride Center provides counseling for students by students. The service is a web-based program, where students are provided with a list and description of peer counselors, and can contact them via email. Students choose how the counseling sessions are conducted, whether it be in person, through email or instant messaging, or by phone. This gives students the opportunity of keeping their identity anonymous if they wish to do so. Peer counseling is completely confidential, unless students reveal that they intend to cause harm to themselves or others.
  2. Speakers Bureau. Encompassing the majority of students who work with the Pride Center, the Speakers Bureau is responsible for speaking out to students through visiting classrooms and ally training. Ally training consists of workshops in which all students are welcome to attend and learn about the LGBT community and ask any questions they may have.
  3. Office Workers. The students who are classified as office workers are responsible for putting on the events that the Pride Center hosts throughout the year. A calendar of these events can be found on the Pride Center’s website. Offices workers are also in charge of staffing the Pride Center from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays, to serve as resources to students.

The Pride Center extends far beyond the group of students who fill up the seats in its office. Student volunteers and straight allies make up the community-like support system that the Pride Center works to build amongst students.

So who can become a part of the Pride Center? Anyone and everyone, Cresci said.

“While the majority of students that are more involved do identify as LGBT, straight allies are very important to us,” she said. “The biggest thing that students can do is come to our events.”

Most of the events that the Pride Center hosts have to do with well-known gay days. According to Cresci, all of the events that the Pride Center provides are a mix of education and fun, and are free to students and community members. The most recent event hosted by the Pride Center was National Coming Out Day, on Oct. 11, which consisted of a resource fair in UU Plaza where other gay organizations on campus and in the community came to contribute, as well as guest speakers.

This month, Nov. 16 through 18 will be dedicated to Transgender Days of Awareness, which will consist of various workshops and movie nights to teach students about what it means to identify as transgender. In her own words, Cresci explained that the sex people who identify as transgender are born with does not match the gender that they express themselves as and live their lives as.

“It’s one of the highest groups that have hate crimes committed against them,” Cresci said. “People lost their lives because of who they are.”

Cal Poly Pride Center

The Pride Center offers a physical space for students to hang out and do homework in between classes. The "comfy couches" are a favorite among staff members.

The Pride Center also hosts Same Gender Handholding Day each year in February, which consists of a march throughout campus for gay rights.

“We walk around all over campus holding hands with someone of the same gender to tell people it’s OK for two guys to hold hands, it doesn’t mean they’re gay,” Cresci said.

The Pride Center also participates in Day of Silence — a day predominately celebrated in high schools across the country — in which participants do not speak for an entire day in support of gay rights. The silence echoes the silence that people feel the need to keep about their sexual orientation, Cresci said.

The largest event hosted by the Pride Center each year is Pride Week, which takes place during May. The week is filled with a variety of events each day in celebration of the LGBT community, and ends with a prom that is open to anyone 18 and older.

The activities put on by the Pride Center are funded by the state of California through a Student Life and Leadership budget. The Pride Center also receives a series of Instructionally Relative Activity (IRA) grants that go toward promoting learning outside the classroom, because the Pride Center ensures that all events will have some education aspect.

Although the Pride Center’s events are all free to students, Cresci said that not all students know that they are welcome at the events.

“A lot of people think that you have to be gay to join,” she said. “But a lot of the students that hang out in our office and come to our events are straight. The Pride Center is a safe place for gay students to go, but straight students are just as welcome.”

Biological sciences sophomore Keanna Hill said she wished students understood that the Pride Center is for everyone — not just LGBT students.

“It’s a safe space on campus for anyone to come hang out between classes,” Hill said. “It’s for LGBT people and allies too. It’s not just a gay place.”

Cresci said she thinks most students fear being identified as gay if they associate themselves with the Pride Center.

“People’s biggest fear is that if they go to (the Pride Center’s) events that people will think they’re gay,” she said.

Anthropology freshman John McClain said he wanted students to think of the Pride Center as a place to hang out, rather than some kind of gay club.

“The couches are really comfortable,” McClain said.

In addition to the Pride Center’s comfy couches, the office offers a variety of resources to students — all of which are free. These include a lending library of books and DVDs, computers equipped with Internet, a television and DVD player, and a refrigerator.

Students who are interesting in testing out the comfy couches at the Pride Center — or learning how to become involved — can stop by the office, which is open during the same hours as the UU. A calendar of events is located on the Pride Center’s website — all students, LGBT and allies alike, are encouraged to attend.





Celebrate diversity with the MultiCultural Center

7 11 2010
  • Cal Poly’s MultiCultural Center (MCC) serves students as a resource to learn about and celebrate diversity.
  • All events put on by MCC are free to students and the community.
  • Students who want to learn more about MCC can stop by the office, located on the second floor of the University Union.

I remember when I first visited Cal Poly during my junior year of high school. By the end of my campus tour, I realized could sum up the student body with one word: white.

CultureFest

MCC's CultureFest is an annual event open to students and the community which features performances from a variety of cultures across the globe. Courtesy Photo.

According to the California State University website, CSUMentor, roughly two-thirds of Cal Poly students are non-Hispanic whites. And although the university makes efforts to advocate and embrace diversity, there is not much diversity to be seen around campus.

So where do the fractions of minority students turn to celebrate their diversity and meet others at Cal Poly with similar cultural backgrounds? The MultiCultural Center (MCC).

According to Cal Poly alumnus and MCC Assistant Coordinator James Rymel, MCC is a part of Cal Poly Student Life and Leadership, which was created 30 years ago to provide multicultural programs and resources to students at the university.
Rymel said MCC puts on at least one event each week, all of which are completely free to students as well as community members.

The programs put on by MCC are the same each year, and can be categorized into three types:

  1. CultureFest. The largest event put on by MCC, CultureFest is hosted at Mitchell Park in October and is a festival that celebrates diversity across the globe.
  2. Another Type of Groove. This is a spoken word forum that is held the first Wednesday of every month in Chumash Auditorium. The event features a different guest poet each month, and is open to anyone who wishes to participate.
  3. Heritage Programs. Held year-round, each month has its own heritage program that corresponds to a different ethnic group (November is Native American heritage month). Throughout the month, students work to coordinate events for the corresponding heritage group.
Cal Poly MultiCultural Center

The MultiCultural Center is located on the second floor of the University Union. Members encourage all students to stop by and take advantage of the free resources that they offer.

Students are hired to coordinate events for each of these programs. Student coordinators are paid staff of the MCC, and are required to work in the office a minimum of eight hours each week. Rymel explained that MCC tries to put on events each week rather than every once in a while because while they do want to raise diversity awareness, they really want to work at bringing students together.

“Our real goal is to celebrate and advocate diversity to students and to connect students and community members,” Rymel said.

In addition to running programs promoting diversity, the MCC office —located on the second floor of the University Union — serves as a multipurpose room where various ethnic organizations on campus to host meetings in.

MCC also offers a variety of volunteer opportunities for students interested getting involved. Civil engineering junior Marielle Cuison said she urges students to check out the opportunities and resources MCC has to offer.

“It’s a great opportunity to work with different people,” Cuison said. “I love being able to discuss things outside of what you learn in the classroom. Culture is so involved in everything we do — it’s good to be aware of what makes us who we are.”

“Students connected with the MultiCultural Center are passionate about what we offer,” Rymel added. “It’s a good way to open students’ minds and make students aware of what other cultures have gone through.”

Although the students who are involved with MCC speak very highly of the organization, not all Cal Poly students know the organization exists.

“I think (the MultiCultural Center) has something to do with the Pride Center,” guessed kinesiology sophomore Ian Gerber.

“We find that most students don’t even know we exist,” Rymel said. “And not many people know that everything we do is completely free to them because we’re part of student life and leadership.”

Rymel encourages students who are interested in becoming involved in MCC to stop by the office with any questions they may have.

“Anyone who’s interested can walk in and take advantage of the volunteer opportunities and resources we have here,” he said. “And everything we do is completely free to students.”

Students who are interested in applying for staff coordinator positions can contact MCC Coordinator Renoda Campbell to find out how to apply.





Get physical — SLO style

4 11 2010

I started this blog to help students find ways to get involved at Cal Poly. However, my main goal was really just to encourage students to remove their noses from their books for a few hours and get a chance to enjoy college while it lasts.
A great way to do this is with a little “me time.” And why not kill two birds with one stone and fight the freshman fifteen while you’re at it?
You guessed it — exercise.
Exercising is a great way to clear your mind — and not to mention stay in shape for beach season, which is practically year-round in sunny San Luis Obispo.
So where can you go to squeeze in a little fitness each day? The possibilities are endless — but maybe not so convenient.
Below is a map with some locations on and near campus where students can learn a little about both indoor and outdoor locations for exercise.
And if you really can’t pull yourself away from those textbooks, bring them with you to the gym (I never step on the treadmill without one) — just make sure you make some time for exercise every week to keep your jeans feeling loose!





‘SHIFT’ into motion with Orchesis

2 11 2010

 

Do you like to boogie, get funky, or shake your booty?

If you answered yes to any of the above, you might want to check out Cal Poly’s dance company, Orchesis.

To learn a little about Orchesis, tune in to this interview with student choreographer Danielle Dahlerbruch and find out what it’s all about!





Make headlines with the Mustang Daily

25 10 2010
  • Cal Poly’s newspaper, the Mustang Daily, is completely student-run.
  • The Mustang Daily makes its profits through advertisements sold by students.
  • Staff for the Mustang Daily is not limited to journalism students — all majors are welcome.

Before there were blogs, there were newspapers. In the heart of the digital age, it’s hard to believe that we once had to leave the comfort of our homes and venture all the way out to the driveway to pick up a newspaper and read about the happenings in the world.

But newspapers aren’t extinct yet. And if you’re a Cal Poly student, chances are you’ve picked up a Mustang Daily — Cal Poly’s newspaper — in between classes.

The Mustang Daily has been around for 95 years now, informing students of what goes on at Cal Poly, and delivering both local and international news.

The Mustang Daily prints four days a week, and is entirely student-run. The paper prints Monday through Thursday, and students produce each issue the night before it prints, meaning the newsroom is in use Sunday through Wednesday.

There are five sections to the newspaper:

  1. News. This section breaks news of events both on-campus and local, as well as briefs of international news.
  2. Arts and Entertainment. Local restaurant reviews, concerts, art shows, and the like are covered in this section.
  3. Opinion/Editorial. This section features articles expressing writers’ opinions about various ongoing issues. It also displays letters to the editor.
  4. Classifieds. This section is characterized by the “fun stuff” — crossword puzzles, Sudoku puzzles, and comic strips.
  5. Sports. The headlines in this section pertain to Cal Poly’s sports, as well as the progress of professional teams across the nation.
News Editor Kaytlyn Leslie works on her pages.

News Editor Kaytlyn Leslie works on the front pages of the newspaper the night before they are published.

Articles printed in the paper along with additional articles can be found on the Mustang Daily’s website.

Each day, the Mustang Daily page count is either 12 or 16. The number of pages depends on the number of advertisements sold for that day — it’s simple: more ads, more pages.

Because the number of pages is a mystery until 5 p.m. each night when the staff arrives to the newsroom, it is not uncommon for the staff to discover that it hasn’t gathered enough content to fill all of the space on the pages. This is where the international news comes in.

The Mustang Daily is subscribed to a wire service called McClatchy Tribune Information Services, where they can pull stories for each section about what’s going on in the country.

The students who produce the Mustang Daily can be broken up into two groups: advertising staff and editorial staff.

The editorial staff consists of the students who put together the editorial content of the paper. Paid staff includes an Editor in Chief, Managing Editor, News Editor, Assistant News Editor, Arts Editor, Sports Editor, Copy Editors, staff writers, design editors and photographers. Paid staff works from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday.

English sophomore and Mustang Daily Copy Editor Cate Harkins explained that the time commitment is worth it.

“It encourages my time-management skills in a high-stress situation,” Harkins said.

Journalism senior and Mustang Daily Managing Editor Patrick Leiva agrees.

“It’s really good experience for future jobs, and you get to experience working with different people,” he said.

But the editorial staff can’t gather all the content for the Mustang Daily alone — there is also a collection of columnists and freelance writers who help fill the pages each day. Additionally, journalism students concentrating in print journalism are required to take a class called Journalism 352, in which they are required to write articles for the Mustang Daily each week.

Mustang Daily Head Design Editor Christian Millan pours himself some tea.

Mustang Daily staff members — such as Design Editor Christian Millan — often eat dinner in the newsroom because of their late work hours.

The advertising staff is also made up entirely of students, and is responsible for selling advertisements to local businesses, which is how the paper gains all of its profits, as it is free for students to pick up.

Students on the advertising staff deserve to be proud of their hard work — last year the staff earned the titles of College Newspaper of the Year, Best Media Kit/Rate Card and Best Group Promotion for Pub and Grub.

So who can become a part of the Mustang Daily staff? Anyone. The positions aren’t limited to journalism majors. The staff consists of a variety of majors ranging from kinesiology to graphic communications. Even last year’s Editor in Chief, Cal Poly graduate Emily Egger, wasn’t a journalism student.

Journalism senior and Mustang Daily Editor in Chief Leticia Rodriguez said she looks for a diversity of majors in the staff.

“We especially want people to come out with different majors,” she said. “We want to get more students involved.”

Students interested in joining the Mustang Daily staff can visit the newspaper’s website for details on how to apply, or come into the newsroom — located in Graphic Arts, building 26 — to talk to the staff and ask any questions they may have in person.

Rodriguez encourages interested students to stop by the newsroom and talk to her in person.

“We’re always looking for letters to the editor and opinion pieces,” Rodriguez said. “Or if people have ideas, we’re always willing to hear them.”