CCR hate speech in Discord chatroom

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CCR hate speech in Discord chatroom


The link to the community Discord could be found on the masthead Above are a few chats that were sent to The Poly Post.

By GEORGIA VALDES AND KRISTY RAMIREZ Managing Editor and Social Media Editor Screenshots from a Discord server attributed to a statewide California College Republicans (CCR) chat exposed misogynistic, racist, antisemitic comments and threats of violence from various CCR

members, including members from Cal Poly Pomona’s chapter. A fall out between California’s collegiate Republican Party due to differing opinions caused CCR chapters to de-charter and form a new organization in 2019, the California Federation of College Republicans (CFCR). The split came after CCR published a 10-page platform that attacked university funding of birth

control and abortion, the legitimizing of transgender people, and institutional support of Mexican and Muslim student organizations. The extremist platform claimed that members of the LGBT+ community were “murderous and degenerate.” This bled into CPP’s own College Republicans and in Spring 2020, Aaron Santana Ruiz, president of CPP’s College

Republicans switched the campus’ charter from the CFCR to CCR. Instagram user, “abusiveccr,” who wished to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation, reached out to The Poly Post on Feb. 4 with screenshots of alleged messages between two accounts alleged to belong to Santana-Ruiz and fourth-year chemical engineering student,

Baron Boghosian. Many of user Boghosian’s posts include selfies of Baron Boghosian. The same account, under a revised name “Gorilla”, also posted a video with the accompanying comment, “watch this you Jews” to the Discord server. The video shows Baron Boghosian and others driving around an empty campus during See SPEECH/ Page 4

COVID-19 relief funds reach CPP community


Anti-Asian attacks rise in Disunited States of America By JUAN GODINEZ Staff Writer

Hate crimes against Asian Americans, on the rise during the pandemic, have been a national issue affecting our country and California. On March 16, tragedy struck in Georgia when eight people were shot, including six Asian women; the perpetrator, a white 21-year-old male, told authorities he viewed the massage parlors where the shootings took place as “a temptation that he


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Pop-up course explores ‘fake news’

wanted to eliminate.” In Los Angeles there have been many high profile cases recently, such as the elementary school teacher’s aide, Matthew Leung, who lost the tip of his finger after being beaten with his own cane at a bus stop and Shelly Shen who’s neighbors watched as their dog attacked her in West Covina. These attacks have been happening in waves. The impact of these events have been felt at Cal Poly Pomona, a


university where around 21% of students are Asian. Olivia Lee, a first-year kinesiology student, worries about the safety of her older relatives, a fear she never thought she’d be subjected to. “I’m more concerned about something happening to my grandmother than myself,” said Lee. “I don’t want to turn on the news some day and see her picture.” Discrimination against Asian Americans in the United States has a long

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DRC offers virtual support


history dating back to the 19th century when there were laws banning Asian immigration and during World War II when Japanese Americans were put in concentration camps. A virtually unknown incident in southern California was the burning down and destruction of Santa Ana’s Chinatown in 1906 after health officials declared the neighborhood a public hazard because a man named Wong Woh Ye contracted leprosy.

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Condemning anti-Asian American hate crimes

“When bad things happen, many people feel the need to find someone to blame,” said Alex Madva, an associate professor of philosophy and ethnic politics researcher. “This impulse reflects fear and closed-mindedness.” Former President Donald Trump promoted anti-Asian sentiments over social media which spread like wildfire. The week after Trump tweeted about “the Chinese virus,” the number of See DISUNITED / Page 3


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NCAA defends trans athletes

By ISABELLA CANO Staff Writer Cal Poly Pomona is one of the last California State University campuses to announce its student distribution model for the federal coronavirus relief aid passed last December. On March 25, the university administration informed the student body via email of its distribution plan for $15.5 million from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund II that would take effect in early April. Jessica Wagoner, senior associate vice president of Enrollment Management & Services, highlighted notable differences between the policies of the HEERF I and HEERF II. “The grants this time are higher than they were with the first CARES Act, so with this round of stimulus we were able to award a little more to help students in need but the difference with this one is that the legislation specifically states that we have to give priority to those students with exceptional need and that’s usually defined as Pell eligible,” said See FUNDS / Page 2 WWW.THEPOLYPOST.COM @THEPOLYPOST



Diploma break-down: graduates’ thoughts on drive-thru cermony

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

CPP considers COVID-19 testing options ahead of fall



Communication student


Marketing student

“I think Pomona is doing their best under the current circumstances. However, I don’t think many people will attend. Some people may have moved out of state and would likely be unwilling to come back to attend a drive-thru ceremony. I personally prefer the virtual ceremony because I can stay home and celebrate with my family.” “I think the drive through graduation is better than having a fully virtual one. However, I think being stuck in your car for 90 minutes doesn’t sound as great. I know the circumstances limit us to this, but I was hoping we will be able to walk at least. Since that is something I have been looking forward to ever since I started school.”

“A drive through graduation would sound interesting and definitely something I would be down for. Being able to go back to and visit the campus one more time would be nice. As well as possibly seeing my friends one more time before we graduate.” COURTESY OF AHIEZER LOPEZ

Electrical engineering student


Psychology student

“Since I am the first person in my family to graduate from college, getting any type of graduation would have meant a lot to me and to my family... I’m not exactly sure how the drive through graduation is going to work, how long it’s going to take and how tired and bored we will probably be throughout it.”

“I hoped that quarantine would have ended by the time of my graduation. I would have loved to have a normal graduation ceremony. However, I know the times are still tough. So as long as it’s not a Zoom graduation, a drive through graduation will be enough.” COURTESY OF JOE SI

Computer engineering student

Find Gustavo Castillo on Twitter @guscpp


CPP’s campus remains restricted through Spring semester.

By DIANA VASQUEZ Staff Writer Cal Poly Pomona President Soraya Coley joined ASI President Lucy Yu on March 25 for an online Q&A event, Lucy for Lattes, addressing topics of commencement, the upcoming fall 2021 and the Duo app. The last 30 minutes of the event was curated to answer anonymous questions from students; the members of the Feminist Fight Club also used this forum to reach Coley and Yu. “One of my favorite things this event brings is students and administration together,” said Yu. “I think that so many people usually see her and I in such a formal setting when we’re giving speeches, or when something’s going on. I think that what this event brings to the campus community is leadership in a casual setting.” Lucy for Lattes initiated the conversation about the upcoming following the 2021 commencement that will be held in a drive-thru format at the Fairplex in Pomona in May. Coley explained that the event will be separated by college spanning four days. The invitation was also extended to the graduating class of 2020. Coley reinterred the importance of a center staging area and confirmed that walking is still pending approval from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

“You got to have a center ramp because we’ve got to have the focus on each student so that their family and their mama’s can see their babies coming down that ramp and experience all the pride that comes with it,” said Coley. “That’s what we put forward to the LA County Public Health and now we are expecting their guidelines.” An anonymous attendee asked about the opening of facilities like the library and BRIC. Yu confirmed that for the opening of the BRIC, they are awaiting to hear back from the LA health department. The return to in-person classes will prioritize labs, internships, activities and courses that use equipment. As of now only 750 sections will have an in-person component and courses that are over 30 people will remain online. “I know that things are swirling around and you’d like to have one thing that’s predictable, but for a little while longer, we’re going to have to be open to just shifting as we need to be,” said Coley. “We issued schedules and they’re going to be notes associated with classes. Students need to stay connected with us all through the summer because we’re going to need to be messaging them as things unfold.” When revealing how a hybrid course will be designed on campus, talks of sanitation within campus, temperature monitors and the classroom spacing are being planned.

“When the vaccination was approved, the FDA approved it as an emergency use authorization and so by doing that it meant we could not require the vaccination,” said Coley. “If we’re not being able to require the vaccination, and still this is unfolding every day, we will need to do testing, so were going to need to test to make sure that people who are congregating don’t have the initial presentation of symptoms.” According to Coley, the campus has been in touch with UCLA’s testing center to consider the frequency, manner and how to obtain the results. Coley said the priority is the health and safety of the campus community. She added that with so much to be implemented for the return of students, there will also be more career options for students on campus. “One of our major initiatives is called The Future of Work in Human and Civic Engagement and so what we’ve learned is that we have an opportunity to really rethink our work study program,” said Coley. Yu addressed student concerns over the implementation of the Duo app. Coley agreed that there is a certain annoyance when it comes to logging in, but that these efforts were to protect the identity insurance of students and staff. According to Coley, Cal State Northridge, Cal State San Marcos and UC

San Francisco had to pay millions of dollars on a cyberattack. According to Los Angeles Daily News, a hacker was able to obtain customer data from Cal State Northridge in May 2020, as Blackbaud, a third-party company tried to stop the attack. When the floor opened for students to ask questions, the Feminist Fight Club requested to meet with Coley and Yu to take initiative on the passed by ASI in support of reproductive and Trans inclusive healthcare. Blanca Martinez, a thirdyear anthropology student, said this was the perfect opportunity to have their presence seen as a club and mention its justice campaign that focuses on reproductive justice and respecting student autonomy to further discuss implementations and development from the resolution. Yu and Coley said they were more than willing to meet with the club. “For any student clubs, or student organizations that are trying to bring change to campus these are important meetings to attend,” said Martinez. “It’s hard to get our presence seen and known during the pandemic, I would definitely encourage others to use this platform so that administration and ASI can see that even though we’re not on campus, we’re still putting in the work trying to create change.” Find Diana Vasquez on Twitter @dsvasquezz

CPP “Science on Tap” presents “vaccines: friends or foes?” By MARIA FLORES Staff Writer As more vaccinations continue to be distributed out of Cal Poly Pomona, Jill Adler-Moore, a vaccinologist and professor emeritus in the Biological Science Department, hosted a virtual meeting “Science on Tap,” to discuss whether vaccines are “friends or foe” on March 22. Previously “Science on Tap,” an informative discussion with CPP professors, was held at Innovation Brew Works. Due to the pandemic, it switched to an online platform, allowing more doctors and experts from different parts of the United States to participate. In its latest installment, over 120 participants gathered to learn the purpose, types, and development of COVID-19 vaccines. Adler-Moore addressed the side effects that some

who have been vaccinated reported including muscle pain, headaches, tiredness and fever. “Most vaccines stimulate the adaptive immune response, but they also stimulate the innate immunity. They protect us from disease and produce memory T and B cells,” said AdlerMoore. “If you have other diseases such as the plaque or typhoid, you’re going to die if you don’t get vaccinated. Same goes for COVID-19. Do I want to be uncomfortable for two to three days with a sore arm or slight fever? Or do I want to die?” As of March 24, 15.53 million vaccines have been administered in the United States, with 3.78 million in Los Angeles County. Frances K. Mercer, immunologist and assistant professor in the Biological Science Department, identified the two vaccine types


approved by the United States: mRNA-based vaccines include PfizerBioNTech and Moderna and the viral vector vaccine provided by Johnson and Johnson. According to Mercer, those who receive the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, which only requires one shot, do not report strong side effects. For the mRNA vaccine, which requires two shots, more people report “being really tired and having a fever and thats kind of new for vaccines,” said Mercer. “You can really see how powerful those vaccines

are. It’s actually a good thing,” said Mercer. “We want an immune response that is even more powerful than the immune response we launch against a natural infection. We want really high levels of antibodies that will shut out the virus.” According to the Department of Health and Human Services, over $19.1 billion were allocated vaccinations, including $577,834,765 dedicated toward LA County. With the support of the government, research labs and health facilities were able to

speed the development of COVID-19 vaccines. H o w e v e r, Mercer referred to the unattainable triangle: “You can either have good, fast or cheap (vaccines), but you can never get all three.” As the vaccines produce strong antibodies to fight against infections, the question of how long an individual is immune to COVID-19 remains unanswered. Odalis Reyes, a third-year business administration student, follows safety COVID-19 guidelines such as social distancing, wearing a mask and washing her hands for 20 or more seconds. Despite increasing availability, she does not foresee receiving the vaccine. “I’m not planning to take it anytime soon because of all these responses from different people like ‘I’m having headaches, I’m sore,’

said Reyes. “All these symptoms should have happened before. If you haven’t had any illness or haven’t felt bad, it means something: you are taking care of yourself.” C u r r e n t l y, the United States has no exact statistic of the asymptomatic population, however it is important to note not everyone shows COVID-19 symptoms. Therefore, it is possible to spread the virus to another. If interested to learn more about the virus, students can listen to science podcast “This Week in Virology (TWiV),” where medical doctors analyze C OV I D - 1 9 research. For further information about the COVID-19 vaccines, students can visit w w coronavirus/2019-ncov/ v a c c i n e s / d i f f e r e n tvaccines.html Find Maria Flores on Twitter @MariaFl17978104

Tuesday, April 6, 2021



Soon Chung Park Hyun Jung Grant RACHEL LY | THE POLY POST

Suncha Kim Yong Yue Delaina Ashley Yaun Paul Andre Michels Xiaojie Tan Daoyou Feng


Student-ran virtual club, 626 Speak Out, organized a candlelit vigil in early March in solidarity with the Atlanta shooting victums.

ATTACKS: CPP condemns racism targeting Asian community Continued from Page 1

coronavirus-related tweets with antiAsian hashtags rose according to a new study from UC San Francisco. While hate crimes in America decreased overall, a study based on police department statistics across major U.S. cities found a 150% surge in anti-Asian hate crimes in 2020. The report, released by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino, found the first spikes rose alongside COVID-19 cases. “Evidence for hate crimes against Asian Americans continued through the early parts of the 21st century, although there is reason to think that these incidents were often under-reported,” said Madva. “One reason these incidents have been under-reported is social pressure on Asian Americans to act like the ‘Model Minority,’ which means social expectations to not ‘complain’ against mistreatment and instead to just ‘put their heads down’ and work.” On March 11, President Joe Biden delivered a national address to condemn the violence Asian Americans have experienced throughout the pandemic. Biden called it “Un-American” and demanded a stop. On the day of the president’s address, lawmakers announced the introduction of the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act to boost support for law enforcement agencies to deal with pandemic-related hate crimes. Sociology Professor Jack Fong, is critical of the media favoring the sensationalism of the violence rather than portraying positive movements like the group, “Asians With Attitude.” The group’s goal is to unite the Asian community and allies to stand up and fight back against racism and hate crimes by organizing marches and rallies throughout the country to promote social justice. Since fall 2020, Asians With Attitude have patrolled the streets of Chinatowns across America, keeping the community safe as well as the

stores of local owners. This month it was reported that the Oakland community have organized street sweeps of their own, aided by police, armed guards and local volunteers. “These are good citizens, these are your neighbors,” said Fong. “A lot of Asian American retailers are feeling a lot safer because AWA folks are out there.” Kayla Kosaki, the coordinator of the Asian & Pacific Islander Student Center, believes the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes is due to an unresolved history of racism repeating itself within the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. “In order to stop these attacks, we must educate ourselves and others, build communities of solidarity, advocate for change and work together to end all forms of violence against our communities,” said Kosaki. CPP has several resources available for anyone in need of a place to talk and to be heard. These campus resources include: CPP Listens, the Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance and Broncos Care for Broncos. The latter of which, provides a space where students can report bias incidents, discrimination and wellbeing concerns. On March 17, President Coley issued a statement that the CPP community condemns the violence and bigotry targeting Asians. “We must seek hope in the face of tragedy by continuing to comfort, respect and uplift one another,” said Coley. Although Fong is hopeful for tensions to dissipate, he doesn’t want to sugarcoat the realities of the American experience. “I think right now, all Asian Americans and Americans in general, need to really ask ourselves if this segregation that we’re experiencing informally is actually a sign that we cannot unite as a people,” said Fong. “If that is the case, it would break my heart.” Find Juan Godinez on Twitter @juan_god99



Tuesday, April 6, 2021

FUNDS: University distributes $15.5M in student aid Continued from Page 1

Wagoner. Following the federal guidelines of prioritizing students with “exceptional need”, the university’s eligibility model utilizes Estimated Family Contribution, a figure provided by filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, to categorize students into five separate groups. Part-time and fulltime students were grouped from lowest to highest Estimated Family Contribution, signifying most to least financial need: Group one has an EFC of $0 and is considered Pell eligible. Full-time students will receive $1,200 and part-time will receive $800. Group two has an EFC range of $1-$5,711 and is considered Pell eligible. Full-time students will receive $1,000 and parttime students will receive $650. Group three has an EFC range of $5,712-$12,744. Full-time students will receive $750 and part time


students will receive $400. Group four has an EFC above $12,744. Full-time students will receive $500 while part-time will receive $300. NOTE: While groups one through three are set to automatically receive their aid, group four must submit an application on an upcoming CPP webpage in order to claim their funds. Group five does not have an EFC due to not filing the FAFSA. These students must file the FAFSA in order to determine their EFC and be placed in another group. Because the HEERF II is a federal emergency relief

fund, it is not available to undocumented or international students. Selene Santana, a fourth year plant science student and DACA recipient, recounted the bittersweet experience she underwent when opening the distribution email from the Office of Student Affairs. “When I first read it, I was really glad that some of my friends I see struggling a lot during this time will get some much needed help from the school,” said Santana. “I just wish I was one of them.” As of now, there is

not an official federal relief plan for these students, though there is one “in the works” for undocumented students using institutional and state funding, according to Wagoner. “We are planning the exact same thing as last time with the CARES. We just need time to get the institutional money in place and I’m hoping by early April we will be able to communicate it to our undocumented students,” said Wagoner. “With international students it’s a little trickier...It’s much more of a challenge and I can’t put a timeline on

that right now.” While some students are relieved to receive extra assistance from the university at all, Favian Rodriguez, a third-year biochemistry student, believes the delay in aid dispersal failed many struggling students, especially those experiencing food and housing insecurity due to the pandemic. “If you dig through Reddit, you will find there are posts of students who are on the verge of becoming homeless and some that have actually become homeless at this time. If they had access

to these funds sooner it could have given them some sort of security while they figure out how to deal with their situation,” said Rodriguez. “It even compromises their academic performance; they might have failed their whole semester because of it. That’s tragic.” In order to distribute the funds efficiently, targeted emails containing detailed instructions for acquiring the aid will be sent out to students based on their respective groups within the coming week, according to Enrollment Management & Services. Given the recency of the allocation announcement, CPP will continue to award aid to students via direct deposit or mailed check throughout the month of April. More information regarding CPP’s distribution of both Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds can be found on the Safer Return website. Find Isabella Cano on Twitter @ikcano

SPEECH: Discord server harbors threats of violence Continued from Page 1

Halloween 2020, shouting statements supportive of former President Donald Trump and ending with the group eating pizza. On Nov. 6, 2020, the same account, posted numerous comments inciting violence. According to the CPP Republicans code of conduct, “Grounds for removal and/or suspension of an organization member(s) are appropriate if and only if student behavior is not consistent with the California Polytechnic University of Pomona student conduct and discipline code.” When asked why more reports had not been made, user “disenchantedccrmember” said, “I don’t think anything through CCR would happen just because most of these guys are in their minds, at least, all on the same side. They all share similar beliefs. They don’t like Jews. They don’t like people of color. They think women need to just be at home in the kitchen, so I think if any sort of action was to come, it would come through the schools. Probably through a mission of conduct at the very least…People who have brought up concerns have either been kicked out or they’re blacklisted, and they basically cannot climb up the ladders.” User “abusiveccr” responded similarly. “I do want to have a career in politics, and they wouldn’t like this … a lot of the people have connections with all the offices so that could spread.” According to “abusiveccr”, on Nov. 10, the user Boghosian was removed from the server after disrespectful comments toward Arielle Spotswood, a student at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and current co-chair of CCR. Spotswood did not respond to The Poly Post request for comment. When asked for comment, Boghosian said he has “no connection with CCR at all,” and claimed to vote for the Democratic Party. He added that he never had a Discord account and the profile depicting his name, along with the chats, are “completely false and fraudulent.” Additionally, sources say the account named “Chancellor Santana”, allegedly that of Santana Ruiz, frequently posted in Discord endorsing Nick Fuentes, a 22-year-old far-right podcaster known for pushing white nationalist and anti-Semitic views onto younger listeners. Followers


of Fuentes and Patrick Casey, the leader of the United States neo-Nazi group American Identity Movement, are called “Groypers.” In January 2019, Fuentes compared the Holocaust to a “cookie baking operation.” According to Instagram user “disenchantedccrmember”, the icon next to Santana’s name is in reference to these statements. When reprimanded for the action, Santana Ruiz changed the image to a pizza. User “disenchatedccrmember” added that they felt the need to create the whistleblower account to shed light onto the controversy. “We’ve reported them to even their advisor. We’ve reported to Michael Donahue … who is their advisor at Cal Poly Pomona and he said nothing, he’s done nothing,” said “disenchantedccrmember.” Initially, Michael Donahue agreed to meet with The Poly Post, but on Feb. 10 rescinded the interview in an emailed statement. “Due to your inquiry, I have investigated this matter with the concerned Cal Poly students and state organization. I have spoken with the Cal Poly Pomona College Republicans President, Aaron, and Baron, (who is in my senior design class at Cal Poly). As it stands, both Baron and Aaron have categorically denied these allegations. Furthermore, Baron is not a member of CPP College Republicans, nor is he a member of CCR,” Donahue stated, “I have found no evidence to support the claims that you have purported. As you know, anyone can change

their name and picture on Discord. Anyone can create a new account or server with any name associated to it. Due to this design, as I understand it, there is no way to determine the identity of the person(s) who authored these posts.” In a Feb. 8 emailed statement to the Poly Post, Santana Ruiz wrote, “While I do have an Instagram, I do not have a Discord. When I looked into these supposed chats that were ‘leaked’ it appears that they come from some social media application called Discord. I have never used Discord and the account is obviously fraudulent. The images registered to the account are not me and it’s frustrating that someone would use my name and an image of a cookie to slander me. (I’m not sure if that’s an attack on me for being mixed race).” According to Kyle Shulz, former president of CPP Republicans, during the end of his term and under the administration of Santana Ruiz, a mass email subject, “College Republicans at Cal Poly Pomona: Hangout Meeting (Fri. 1/29/21 @ 6-9PM)” was sent to all members with links to both a private CPP Republicans Discord as well as the CCR Discord. The CPP Republican Bylaws’ article H states that the president, “Shall be the official representative of this organization at all club involved events and activities.” The bylaws have since been removed from CPP Republican’s MyBar. The server violates Discord community guidelines. The comments may also violate the student code of conduct policy

at CPP under item 7, “Conduct that threatens or endangers the health or safety of any person within or related to the University community, including physical abuse, threats, intimidation, harassment, or sexual misconduct.” In an emailed statement to The Poly Post on Feb. 9, CCR’s communication team wrote, “On behalf of the organization and alleged affected members, we can unequivocally say that these alleged Discord leaks are either doctored, edited, or manipulated. No records of these conversations or members exist, and there is no evidence they belong to CCR or any chapter. The alleged names/nicknames are not even in our Discord, and there is no evidence they ever existed. This is simply the nature of Discord.” Before Feb. 9, the Discord’s link could be found publicly in the CCR web page masthead and included the lobby of members added to the server. CCR pulled the link off its website on Feb. 8 for a short period of time, and then again permanently by the morning of Feb. 9. Beginning as early as Feb. 5, the Discord server was purged of chats by moderators, until on Feb. 7 when the server was completely wiped clean. Members within the server were not informed and questioned the removed messages and chatrooms. Both William Donahue, Loyola CCR president and CCR state chair, and Dylan Martin, communications director, responded to their complaints. The CCR Discord server

contained student members from universities across all of California and there is no record of action to regulate, prevent or discipline comments that could escalate to threats of violence like user Boghosian’s had. Shortly after Santana Ruiz’s email to The Poly Post, the account “Chancellor Santana” changed its name to “Mad World Mad World” and left the CCR Discord server and used the same meme that the account claimed to use when its chapter departed from the CFCR charter. This is not the first time CPP Republicans have been accused of hate speech and discrimination. In fall 2020, popular Instagram account CPP Confessions, an account where the CPP community can anonymously submit community news, reposted several controversial CPP Republican posts for its followers to see. “This chat is an echo chamber for these people to have these vile, sick beliefs and they hype each other up,” “disenchantedccrmember” added. “One of my biggest concerns is that if they hype each other up enough that they will actually go out and commit acts of violence.” As of this report, both “disenchatedccrmember” and “abusedccr” accounts have been terminated. “I plan to continue until the end of the Unity election,” disenchatedccrmember said. This unity election between CCR and CFCR was dated for Feb. 20, but the results have not been announced nor any news on the election been disclosed. More can be found at William Donahue is running for chairman. User “abusedccr” cited that they would continue the account “as long as it takes... for all of this to hopefully end soon.” To see the story with more of the screenshots submitted to The Poly Post, visit thepolypost. com. If students are facing harassment, they can reach out to the Office of Equity and Compliance. For reports on threats of violence contact the University Police Department. If students need to report a breach of student conduct, the Office of Student Conduct and Integrity can be found at studentconduct/staff.shtml. Find Georgia Valdes on Twitter @ValdesGeorgia Find Kristy Ramirez on Twitter @kristyrramirez

Tuesday, April 6, 2021



Fall 2021 pop-up course explores ‘fake news’ and media By JOSE HERRERA Staff Writer

Cal Poly Pomona’s Office of Academic Innovation is introducing its third pop-up course for the upcoming fall semester. CPU 1540, Lies, Damned Lies and Politics, will revolve around understanding media bias, why people believe misinformation or conspiracies and the division politics and technology has created within society. The course, available to all majors and without prerequisites, will be taught by three experts: Shonn Haren, coordinator of instruction at the University Library, Assistant Professor of Marketing Randy Stein and Associate Professor of Political Science Neil Chaturvedi. In an age of social media and a rapid spread

of misinformation, Stein believes it is important for students to be educated and consume news responsibly. “We’re in a time where we are surrounded by misinformation as bias. If I were to look up the ‘COVID-19 Relief Bill’ right now on a search engine, I’d get a variety of different answers depending on what site I visit,” Stein said. “The goal is to teach students how to be a consumer of news but navigate it intelligently.” A 2020 study published by the Gallup and Knight Foundation, it was revealed that nearly three in four Americans (74%) say news outlets they don’t trust are trying to persuade the public instead of reporting fairly or accurately. In addition to public distrust, the study also found that at least 46% of Americans see believe


there is political bias in news coverage. Not only will the course offer preparation for insightful conversations

to have at the dinner table but recently appointed Associate Vice President for Academic Innovation Olukemi Sawyerr

also sees the course as a rare opportunity for professors from different departments to collaborate. “Most of the problems of the world today require multiple disciplines,” Sawyerr said. “The three faculty members teaching the course designed the course from scratch. You could imagine how powerful the class is going to be, to be in a class learning and engaging in conversation with these three experts.” Olukemi explained that the goal of these pop-up courses are to educate students on topics that are relevant in today’s world, such as COVID-19, news and artificial intelligence. Olukemi even mentioned the possibility of implementing a pop-up course based on cryptocurrency. The unique experience enables students to get

involved and become proactive in timely issues. Megan Willison, a third-year psychology major, is considering signing up for the course and advising her friends to take it. “There is so much misinformation out there, people will see something on the internet and believe it, instead of actually reading into it,” Willison said. “This course is good for the school and it’s always good to get educated on these topics.” The pop-up course will be available when fall registration opens on April 5 and count toward the GE area E requirement. For more information, students can visit CPP’s pop-up course webpage. Find Jose Herrera on Twitter @josehndrxx_

Academic Senate establishes ethnic studies implementation committee By JASMINE SMITH Staff Writer

In response to last year’s adoption of an ethnic studies general education requirement, Cal Poly Pomona’s Academic Senate has established a new committee called the Ethnic Studies Faculty Implementation Committee to decide which classes meet the ethnic studies requirements. The implementation committee will act as a gatekeeper for determining which faculty can teach an ethnic studies course, ensuring that the faculty chosen possesses the knowledge

and expertise necessary to educate students through a multidisciplinary lens. “We have amazing lecturers who also teach in our department, but we will also need more lecturers or part-time faculty,” said Sandy Dixon, chair of the Department of Ethnic & Women’s Studies and the Ethnic Studies Faculty Implementation Committee. Dixon said that the faculty and the committee are working together to implement strong ethnic studies courses for CPP students. As of Mar. 30 the 14 courses submitted from Don. B Huntley College of Agriculture,

College of Education & Intergrative Studies, College of Environmental Design, and College of Letters, Arts, & Social Sciences for area F have been approved for fall 2021. Each department will determine if they want to offer an ethnic studies course via cross listing, where a single course is offered for registration under two or more departments. In most cases, the course is identical for everyone participating. They then must make a referral and request to the committee. While it is the department’s decision, the department chair will facilitate who is qualified

to teach an ethnic studies course and then nominate the faculty to the EWS chair. Despite this success in diversifying learning at CPP, according to Alvaro Huerta, an assistant professor for the Urban & Regional Planning Department, it came at a cost. Area D3 in the GE requirements was removed and replaced with Area F, resulting in job loss for some partfaculty members. Huerta said that he disagrees with how the implementation process was handled and that advocates for ethnic studies wanted ethnic studies to be a

requirement but not at the cost of other jobs. “By bittersweet it’s like you’re happy, but you can’t celebrate at the same time too much because you see department chairs that you know who will have to tell people that they can’t teach a class anymore,” said Huerta. The implementation committee may sound unfamiliar to many students and clubs; however, that doesn’t decrease the excitement that some have for what the future holds for the committee, according to Piper Bridgman, a secondyear art history and anthropology student.

Currently, there is no website for the Ethnic Studies Faculty Implementation Committee due to its recent establishment during the winter intersession. Though there is limited information, the graduating class of 20242025 will be required to take an Area F class in order to graduate. “Well, it sounds like the committee will be vital to the implementation process and will make sure it is done properly,” said Bridgman. “I’d love to read more about it.” Find Jasmine Smith on Twitter @Jasmine36618092


Tuesday, April 6, 2021


Disability Resource Center offers virtual support for students on the spectrum By GRACE JOHNSON Staff Writer As spring blossoms and the end of the semester draws nearer, Cal Poly Pomona’s Disability Resource Center launched the Spring Fling event series last month to support and motivate students on the autism spectrum. The center’s most recent event on March 19 allowed students the opportunity to build community in the virtual environment. The center worked in partnership with Christian Abson, an autism specialist and care services coordinator, to launch

the series this semester to help students who identify with autism unite, confide in one another and learn about campus resources. “This event was really to create a sense of belonging for students who identify with Autism Spectrum Disorder,” said DRC Associate Director Ann Loomis. “Autism Spectrum Disorder is a disability that people very commonly consider part of their identity and also really varies in how it presents itself in different people. But for many, it does come with a lot of heightened social anxiety so, in some ways, joining an event online can be less anxiety-inducing and gives for a little

bit more diversity of communication.” According to Loomis and Abson, there are not many places on campus for students who identify with autism to congregate, so this online event series — made especially for them and closed to the press — has extended measures of support that the DRC hopes to continue, especially when the campus reopens. “This was my first event ever doing something that was exclusive to students on the spectrum,” said Abson. “Usually, I’m thinking more on the inclusive side, wanting to impact students who are DRC-related as a whole. But this is my first time being intentional in providing

a space and kind of event where students on the spectrum can come together to socialize and bond.” Abson hosted the first Spring Fling in February and explained that students who attended expressed that they would appreciate another event to reconnect with peers with similar struggles, fears, dreams and aspirations. The event evolved into a safe space for students who identify with autism to no longer feel alone or overlooked amid life’s many obstacles. “My college experience has been difficult,” said first-year computer See DRC / Page 8

CPP student musician strives to Student spread positivity through song proves

education is not agelimiting

By SHEM RIVERA Staff Writer

California reopens amusement parks amid pandemic By JESSICA CUEVAS Staff Writer

After being closed for almost a year, California announced last week its plan to allow amusement parks to reopen amid the ongoing pandemic beginning April 1. The parks hope to offer a fun and safe return for staff and guests through implementations of safety regulations, including social distancing and mask requirements. Cal Poly Pomona students can soon experience the parks again and reignite the excitement of visiting their favorite attractions, dining and shopping at locations like Disneyland, Six Flags, Universal Studios Hollywood and Knott’s Berry Farm. However, Disneyland, Universal Studios, and Knott’s will not be introducing rides See PARKS / Page 7

Through her musical talent, Alyssa Walker, a fourth-year sociology student minoring in music, strives to encourage others to use music as a method to help understand their feelings. Walker aims to share her experiences with anxiety through her music for others to relate to. After struggling with her mental health, Walker turned to music as a way to escape reality. Writing lyrics about her emotions has helped her cope with the challenges. “I want my music to have a positive impact on people,” Walker said. “The first song I ever wrote was called ‘No One.’ It was about my anxiety disorder, how no one can understand me and why I started songwriting in the first place.” One of her favorite compositions is called “Anxiety,” released in 2018. The song personifies anxiety and expresses her feelings in having to face it every day. The song was well-received by her fans with numerous comments showering praise on the high-quality production and the raw emotion she displayed. The track showcased her songwriting ability and was complemented with her comforting vocals. “A lot of people can connect with this song — whether it’s anxiety, another mental illness or if you are just going through a


Alyssa Walker, a fourth-year sociology student minoring in music, hopes to inspire students to overcome mental slumps through music.

rough time in your life,” she said. Walkers’ musical journey began when her grandmother bought her first guitar and taught her how to play when she was 6 years old. Her singing ability was self-taught while growing, but it developed when she joined a choir in high school in San Diego and briefly received lessons after entering college. She began writing music when she was 13 and began performing professionally at 15. She performed her first her first open mic at a restaurant called Company Pub & Kitchen through one of her family friends.

The owner of the restaurant offered Walker her first paid gig there and introduced her to other people to perform in the San Diego Area. One of her favorite places she performed at was at the San Diego Fair. When she first started performing, she was nervous, but the adrenaline gave her a rush like nothing else. “I love performing so much, said Walker. “It allows me to share my music and hopefully influence an audience in a positive way. Nothing is better than having an engaging See MUSIC / Page 8

By JESSICA CUEVAS Staff Writer In the pursuit of education, 72-year-old Cal Poly Pomona student Roy Pippin, a third-year psychology student, is proving that age and background do not matter. Despite his age, he is working toward his bachelor’s degree to graduate next year after spending “all his life doing different things.” With his degree, Pippin strives to counsel children and families after graduating — a familiar territory as he offers counseling services at his church. After serving in the Air Force for 23 years, he managed an air conditioning, plumbing and construction company with his family for 14 years. Now, Pippin works at the Franchise Tax Board while attending CPP. After spending his first two college years at Norco College as a philosophy student, he dedicated time and effort to researching job opportunities with a philosophy degree and felt that it was “really limited,” which led him to pursue psychology. See EDUCATION / Page 7

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

EDUCATION: 72-year-old student tackles university life


A&E 7

CPP-themed Zoom backgrounds ignite Bronco pride in meetings

allows users to display an image or video as their background during a meeting. This brings a unique characteristic to online meetings as it can often set the tone of a conversation. If users choose to take a more conservative approach, they may display something that represents their organization or club. Users wanting a lighthearted approach may opt for a more colorful or fun background. “When people are cut off from their learning environment, it can be hard for them to practice that self-expression that’s so important to them,” said Christian Nunez, a fourth-year plant science student. “A lot of self-expression is done through campus life. Many people are in clubs. They interact with students, and they have all these opportunities to bounce off their own personal passions and life goals.” Although something like Zoom backgrounds may seem small to some, it may benefit others struggling with the monotony of an online learning environment. “If we can be an anchor to the campus for people, we’re all for it,” said Zasadzinski. “You could be 10 minutes away or 10 hours away, if you’re not on campus, then you’re still a whole world away.” Currently, there are 27 CPPthemed Zoom backgrounds available — consisting of 17 photography backgrounds, nine stylized backgrounds and one seasonal background. Zasadzinski and Markarian both plan on releasing additional Zoom backgrounds in the near future.

Continued from Page 6 His interest in pursuing psychology professionally piqued while working as an engineer for 13 years at the California Medical Facility and the California State Prison in Vacaville, California. Pippin often engaged with the inmates — especially with five convicted killers — to learn about them and their behaviors. For eight hours a day, Pippin visited and interacted with them by engaging in conversation and offering advice, hoping to help them become better individuals. Surrounding himself in many different cultures, Pippin dedicated his time to listen and understand the inmates’ backgrounds and perspectives — especially when no one else did. “It was a learning experience for me to see where they came from,” said Pippin. “I saw their lack of ability to interact with other people as a problem to communicate socially.” He also allowed the inmates to work for him to stay out of trouble in the prison with various tasks, including assisting with engineering work and helping with the cleaning process, while showering them with positive reinforcement. Like other Broncos, even though Pippin is not physically on campus due to the pandemic, he sees virtual instruction as a benefit for him, especially when it comes to parking and not having to walk all over campus. Now, as a university student, Pippin advises students to never give up despite the obstacles they encounter. Find Jessica Cuevas on Twitter @jessycbby


Students, faculty and staff are reigniting Bronco pride using stylized, campusthemed Zoom backgrounds in online meetings and classrooms.

By ZACHARY CHEN Staff Writer

As the campus community approaches nearly a full year of virtual instruction, the struggles that student face when expressing themselves continue to be a challenge. Selfexpression can vary for many in a socially distanced world, but the Cal Poly Pomona community is using themed Zoom backgrounds to liven up their online meetings. Last May, University Photographer Tom Zasadzinski and Senior Graphic Artist Ani Markarian released various official Cal Poly Pomona-themed Zoom backgrounds for students, faculty and staff to use. “We want students of CPP to gain a sense of pride and belonging on campus even though they’re attending remotely,” Markarian said. The initial release of the themed backgrounds displayed different locations around campus including the

College of Business Administration building and the University Library. The stylized versions of the themed backgrounds were shortly released after, providing an uplifting alternative for students with a more artistic side. Markarian originally designed her first CPP-themed background for personal use, but when asked by other staff to share it with them, it came as a welcome surprise to her. “When my boss, Amon Rappaport, asked me to share my background with him, I was shocked,” Markarian said. “The background was vibrant and pink, and it was to match my hair at the time. It was really a form of artistic expression for me.” Markarian, who was responsible for designing the stylized versions of the CPP-themed backgrounds, used the landscape photos taken by Zasadzinski and edited them with an artistic approach. Zoom’s virtual background feature

Find Zachary Chen on Twitter @zach_comm

PARKS: Southern California theme parks reopen doors Continued from Page 6

anytime soon but instead will host food festivals. To reattract guests, Disneyland plans to host a food event called “A Touch of Disney” where guests will be invited to experience the magic from March 18 to April 19. The new food festival offers a $25-worth dining card and access to Disney California Adventure for $75. Guests must wear a mask at all times, and Disneyland employees will check temperatures at entrances. In anticipations of reopening plans, students expressed their excitement in revisiting the parks. “I am happy to hear they are opening; it is bound to happen sooner or later,” said fourth-year political science s t u d e n t Christopher Donoyan. “It may not be the same but as long as they play it safe. I enjoy Disney and would love to go.” Disneyland also plans to introduce a new membership program for a limited time to offer a wider range in ticket pricing due to the temporary hold on annual pass sales. CPP’s Bronco Student Center and the Games Room is not selling any tickets at the moment and will be closed until further notice, according to ASI Commercial Service Coordinator Sandra Solano. Along with Disneyland, other parks like Universal Studios Hollywood are planning to manage crowds with limited capacity. Universal Studios Hollywood also introduced an event called “Taste of Universal” that will open March 12 and run through selected weekends from noon to 7 p.m. Through the event, guests can enjoy outdoor dining and experience all kinds of food inspired by their favorite attractions. Guests can also access the CityWalk to dine and shop at no entry cost but when going inside the park, they will be required to purchase their tickets online and wear a mask at all times. Universal plans to follow similar safety regulations as Disneyland for guests

visiting the park, including social distancing, sanitizing, temperature checks and opening at a limited capacity. “Since it is late into the pandemic, vaccines are out and there are testing measures and it would be good for people to get their minds off of everything and make people happy,” said Donoyan. “I am mostly outdoors so I am fine with it being open and it being in a large open space.” Six Flags plans to reopen all rides and restaurants this spring. According to ABC News, Six Flags will reopen with limited guest capacity and sanitation after rides while maintaining social distancing protocols all around the park. While some may be excited to revisit the amusement parks, other s t u d e n t s disagree with the reopening plans. “I don’t think it’s a smart move; it is more of a money move to me,” said fourthyear applied anthropology student Tammy Pham. “ We are still in a pandemic and you don’t have to go. People should put the COURTESY OF AMY HUMPHRIES...... needs of others ahead of themselves.” Pham explained that everyone deserves to have fun, but she feels it would be a lot safer for everyone if amusement parks remain closed. “I would love for amusement parks to open up, but I think it isn’t the time yet,” said third-year early childhood education student Erika Gallardo, expressing similar concerns. At Knott’s Berry Farm, the theme park is looking to hire 1,700 associates for the 2021 season as part of its reopening plans, according to ABC News. Although it has not announced a set date on when the park will reopen with rides, Knotts plans to also host a food festival called “Taste of Boysenberry Festival” from March 5 through May 2. This event will offer more than 65 infused boysenberry dishes as well as drinks for students to enjoy while remaining socially distanced. Knott’s plans to ensure safety by

opening in a limited capacity, creating sanitation stations and requiring health screening before entering. Although California theme parks are granted permission to reopen on April 1, major parks, including Disneyland and Universal, may not

return to full operations until after completing the previously scheduled special events. For updates on discounted park tickets, visit ASI game room’s website. Find Jessica Cuevas on Twitter @jessycbby

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A&E 8

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

DRC: Campus center connects students in virtual gathering Continued from Page 6

when transitioning to the heavy, college-level courses. “Registering with the DRC and getting accommodations has really helped me,” said Markley. “The extra time on tests and being able to record all of my lectures have saved me on numerous occasions.” The Spring Fling event series is curated to provide guidance for students socially and academically. The ultimate goal is to address their struggles and find the most reliable solution, according to Abson. “It was a really fun time,” said Abson. “I was very excited to see that not only did they come to the event seeking that social support, but they were also open to seeing these new relationships continue to develop. Eventually, we will get back to campus and I feel like I could get a lot of students to come together in a physical space to engage and build a greater community of support and genuine friendship.” DRC’s upcoming Spring Fling event is scheduled to be held on April 19 via Zoom.

science student Hope Markley, a participant in the latest virtual event. “It was really great to find other students who share my specific experience with both school and relationships. There are even plans for all of us to meet up over Zoom during spring break.” Throughout the event, Abson was able to connect with each of the 11 students who attended by speaking with them about various topics, including trending issues on Twitter and some of the students’ favorite movies. Abson was also encouraged to discover that the students created a Discord channel to continue communicating after the meeting adjourned. According to Autism Speaks, approximately 50,000 Americans who are on the spectrum enter adulthood each year, but only one-third end up attending college, with rates for finishing coursework being low while dropout rates remain high. Before entering college, Markley explained that school was easier to navigate with lighter coursework. Find Grace Johnson on Twitter However, this became more difficult @gracepolypost

MUSIC: Student musician tackles mental health topics Continued from Page 6

audience and knowing you are helping people have a good time!” Although her main musical style is pop country, Walker does not consider herself to play just one genre since each of her songs has a different taste to it. One of her inspirations is Taylor Swift, and she strives to be like the singer while maintaining her own unique sound. “Taylor Swift is an amazing songwriter,” Walker said. “Growing up, she was someone who I found super relatable because of her song lyrics and how they connected to me. Even now, many of her songs still apply to me as an adult.” Unfortunately, Walker has not performed live for over a year due to the pandemic and deeply misses it. Before the pandemic, she performed at least once a week. While performing, she had to balance other obligations as well. “Doing school and being part of sorority was something I had to manage,” Walker said. “With gigging, it was not too bad since it was only a few hours a week and it was basically my job, but I loved doing it. Being able to get paid to do something that I enjoyed made it easier.” With the decrease in gigs, she is experiencing a creative slump because she has not been able to perform or write much within the


past year. Nonetheless, Walker shared how she overcame these moments before by listening to other artists’ music or messing around with her guitar until something sparks her. Despite her slump, she is working on releasing a new song by summer. Although she has been working on the new production for nearly a year, the release was delayed until the pandemic settled down. After graduating in spring, Walker hopes to continue working toward her music career. “Hopefully, I can start writing songs again and post more musical content after I graduate,” Walker said. “I want to continue to create music that inspires others and has a positive impact on them.” To stream for free or to stay updated with Walkers’ music, visit her Spotify and Instagram @ alyssawalkermusic, or visit her website for more information. Reach Shem Rivera at


CPP alumnus mixes it up in bar and restaurant industry By ALLEN VALDEZ Staff Writer

Poly, but it’s not driven toward alcohol or managing alcohol and bar management,” Barriga said. “I honestly think that we lack in our industry so much with people who understand functionality and cost analysis.” After the year-long closure of bars, Barriga explained that the majority of the challenges in the field are COVID-related with businesses unable to afford the staff, leading to employees not returning to work. “Our industry has completely changed forever,” Barriga said. “I don’t think we even understand extensively how much it has changed, and I don’t think we’ll know for the next couple of years.” According to Barriga, another concern within the industry is that establishments are being required to offer food when reopening, resulting in them operating without sufficient knowledge of proper food safety protocols. In the upcoming months, he predicts that many restaurants may have issues with foodborne illnesses because of this. Looking ahead, Barriga hopes to play a part and help set the new standard for the post-pandemic world of dining and drinking experiences in bars and restaurants. “We’re at the pinnacle of rewriting what it means to go and have a drink, have food and what we have to do to do it,” Barriga said. “That goes for anyone involved in a restaurant to opening a restaurant, being a bartender, cocktail waitress, server and host.” Barriga advises students aspiring to be work in the bar business industry to be outgoing and bold, crucial characteristics when working in the field. “This industry is not for the thinskinned and weak-hearted. It takes a lot of grit but there is a lot of money to be made,” Barriga said. “People will eat and drink for the rest of their lives but right now, more than ever, is the most important opportunity for people to get involved because we are about to rewrite the food culture.”

Cal Poly Pomona alumnus Pedro Barriga (‘06, international business and marketing) is a local bar manager at O’Donovan’s and mixologist at multiple bars featured in various publications, including Angeleno Magazine, for his cocktail crafting expertise. Unlike many of his competitors in the bar and restaurant management industry, Barriga, a Huntington Beach native, broke into the scene in an unconventional way about a decade ago. “I had a very career-driven job as soon as I got out of school and I was working for a pharmaceutical company,” Barriga recalled. “I just wasn’t happy doing it, so that’s why I went back to the bar business. I pretty much created my job, and I’ve been doing that for the last 10 years.” While studying at CPP, Barriga built his experience as a bartender through a part-time job at The District in Fullerton. The social aspect, like engaging with customers, is one of the main charms that led him back to the field. Now, Barriga enjoys a multitude of successes, from bartending to curating cocktails for various restaurants. “Since I’ve left the other industry, I’ve, in some way, shape or form, touched 174 different bars now — whether it was consulting, writing a menu, retraining staff, bringing in booze, formulating costs or getting certain analysis done,” Barriga said. As a former CPP track and field athlete, Barriga credited being in a competitive team environment as one of the many attributes that helped him thrive and move forward with his career in the niche industry. With a minor in sociology, he also acknowledged that developing a strong foundation in public speaking comes as an advantage. Barriga hopes that there will be more opportunities for people to be educated when it comes to running bars or restaurants. “We have a hospitality option at Cal Find Allen Valdez on Twitter @AllenJV1099

Student entrepreneurs promote secondhand fashion


By AMANDA COSCARELLI Staff Writer As online shopping booms during the pandemic, Cal Poly Pomona students are taking part in the secondhand fashion vogue to promote recycling unwanted clothing through thrifting. This trend, which gained speed in the past year, has become part of a larger agenda to combat fast fashion. Theresa Akubuilo, a second-year early childhood studies student, sells thrifted women’s apparel — from strappy tanks to patterned pants — on her Instagram and Depop accounts. She explained that fast fashion styles are usually based on designer pieces and are inexpensive and easy to produce.

Workers are typically underpaid in the factories that these items come out of, and the items are unsustainable, Akubuilo added. Akubuilo believes her business is essential in the fight against major retailers. “I think my business has helped combat fast fashion by selling items that are preloved. I think of it kind of like recycling,” Akubuilo said. Akubuilo started her business last summer as a way to earn extra income. She shortly realized that there was a growing market for thrifted and secondhand clothing, noting that purchases on resale sites such as Depop have grown “exponentially.” Although Akubuilo started her business

by selling her clothes, she expanded to offering her favorite thrift finds when she saw a push for secondhand items, which she attributes to the growing interest in social media. Especially among young adults, Akubuilo explained that fast fashion, which she describes as “mass-produced replicated fashion show and runway styles,” are more frowned upon. “Usually, you see these types of styles in Forever 21 or H&M or even Zara,” Akubuilo said. “It’s bad for the environment because so much material and resources go into clothing production. And also, people are criminally underpaid and overworked in sweatshops to produce this clothing.” She explained that when consumers purchase items from fast fashion companies, they are more likely to go through clothing and continue buying new items because trends quickly come and go. During the pandemic, with more people at home, online consumerism has increased among college students. According to Forbes, a Bazaarvoice statistic found that 62% of U.S. shoppers said they shop online more than they did before the pandemic. “(Fast fashion) items are oftentimes not built to last,” Akubuilo added. “When you shop secondhand, like with my or any other secondhand business, you’re getting an item that is more likely to stay in your closet longer and also help the environment and save resources.” Like Akubuilo, third-year apparel merchandising and management student, Stephania Flores, manages Bad Lil Hyna,

an apparel business on Instagram, where she sells various items including party dresses and bra tops that she designs and creates herself. She started her business after interning for Guess, where she learned a lot about the harms of fast fashion. She explained that while buying from big-name brands is “inevitable,” supporting small businesses is important. With a small budget, like many other small businesses, Flores depends on word of mouth and loyal customers to keep her business running. Along with sellers, the secondhand fashion trend is popular among consumers as well. Elisabeth Echevarria, a third-year geology student, found themself shopping more than usual during the pandemic since they had “nothing better to do” at home. Echevarria explained that while it is more difficult to support local and small sellers during the pandemic, Depop and online thrift stores make it possible to stay away from major retailers. While fast fashion is difficult to avoid, there are numerous ways to get involved with sustainability on campus. For tips on promoting an eco-friendly lifestyle, students can visit CPP’s Office of Sustainability. Find Amanda Coscarelli on Twitter @uhhhmandaaa

OPINION SPORTS SPORTS 10 6, 2021 Tuesday, 10 April


Not a model minority, china doll, nor punching bag By AMBER LI Staff Writer Every single day I’m terrified. I’m terrified for my family, for my friends and their families, for myself. I’m terrified of strangers on the street, of racist slurs and ignorance on social media, of police who justify and humanize hate crimes against people who look just like me. With the exuberant 150% increase in Anti-Asian hate crimes in the United States this past year, I’m terrified, and above all, I’m furious. I’m furious at how American society will never allow Asian Americans to simply be Americans. How we will always be “othered” by the media and by this society that loves to oppress people of color. I’m so tired of drowning in my family’s grief around the dinner table each night when we discuss the disgusting hate crimes against our grandparents, our parents and our siblings. I’m exhausted from being on high alert walking in public, terrified to trust that a stranger would just walk by peacefully. Justifying the murder of six Asian women and the brutal attacks of Asian elderly in broad daylight is undoubtedly racist and ignorant. Justifying and asking questions like: “But where are you really from?” and “Do you really eat dogs?” is unquestionably racist. “You’re in America, speak English.” For a country that has no official language, its citizens sure love to share how

obtuse they are if they hear me, my family, or my friends speak in our native Cantonese. I can’t even speak my mother tongue fluently, and yet just knowing it is enough of an offense to convince them that I am not fully American. I do not have to prove my citizenship to anyone. I should not have to defend my culture. I’m infuriated at how society constantly appropriates my culture and degrades, fetishizes and exoticizes my people. America loves Asian culture, clothes, cuisine, but it sure as hell does not love Asian people. In recent times, ignorance has been weaponized and intertwined with hate. From “Wow, your English is very good,” to, “Go back to China and take your Kung Flu back with you.” From offensive words to senseless violence. Asian Americans are forced into the “model minority” stereotype, being depicted as quiet, obedient, hardworking, high-achieving and well-educated. Like many stereotypes, these forced traits are extremely dangerous and ignorant, homogenizing all Asian Americans into one perfectly oppressed group. God forbid we start to protest and act against our stereotype otherwise we’ll be treated worse than other people of color are. The “model minority” suggests that we should be happy with our oppression, because, hey, at least we aren’t being treated with the outright and blatant institutional racism that Black Americans are


being treated with, right? By pitting Asian Americans against Black Americans, our country is exacerbating racist stereotypes and enforcing AntiBlack hate, exploiting one group of minorities to dehumanize and antagonize the other. But what can I expect from a country that has been doing this to people of color and my family for generations. From the Chinese Exclusion Act, to Japanese internment camps, to U.S. occupation in the Philippines and Cambodia. Invading our countries, killing us and raping our cultures and people while simultaneously barring us from American society and treating us as less than. It doesn’t matter that Asia is the largest continent with 48 distinct and unique countries, because in America, you won’t matter unless you’re white. I’m frustrated that the government in these past four years has done nothing but inflame this bigotry to turn bitter and physical. I’m frustrated that

our Congress and justice system would rather offer condolences than actually take proactive measures to prevent hate crimes and systemic injustices against minorities. If the American government won’t take action against these hate crimes, I sure as hell will. We should not have to endure racism in any form, whether that be violence, vandalism, ignorance, punchlines, or silence. I have no tolerance for racism, no matter what it looks like. People don’t get to decide whether their own actions and behaviors are racist. Those around them do. I will educate myself and others on how to hold racists accountable for their bigotry and ignorance. What will you do? Here are some resources to help take action against Anti-Asian violence: https:// anti-asianviolenceresources. Find Amber Li on Twitter

By COCO CHICA Staff Writer You get in your car and turn on the stereo. Suddenly, “Gasolina” by Daddy Yankee starts playing. You don’t know what the words mean or what they’re saying, but you’re moved by the melody and beat that carry the song. You now have an interest for something new, unknown and filled with a culture breaking boundaries in the music industry. Before blowing up globally, it was uncommon to see any of my friends or anyone who did not speak Spanish or belong to the Hispanic community listen to a song of this genre on their own, let alone show any interest to something they didn’t understand. As more Spanish-language artists top the charts and are featured in today’s popular media and society through billboards, nightclubs and the radio, their music started grabbing the attention of those unfamiliar with it. Reggaeton has managed to appeal to much of the young American population as it shares many stylistic elements with American pop music: auto tune, rapping and similar beats. Today, we see big artists like J Balvin, Bad Bunny, Maluma and more winning awards, topping charts, collaborating with American artists, selling out shows, and influencing the fashion industry. Although the language and culture are unknown to a large majority of listeners, people around

the globe are dancing and moving to the diverse rhythm and upbeat sounds provided by these Spanish artists. Surrounding this new and popular genre across the world, it’s important to know its origins and what makes it, according to Billboard, today’s third most listened genre in the world — surpassing industry giants such as country and EDM. Perhaps it’s the growing immigrant population or because of its semblance to American pop music, but this genre is here to stay. Originating in Latin America, reggaeton is a crucial form of expression for the Latin culture’s identity and pride. Its extensive audiences in its own continent, the Caribbean, and the United States’ predominantly Hispanic states have helped the genre grow exponentially. Starting by making a name for themselves in their respective country, the recognition and buzz Spanish artists have created has given them a solid fan base to push boundaries past their continent and make their sound heard across the world. It’s almost impossible to have a conversation in today’s age of music without mentioning the popularity of this genre across the United States. Everywhere you go, the sound of today’s biggest names can be heard collaborating with a Spanish artist. Many seek to expand their fanbase by doing so and show try new out of their comfort zone.

Some even speak a new tongue when collaborating with international artists of this genre. Puerto Rican superstar, Bad Bunny, was able to convince acclaimed hip-hop artist Drake to sing in another language for their 2018 release “MIA.“ The song saw Drake take on the challenge of performing this hit in Spanish, a language previously unheard in his discography. The featured collaboration earned worldwide attention placing the song in the Top 100 Billboard for 28 weeks straight amongst other hits such as “I Like It” and “Despacito“. You can’t help but sing these songs in your head as you read those names. The rapid success in collaborations between cross-genre artists is now more common than ever. The Weeknd’s hit “Blinding Lights” racked up a total of 1.6 billion streams in 2020, making it one of the most streamed songs of the past year. Spanish artist Rosalia quickly jumped on the remix, bringing her voice to push the boundaries to Latin cultures of the already established hit and expanded the streamed numbers by almost half. J Balvin’s “Mi Gente” took the world by storm when it was released in 2017. The song earned enormous streaming numbers and views on YouTube sitting at 2.8 billion views today. The hit grasped the attention of the queen of pop herself, Beyonce, who jumped on the remix bringing in a new set of fans to the genre. With a growing Hispanic population in the country, these artists are bound to become integral parts of the American music scene. The genre’s audience continues to stretch with its powerful sound that is capturing the attention of music fans everywhere — a genre that can be heard everywhere and anywhere and its takeover across the globe has only just begun. FInd Coco Chica on Twitter @cocogonzx

By JASMINE SMITH Staff Writer Growing up, when I would look in the mirror, I didn’t like what I saw. Staring back at me was a young, insecure girl who hated her curves, her nose and even her skin. Flash forward over a decade, and the features that I wished I could change are now a trend. My problem with this is that the same society that made me feel ugly for my features now praises women who alter themselves to have them. I’m not against people enhancing themselves; however, when it gets to the point where your extreme tan causes you to blackfish, we have a problem. Blackfishing is when a person no longer resembles their natural appearance and can be mistaken as Black, like Rachel Dolezal. I understand people want to look healthy and have a glow, but I find it ironic that being dark only seems acceptable if you’re not a person of color. Trolls will say it’s the same as Black women straightening their hair and wearing weaves, but it’s not. Black women for centuries have had their looks ridiculed by a Eurocentric society that wanted them to feel bad about who they are — nitpicking every characteristic from their hair to their ‘immoral’ curvaceous body. A body

See BLACKFISH / Page 10


Spanish language music pushes boundaries for a global takeover


My body is not for your blackfish



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Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Political correctness is pure flimflam, I do not like it Sam I am! By CADEN MERRILL Staff Writer Being the Gen-Zer that I am, it should come as no surprise that I surf the Internet (yes, I still find that phrase relevant) multiple times daily. Not to stream movies and TV, but I also do it to obtain information, to see what issues are on everyone’s minds and to see what is happening in the world. As expected, much of the news that I see is not news that I would consider “good,” but overall, it rarely infuriates me. I could let it get to me, but I choose not to not dampen my inner optimist. Once in a blue moon however, I see a news headline that boils my blood, and that blue moon was fully in sight a few days ago when I saw that Dr. Seuss was a trending Google search. I clicked it, and sure enough, I saw that cancel culture had struck once again, now claiming Dr. Seuss’ books to be racist, politically incorrect publications decimating children’s innocence with copious illustrations besotted with racial stereotypes and offensive depictions of certain demographics. After I read several articles concerning the controversy, all from different news outlets and biases, I reflected on why I had read Dr. Seuss religiously as a kid. Was it because I found his degrading caricatures funny? Was it because I sympathized with his supposedly racist undertones in his books? Of course not. Just like any other ordinary kid, I immersed

myself in his books solely because of his beautiful and colorful illustrations and his insightful and dare I say it, life-changing messages. “Green Eggs and Ham” taught me that it is good to try new things, even if they may seem strange or scary; “Horton Hears a Who” taught me that a person is a person, no matter how small, and that everybody deserves to have their voice heard; “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” taught me that Christmas cannot be found on a price tag; “The Lorax” taught me that protecting and preserving the planet is vital to humanity’s survival; and finally, “The Cat in the Hat” taught me that embracing my silly and spontaneous side is one of the best things I can do for myself. As a kid, I had better things to do regarding Dr. Seuss than researching his imperfections (newsflash - everybody has those). I relished his imaginative environments and characters and his nonsensical rhymes. When I had inevitably outgrown my Dr. Seuss books, I boxed them up and stored them in my attic. I was not going to surrender them to my family’s next yard sale or to my local Goodwill. Instead, I was going to save them for when I would read bedtime stories to my children, showcasing them to the wondrous world and ideas of arguably the greatest children’s author of all time. Sadly, the recent backlash toward Dr. Seuss’ books is yet another example of how political correctness is gradually shrouding so many artistic


works that contain significant merit. Considered to be one of the greatest films ever made, “Gone with the Wind,” an epic Civil War period piece about coping with change, is being shunned into oblivion because of its glorification of slavery instead of being celebrated for its uplifting story of a young woman conquering adversity. Mark Twain’s “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” declared by many literary scholars to be the Great American Novel, is frequently banned from schools because of its usage of the n-word instead of being widely read and revered as a moving tale of compassion and individualism. All human beings are flawed, therefore everything produced by human beings are flawed, bearing both negative and positive attributes. By prioritizing the negative over the positive, people will never be introduced to thought-provoking and insightful ideas; instead, they will only be shown ideas that adhere to

right, and it is something that Americans should never take for granted. Political correctness is a hotly contested issue that has both benefits and detriments. It can prevent hurtful and derogatory ideas from reaching people, but it can also prevent beneficial messages and I’d argue teachable moments from reaching people. If there is not enough political correctness, those hurtful and derogatory ideas could influence too many people to act immorally, but if there is too much of it, artists and entertainers would be unable to fully express themselves, being forced to shy away from subjects that need to be discussed but would be considered “too triggering.” A balance must be met and maintained, and should that balance sway toward one direction, it will soon lean into an extreme, and when something goes to extremes, you get extreme consequences. On the surface, Dr. Seuss may have written simple children’s books, but dig deeper and there is a myriad of messages in his works that guide people on how to live a good life, second only to the Bible. To make a long story short, overlook the bad things about Dr. Seuss and appreciate the good things. Read and retain every valuable thing, because, as he once said, “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you will go.”

what is generally accepted to be “right,” which in turn diminishes the First Amendment’s potency. While I do understand why people may want offensive content to be banned, it is important to note when that content was published and to consider the cultural norms and common depictions of certain peoples at the time. The moral and logical alternative to just erasing material deemed politically incorrect would be to show it to current generations as sort of an artifact in a museum to teach them to discern between right and wrong. To repeat Winston Churchill’s wise words, “Those who fail to learn from history are condemned to repeat it.” The First Amendment guarantees freedom of speech, which entails speech that everybody may not always agree with. While America is not a utopia, it is one of the few countries in the world to have FInd Caden Merrill on Twitter the gift of having this utopian @CadenMerrill

Blackfish: My body is not a trend for people to try on as they please Continued from Page 9

that thousands of women pay to mimic because having a butt and curves is the trend. What baffles me is that there is a part of our society that believes that using a person of colors’ features and making them popular is okay and has no repercussions. I say this because so many Black women and other women of color have tried to change themselves to fit a mold that was made to ostracize them, only for the trend to change again. Now their beauty is welcomed; however, they’re not praised but the individuals who replicate them are. The beauty standard game can mess

you up, and it’s hard to pull yourself out of the hole especially when everywhere you look there’s another beautiful face. Celebrities pave the wave for what is popular and it’s hard not to want to join the bandwagon because we all want to be one of the cool ones. I can speak from experience because I have a specific memory from elementary school that stuck with me forever. A group of children played a story game, and one boy looked at me and said that I was a slave because I was Black. I didn’t know what to feel because up until that moment, the color of my skin and what it represented never crossed my mind.

Years later, when I see people who want my melanin but not what comes with it, I get upset. For so long, I have felt like I was not worthy of compliments unless I morphed myself into what society deemed acceptable. From straightening my hair to losing weight, I tried to obtain a standard that’s been against me from the start. Black women and Black beauty have always been put down by society as a form of control so that we don’t grow too confident in ourselves. When we are confident, we’re called promiscuous, easy, or intimidating. There seems to be no winning for Black women

unless we dim our light so that others can shine. It might seem petty on the outside looking in, but I am tired of Black women being looked down on for their appearance when so many women want what we have. I love that Black women are now getting the praise they deserve, but people need to remember that glowing melanin, full beautiful lips, and curvy bodies are not a trend. My body is not a trend for people to try on as they please then toss away. My body, like all women’s bodies, is precious and deserving of love, not judgement. FInd Jasmine Smith on Twitter @Jazziecake77

SPORTS SPORTS SPORTS 10 6, 2021 Tuesday, 10 April


State bills may threaten NCAA guidelines for transgender student-athletes By JACKSON PHAM Staff Writer With Republican-controlled state legislatures introducing more antitransgender bills regarding student-athletes in the last months, it raises questions on how institutions – including those within the California State University system – are upholding inclusivity while complying to NCAA guidelines on transgender student-athletes. CPP competes at the NCAA Division II level and participates in the CCAA conference, offering 10 competitive sports teams. In an emailed statement to The Poly Post, Brian Swanson, director of Intercollegiate Athletics, said the CPP Athletics Department follows guidelines from the NCAA and the CSU system regarding transgender student-athletes. Swanson was unable to schedule an interview with The Post prior to deadline, but Swanson noted that CPP policy regarding transgender student-athletes is currently

being reviewed. “Since we are not competing, we will be working with a few different areas of campus for this review and I would expect this to take most of the semester or longer,” Swanson stated. “We need a full vetting of our policy.” NCAA policy recommendations on transgender student-athletes, first adopted in 2011, states that any advantages “arguably” a transgender woman may have due to testosterone levels compared to cisgender women would “dissipate” after a full year of undergoing estrogen or testosterone-suppression therapy. According to the policy, a transgender woman student-athlete who is taking testosterone-suppressants for “gender identity disorder or gender dysphoria and/

or transsexualism” may compete in the women’s team after one year of treatment. A transgender man student-athlete, who has been diagnosed with “gender identity disorder or gender dysphoria and/or transsexualism” and has received testosterone treatment may participate in a men’s team, but will no longer qualify for a women’s team, according to the policy. However, diverging from NCAA guidelines, lawmakers in Montana passed House Bill 112 with a 61-38 vote in January, requiring all public institutions in the state to halt transgender studentathletes from competing in public schools or collegiate sports unless they compete with their gender assigned at birth. The bill is currently in the state Senate Judiciary Committee.

“I think that it’s not about trans athletes, it’s about cisgender folks who are making policy and laws in order to control trans people.”

According to the Montana Free Press, proponents of the bill claimed that a person assigned male at birth are acquired with a “biological athletic advantage” compared to a cisgender woman even after participating in testosterone suppression. Three coaches from the CPP Athletics Department declined, while one did not respond to interview inquiries made by The Post regarding this matter. CPP Pride Center Coordinator Bri Serrano believes the Montana bill may not provide an “inclusive feeling” to institutions and could impact students’ sense of belonging. “I think it is the issue of the larger conversation, right? What is causing this attack on trans folks? And it really is just hate,” said Serrano. “I think that it’s not about trans athletes, it’s about cisgender folks who are making policy and laws in order to control trans people.” According to an NCAA statement, the association will “closely monitor” the See POLICIES/ Page 12

US Soccer Federation repeals no-kneel policy By BRYNN SHERBERT Staff Writer


CPP campus ramps up recognition from skaters

The United States Soccer Federation voted last month to end a ban on players protesting racial inequality and police brutality by kneeling during the national anthem late last month. The decision was made after the Black Lives Matter movement that swelled following the death of George Floyd last year. CPP men’s and women’s soccer team will also have the choice to peacefully stand or kneel during the national anthem under the NCAA rules when competition returns to campus. Men’s Head Coach Matt O’Sullivan emphasized the importance of the diversity of his team and respects his players choices in what makes them comfortable. “I want my players to have their own opinions and decisions on whether they want to stand or kneel during the national anthem,” O’Sullivan said. “We all come from different backgrounds and cultures and I will support my players in their

decisions.” The U.S. women’s soccer team has built a reputation as one of the most social justice-oriented sports groups in the country by kneeling for the national anthem. The rule ordering players to stand respectfully during the national anthem was introduced in 2017 by the U.S. Soccer Federation shortly after US women’s star forward, Megan Rapinoe, kneeled for the anthem in solidarity with former NFL star quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Kaepernick started kneeling on one knee during the national anthem in August 2016 to draw attention to racial injustice and police brutality. This protest became an emblematic expression of solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. Senior Tori Morton, defensive player for the CPP women’s soccer team, strongly believes in peacefully protesting social injustices during the national anthem. “As an athlete, showing your support for a cause or movement in front of the public can be difficult for players with receiving judgement from fans,” Morton said. “However, I think kneeling is a form

of protest that causes no harm and shows a strong statement.” More than 70% of the members of the U.S. Soccer’s Federation ruling body voted to revoke the policy requiring players to stand during the national anthem and about 30% voted to keep the policy in place. The policy was initially repealed in June 2020 by the federations’ board of directors after nationwide protests and needed approval from the national council for it to be official. Kevin McCarthy, the men’s assistant coach, wants his players to have freedom of choice in their decisions and will provide moral support. “Our team has had a lot of team meetings about this topic over the last year and we are all in an agreement that we will support one another in our decisions,” McCarthy said. “Our players respect each other on and off the field and that is why we have so much success as a team.” Find Brynn Sherbert on Twitter @BrynnSherbert

By COCO CHICA Staff Writer CPP’s unique architecture has been garnering the attention of professional skaters who have been visiting the campus for exciting rides. Most recently, Ishod Wair, a professional skater with over 844,000 followers on Instagram, was seen skating in the CLA Building. The location, as seen in the clip, consists of a ledge followed by a runway leading up to a set of staircases in which Wair showcased a set of tricks on the course. The video was reposted by The Berrics, a skateboard-media platform with over 2.7 million followers on Instagram, and gathered nearly 500,000 views since being published, capturing the attention of the national skateboarding community. Other professional skaters such as Paul Rodriguez, Luan Oliveria and Olympic athlete Nyjah Huston also stopped by to take on the challenge in 2019 and skate on campus. After CPP’s recognition from skaters such as Wair and others, more student skaters are eager to visit the campus to explore these locations for themselves and see what the campus has to offer. Ryan Paja, a first-year biology student, has been using his free time during the pandemic to explore the campus he has yet to attend for in-person courses to skate through some of the university’s trendy skating spots. “We have a group chat with skaters that attend the school,” Paja said. “We’re just all over the place and can’t wait to all be able to skate together on campus and go to all these popular spots.” Ryan picked up his first skateboard six years ago while attending IPoly High School, CPP’s See CAMPUS/ Page 12


Players for the Utah Royals FC take a knee for the national anthem prior to their game against the Houston Dash during NWSL Challenge Cup at Zions Bank Stadium.

8 wheels are better than none for Prison City Roller Derby league By DIANA VASQUEZ Staff Writer The Prison City Roller Derby league in nearby Chino Hills inspires women to give back to their community and provides a space for them to roll off

steam despite the COVID-19 pandemic taking a toll on most sports. Roller skating and roller derby, a roller-skating contact sport played by two teams on a roller rink, allow the Prison City team and the CPP community to express their identity outside their homes

and routinary schedules. Robyn Brewer, the team’s marketing coordinator, helps organize events like charities and fundraisers for the team. Brewer said derby nicknames play a large role in their identity outside of See DERBY/ Page 12



Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Becoming Billy Bronco: Your friendly Neigh-borhood mascot By ANEL CEBALLOS Staff Writer Before the COVID-19 pandemic, CPP mascot Billy Bronco was often seen at campus events, club fairs and sports games. Through nonverbal cues, Billy’s job is to stirrup crowds and cheer on the Broncos; but behind the scenes and stables, it takes a lot of time and practice to become the best possible Billy. According to the Athletics Department, CPP athletics dates back to 1939 when the university was known as the Voorhis Unit, a southern satellite campus for Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Before CPP was represented by the Broncos, the campus went by the same mascot as San Luis Obispo: Cal Poly Mustangs.

When CPP reopened in 1945 after closing down in 1942 due to declining war-time enrollment, students wanted to change their nickname to differentiate the two schools. In 1947, students voted to become the Broncos and introduced their number one supporter: Billy Bronco. Jazminn Parrish, a sophomore outside hitter on the volleyball team, recognizes Billy’s support for the team and interactions with the crowd. “The fans really enjoy having Billy as something to look forward to while we’re in timeouts,” said Parrish. “And he always cheers us on and after the game.” Assistant Athletics Director of Marketing and

Promotions Mike Farrell is in charge of most decisions regarding Billy including selecting which students become Billy. Applicants must apply online and go through an interview process with Farrell. Various students are usually cast as Billy to allow flexibility in each student’s schedule. “I’m looking for someone who wants to embody what the mascot is,” said Farrell. “We don’t want someone who’s just kind of sitting in the back and not doing anything, someone who’s not afraid to be in front of a crowd.” According to Farrell, obtaining the role of Billy is a serious responsibility due to the strict regulations that comes with playing CPP’s mascot. Protocols list that Billy should never talk, should refrain from physical handling of fans and never be seen drinking any alcoholic beverages or taking photos with fans in inappropriate attire. Billy’s top priority is athletic events but is allowed to participate in other university events. “Billy’s our brand, our identity,”

added Farrell. “He’s a representative of the Athletics Department.” Despite campus events being halted due to the pandemic, Billy continues to saddle up on social media with academic departments, making frequent appearances in announcements and other media sent to the community. Junior setter Kira Zimmerman believes Billy is essential to campus life. “Billy is special because there’s only one Billy and he’s a cross-over between student-athletes and our school mascot in general,” said Zimmerman. “He brings us all together and reinstates the Broncos’ pride.”

Find Anel Ceballos on Twitter @anelcceballos COURTESY OF CPP ATHLETICS DEPARTMENT

CAMPUS: CPP skating community gains traction

POLICIES: NCAA rules support t r a n s athletes

Continued from Page 11 neighboring high school campus, where he and his friend would ride between classes to skate. Thanks to CPP’s recognized infrastructure, the campus has provided Paja and his friends with a place to exhibit their skills and practice their discipline in the many spots the community deems worthy of trying. With the sport ramping up in popularity, the recognition from professional skaters on campus brings a sense of inclusion to the skating world that motivates student skaters to continue to improve their discipline in the campus they are a part of. “Popular spots everyone should know about on campus are the stage right in front of the theatre department which are great for air tricks, a hidden rail behind Ursa Major, the stairs and ledges outside of the Parking Structure 1 and most recently the CLA where Ishod completely ripped,” Paja said. Unlike Paja, many other student skaters are unable to physically visit the campus as they live farther away and cannot return to experience it due to the pandemic. These students, including first-year graphic design student Kai Leeper-Sale, who resides in Point Arena, California, have been looking for other ways to explore campus virtually. “I’ve been looking at the spots on campus through Google Earth since I first applied,” said Leeper-Sale. “They look so fun to skate.” As an enthusiast of skating culture, LeeperSale expressed the surreal feeling of knowing that professional skaters are skating in an untapped area in the skating community. “I think it’s really sick that our school gets recognition by professionals like this when there are other schools that are bigger and may have more to offer for skating,” LeeperSale said. Last semester, Leeper-Sale posted an announcement on his Instagram account and virtual classrooms for those interested in creating a group chat for student skaters, in which Paja participated. His desire to build a community of students who all share the same passion for skating led him to start an initiative that he would like to implement once in-person instruction resumes. “I would like to start a skate club on campus where we could all focus on improving, recording footage and pushing movies out,” said Leeper-Sale. With more students trying to find a group of people with similar interests like skating during the pandemic, many are excited a club on campus could be a door to unite the student skaters. “It would give me a way to meet more people with similar majors and similar interests — a perfect balance for my academics and my hobby,” said James Murphy, a third-year electro-mechanical engineering student. Murphy is aware of the extensive number of skaters on campus and emphasized the importance of professional skaters bringing credibility to the school by skating through it. “It would be great to know that campus officials could notice what we’re doing, and we don’t have to fear that we’ll be kicked out. Either way, I’m going to skate the spots,” Murphy said. Find Coco Chica on Twitter @cocogonzx


T-Bone Jones, Cheapshot Peggy, Balrog, Brewsin Barbie and Hell Chapo.

DERBY: Ready to hit the rink, skating and bruising Continued from Page 11


Temperd Steel in action.

home. Brewer, nicknamed Brewsin Barbie for wearing a Barbie t-shirt on her first day of practice, joined without knowing how to skate. Yet despite difficulty learning, Brewer found a community among the team that inspired her to be more confident in herself. “We have nurses, stay-at-home moms, fulltime students on the team, but then they come to practice and they’re this completely different person that nobody would ever think that’s what they did for their day job,” said Brewer. “When people choose their own names, it’s like, well, who do I want to be here? Because I have the ability to write my own path right now. It’s an interesting thing seeing how members get to become their own name and identity on the track.” Fionna Espana, a former CPP kitchen operations supervisor, chose the roller derby name Betty Clock-Her, inspired by her profession as a pastry chef, but with a twist of roughness for what the sport represents. Espana played seven years for the Los Angeles Renegades Rollergirls league and said her experience was disciplinary, physically and mentally challenging but made her feel stronger after learning how to play and finding a family within the team. “We were all coming from different aspects of life, some moms, single people and even older, but a lot of people I thought I would never talk to in my regular life setting,” said Espana. “We would have barbecues, do escape rooms, dinners and come together with our family and spouses. It became a very empowering community to be a part of.” Melvin Gutierrez, a first-year landscape architecture student, has been skating for almost a year with his friends and father. His experience learning was an intimidating process for him, one which brought a lot of bruising but also joy. “I really wanted to try roller derby but by the time I learned about roller skating, there was no way I could join it,” said Gutierrez. “Roller skating is an escape especially with school and life stress and because I found out I might be bipolar. It’s my way to get out in the world and breathe.”

The Prison City Roller Derby league has built community both on and off the rink since its founding in 2007, aiming not only to strengthen team bonds, but to strengthen the communal bonds in its hometown of Chino Hills. The team has volunteered at animal rescues, collected essentials for the homeless and is working to adopt a highway, a program that allows volunteers to conduct litter pick-ups. In October 2020, the team donated toiletries to Life Bear Necessities, a non-profit organization in Pomona. The team is currently working to become a non-profit. Maria Free, Prison City’s head coach and original founder, meets with the team once a week on Zoom and is initiating in-person practice at an outdoor rink. “We average five to eight people at a practice, out of a potential 20 to 30,” said Free “The facilities are unavailable, and still closed due to COVID-19, so we’re finding cement surfaces that have lights where we can go practice at.” Free is teaching single skills that could be accomplished in a small surface area through instructional videos recorded on Zoom; there are members who skate in their kitchen while others in the backyard. Their bond continues to grow strong even in an online setting as they clean their gear together and catch up on life. Free said teaching roller derby differs from other sports because no other sport teaches its players how to run. In the game roller derby, the objective is for a player of the team called the jammer to overlap as many opposing skaters as they can; the jammer is prevented from scoring by being blocked. With the sport requiring such contact, members learn to skate and fall appropriately before learning how to play the game. The team is composed of 30 members with seven members joining in 2020 through a Zoom recruit night held in August. “There are a lot of teams that have just gone on pause and are not doing anything right now because the world is just too crazy. All of us just weren’t ready to give that up yet because roller skating is that kind of glue that keeps us together,” said Brewer. Find Diana Vasquez on Twitter @dsvasquezz


Cheapshot Peggy trying to dodge the pack.

Continued from Page 11 Montana bill and other state legislation that may affect transgender student-athletes. Dana Recio, a fifthyear liberal studies student and Pride Center social justice leader, believes that institutions should promote an inclusive environment for all students, but with this legislation, it could allow bullying to occur. There have been similar cases, such as Idaho’s HB 500, which was made into law but was placed on “preliminary injunction” by a U.S District judge, according to the Human Rights Campaign. Similarly, in North Dakota, HB 1298, which halts transgender studentathletes from competing on teams coinciding with their gender identity, is now also heading to its state Senate. There has not been any bill passed in the California legislature that would restrict transgender student-athletes from competing in line with their gender identity. Lara Killick, an assistant professor in the Kinesiology & Health Promotion Department who studies transphobia in sports, believes anti-transgender bills on student-athletes will “contribute to a hostile environment” and can cause students to question where they belong at an institution. “For many trans athletes, sport is their safe space,” Killick said. “Sport is the space where they are competent, competitive and gaining a huge amount of self-efficacy and self-worth from their achievements on the sports field.” In a statement last summer, the NCAA also denounced the Idaho bill describing it to be “harmful” for the transgender studentathletes. It reiterated the NCAA’s values, and stated that all NCAA studentathletes are “welcomed, treated with respect, and have nondiscriminatory participation wherever they compete.” “I hope they (NCAA) continue to push back against statewide policies, but I also hope they continue to do the real on the groundwork to ensure that trans athletes are welcomed, and not just survive, but thrive within the collegiate workspace,” Killick added. Find Jackson Pham on Twitter @jacksonppham

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