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MUSTANG DAILY TOMORROW: Sunny High 70˚/Low 50˚

CA L I F O R N I A P O LY T E C H N I C S TAT E U N I V E R S I T Y U.S. dollar falls to lowest level in over a year.

Lambda Theta Alpha and MultiCultural Center bring Colombian panel discussion to campus.


Mustangs beat Southern Utah 24-23 in fourthquarter thriller. IN SPORTS, 12


Monday, October 19, 2009

Volume LXXIV, Number 27

Poly sophomore who lost battle with cancer this summer remembered as inspiration to others Nikol Schiller mustang daily

After a vigorous three-year battle with bone cancer, mechanical engineering sophomore Chris Champion died on Aug. 5 before he could enter his third year at Cal Poly.While he was fighting cancer, Champion started a blog and began posting stories about his experience of fighting cancer said his girlfriend. The blog reached thousands of people from across the nation and the world with posts about his cancer remissions, relapses and his faith in God. Emily Barber, Champion’s high school sweetheart and girlfriend at the time of Champion’s passing, said that he would receive words of encouragement from people across the national and world. “This blog was one more way to let his story inspire people, and to show them how much he was trusting in God for his safekeeping,” Barber said. After being diagnosed with cancer in his left femur in 2006, Champion had a hip and femur replacement his senior year at Stockdale High School. The summer before he came to Cal Poly, he went through chemotherapy and finished his treatment right before WOW. Biological sciences junior Mike Safina met Champion in the Yosemite dorms their freshman year. When he first met a bald-headed, post-chemotherapy Champion, Safina thought he

was a skinhead. “I was wrong. He was a man of faith that could not be rocked by any circumstance. When he was told by doctors he wouldn’t live much longer, he didn’t cash in his chips. He signed up for classes,” he said. During fall 2007, Champion noticed some swollen lymph nodes in his leg. He went home to Bakersfield and had surgery to replace from the middle of his femur to the middle of

“I remember a couple months before he died, my friend and I went to visit him in the hospital. When we first saw him, I expected him to be depressed and dealing, but he greeted us with a giant smile and shouting. He was so excited we were there, not just because he missed us, but he really wanted an In-and-Out burger and was trying to convince us to bust him out of the hospital by tying his bed to my friend’s truck.That was who Chris

He was a man of faith that could not be rocked by any circumstance.When he was told by doctors he wouldn’t live much longer, he didn’t cash in his chips.

—Mike Safina

Biological sciences junior

his tibia. He returned to Cal Poly to attend for his second year and lived with Safina in Poly Canyon. Winter 2009, Champion began getting headaches. He went to the French Hospital where they found lesions in his head and problems with his lungs. Champion went back home, so Safina went to see him in the hospital in Bakersfield.

was. A champion. A fighter. A man of truth faith. The best man and best friend I have known,” Safina said. As the spring months came,Champion’s doctors and family thought he might not make it through the summer. Champion pulled through and was out of the hospital and in a see Champion, page 2

Michael Pollan packs PAC mustang daily staff report

Students and San Luis Obispo community members lined up on Thursday morning to see the panel discussion with Michael Pollan at the Performing Arts Center (PAC). David Wehner, Dean of the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Resources, said 1,400 people attended the event and the PAC was filled to capacity. A pavilion, with a 200-person capacity, had been set up out side for overflow and that was filled as well. Nearly 400 viewers also watched a live stream of the event

on the Mustang Daily Web site. "I wanted to see where he comes from," Wehner said. Wehner spoke before the panel discussion began and asked all the farmers in the audience to stand, about a quarter of the people in the audience stood. The discussion started out with questions generated by the moderator Scott J. Vernon, a professor of agriculture education at Cal Poly, then moved on to a couple of audience-generated questions written on index cards. Wehner said he has heard mostly positive feedback, except people’s dismay regarding the event’s

format change. There were official looking programs that highlighted the controversy between Harris Ranch and President Warren Baker. The programs said they were made by a coalition of concerned students, alumni, faculty, staff and community members. Wehner said Baker's office is forming a response to the flyer which accused him of censoring the event and violating Cal Poly's standards of academic freedom. The pamphlet sites parts of the Resolution on Academic Freedom, which Baker signed in June 2009.

courtesy photo

Mechanical engineering sophomore Chris Champion died Aug. 5 after being diagnosed with cancer three years ago.

Senior projects go online Nikol Schiller mustang daily

The Robert E. Kennedy Library implemented a new policy this September that senior projects may now only be submitted to the library electronically through DigitalCommons, a new software that serves as a digital catalog for student projects. After having their work published through DigitalCommons, students will be able to search and find their project through any online search engine. The library will no longer be creating a microfiche catalog of senior projects. They were stored on a small card with micro images and text. Before DigitalCommons was

implemented, the old procedure began with students filling out a senior project requirement form and paying a $12 senior project fee to the cashier’s office. Each department collected the senior projects and sent them to the library to be cataloged. The senior projects were then sent to get microfiched.Two to four weeks later, the senior project returned to the library in its original form with two copies of the microfiche. After librarians filed one copy of the microfiche in the library’s senior project collection, they sent the original project along with the second copy of the microfiche back to the department. The department see Library, page 2


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wheelchair by the fourth of July. In August, his sickness suddenly came back and he unexpectedly died. His family held a memorial service for him on Aug. 15. Before he was diagnosed with cancer, Champion led an active life. He played the trombone in the marching band and on family vacations he enjoyed wakeboarding. “He lost his ability to run and jump before I met him, but that never slowed him down. He was a fighter until the day he died,” Safina said. Champion remained as active as he could while he was sick. After his father, John Champion, died in January 2009, from an aggressive form of brain cancer, Champion put together a team to particpate in Relay for Life, an American Cancer Society charity that raises money for cancer research by having teams get sponsorships to walk or run for a given amount of time. Though Champion was still fighting cancer and dealing with the physical pains of his sickness, he still participated and dedicated his team to his father. The fund raised $1,275. “He and his dad shared a mischievous streak,” Barber recalled. “One day, his mom was chiding them both about how fast they went through orange juice, and she bought a huge container and told them to make it last. Soon after, when she wasn’t looking, they poured out all the orange juice into another container and left the empty jug in the refrigerator. His mom discovered it and flipped out. Chris and his dad highfived and basked in their achievement for days,” Barber said. On one of his most popular blog post titled “What Happens When I Don’t Pay Attention in Church,” Champion commented, “The effect I’ve already had on people’s lives is enough to make me honestly say that I would do it again, if given the choice.”

then had the responsibility of recording the senior projects and finding a place to store them. Now the process is completely digital. After students pay their senior project fee and turn in a senior project requirement form to their department, they may upload their senior projects to DigitalCommons on the library’s Web site.The department then forwards a copy of the requirement form to Beaton, who makes the senior project public on DigitalCommons, allowing anyone searching for the project to find it through any web search engine As the third California State University to implement a universitywide digital catalog, Cal Poly follows Humbolt State University and Cal Poly Pomona in creating electronic databases for graduate theses. With more than 170 electronic theses available on DigitalCommons, the university’s cyber storehouse software, Cal Poly has the second-largest collection of theses available online, second to Humbolt. Because Humbolt and Pomona do not require senior projects from their students they only store graduate theses while Cal Poly plans on storing both theses and senior projects. Digital repository librarian Marisa Ramirez hopes that Cal Poly will surpass all the CSUs in terms of having the most student projects digitally stored. “We’re hoping to eclipse them,” she said. Ramirez and senior project coordinator librarian Karen Beaton provided training sessions over summer to teach faculty and staff how to submit senior projects to the library. Since September, the library will no longer be accepting any form of senior projects besides those submitted electronically through DigitalCommons. The Digital Commons software that the university is using to store the projects is a hosted system, meaning that the staff working to maintain the site at Cal Poly is small because most of the system maintenance is outsourced. The system is backed up


every six hours and backed up again every week. “We take digital access very seriously, but we also take digital preservation very seriously. Again, this is the record of scholarship that the students are doing. We find it very important to preserve it. That’s our role as librarians,” Ramirez said. The librarians wanted to consider how this would disrupt each department’s procedures for submitting senior projects. Beaton and Ramirez were conscious of not disturbing each department’s current senior project policies and procedures. “We did not want this to impact negatively the department workflow because we know every department is different and they know how to do their work the best,” said Ramirez. She said that during her training sessions to teach departments about the new process faculty and staff have been very positive about the change. A few glitches that Ramirez and Beaton ran into while researching and implementing this project was the issue of copyright. If students do not want their work visible to anyone on the Web because their work is copyrighted, there are two levels of viewing access that the library permits students to choose from.The first level allows completely open access to the world.The second access lets students restrict access for a certain period of time due to patenting or propriety reasons. Another issue of concern is submitting past students’ work. Ramirez expects that many graduates from last year will want to upload their senior projects to DigitalCommons. Alumni are allowed to submit their senior projects to the library using the new senior project submission process to have their project online. Training sessions for student and faculty are continuing throughout the school year to teach students, faculty and staff the policies of submitting senior projects.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Karzai balking at proposal to end election dispute Hal Bernton and Jonathan S. Landay mcclatchy newspapers

KABUL, Afghanistan — The United States and other powers struggled Saturday to persuade Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai to accept a deal to resolve the dispute over the country’s tainted presidential election and avert a political crisis that could spark civil unrest and jeopardize the U.S.-led fight against the Taliban-led insurgency. The Afghan leader’s closest challenger, former foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah, told U.S. officials earlier this week that he’d agree to a deal under certain conditions, said three U.S. officials, who all requested anonymity because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly. Under the plan, Karzai would accept the fact that when fraudulent votes are thrown out, he failed to win more than half the vote in the Aug. 20 election. In return, Abdullah, the second-place finisher, would forgo a runoff by withdrawing and endorsing a Karzai-led unity government that included some of his allies, the officials said. Karzai also would have to pursue key political reforms to root out official corruption and improve public services. “If you can mediate a settlement which leads to a stronger and more unified government, our sense is that that would be a means of garnering the most significant support by the Afghan people and enhancing the perceived legitimacy of that government,” said a senior Obama administration official in Washington. The war in Afghanistan entered its ninth year this month, with

U.S. commanders acknowledging that the 100,000-strong U.S.-led international contingent and Afghan security forces are at risk of losing. A recent U.S. intelligence assessment estimated that there now are at least 25,000 full-time Islamist guerrillas in Afghanistan, 20 percent more than there were a year ago. A stable Kabul government is crucial to President Barack Obama’s efforts to reformulate his Afghan war strategy. Officials led by Vice President Joe Biden favor shifting the focus to decapitating al-Qaida in neighboring Pakistan, but top U.S. military commanders are seeking as many as 80,000 additional U.S. troops to help stabilize Afghanistan and double the size of the Afghan National Army. Karzai, however, appeared to be digging in his heels Saturday, giving no indication that he’s willing to accept a decision expected Sunday from the United Nations Election Complaints Commission that could toss out as many as 1.5 million questionable votes for him. That would drive his preliminary tally of 54.6 percent below the 50 percent mark and require a runoff. Karzai’s refusal to accept the EEC’s decision, perhaps by turning to the country’s Independent Election Commission, whose members he appointed, or to its Supreme Court, which he dominates, could ignite a potentially violent backlash by Abdullah’s supporters, the bulk of whom are Tajiks and other ethnic minorities who dominate Kabul and northern Afghanistan. “The best possible outcome at this point is (for Karzai) to accept a runoff and let Abdullah concede with a deal,” a senior U.S defense official said Saturday.

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Monday, October 19, 2009

Wire Editor: Jennifer Titcomb



Sliding dollar may be something to cheer about Don Lee mcclatchy newspapers

WASHINGTON — The falling dollar is stoking fears of inflation and worries about the country’s eroding power in the world. But for now it may be just the tonic that’s needed to help the U.S. economy get back on its feet. By making American products cheaper for most foreign buyers, the dollar is helping many U.S. companies boost their overseas sales. The weakening dollar also gives domestic businesses a competitive edge at home, making their products cheaper than rival imports. The greenback’s value slipped for a fourth straight day Thursday, to its lowest level in more than a year against other major currencies. It now takes $1.49 to buy one euro, compared with $1.26 seven months ago. Many experts expect the dollar to keep falling in the coming months. That decline has its downside, making imports including commodities like oil more expensive for U.S. businesses and consumers. The price of crude rose to $77.58 a barrel Thursday, a nearly one-year high that’s due at least in part to the slumping dollar. But to companies like Paulson Manufacturing Corp. in Temecula, Calif., which makes goggles and other protective gear, the greenback’s slide is good news. For a customer in Brazil, the company’s top overseas market, buy-

ing $10,000 of Paulson’s face shields in early March meant shelling out more than 24,000 Brazilian reals. That same order costs only about 17,000 reals now. “It certainly helps to have the dollar go down,” said owner Roy Paulson, who’s considering expanding his staff of 135. “I’ll have more exports. There’s no doubt about it.” Even U.S. companies that don’t sell any products abroad can benefit from the fading U.S. currency. The U.S. tourism industry, including hotels, restaurants and stores, could see a bump in business from foreigners sleeping and eating and shopping at what may seem like bargain prices to them. Tour operator RMP Travel in New York is getting more requests for quotes from overseas travelers interested in visiting the United States. “It looks like 2010 could be promising,” said Suzi Steiger, the company’s president. U.S.-based multinational firms are likely to cash in on the humbler greenback as well.The reason: About 40 percent of sales by companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index are made overseas. So when Procter & Gamble, Walt Disney and Abbott Laboratories convert money made in euros or Japanese yen into dollars, they will see more dollars on the bottom line. That expectation is one driver of the rally on Wall Street that took the Dow Jones industrials back above 10,000 points this week.

The sinking dollar comes with some immediate downsides, of course. Foreign travelers may be more inclined to visit, but Americans heading to Paris, Sydney and other cities abroad may experience a bad case of sticker shock, something that could get worse in the months ahead. Although currency exchange rates are notoriously volatile, there are good reasons traders and economists alike are betting on a sliding dollar. The currency has been weakening steadily since 2002 in a trend that reversed temporarily last fall only when the escalating global financial crisis prompted frightened investors to move money into dollar- denominated assets such as Treasury bills for their perceived safety. But since March, as the global recession has showed signs of easing, investors have been selling dollars or borrowing them to plow money into faster-growing places overseas, particularly Asia, and that has driven the greenback’s value back down. The weak dollar also reflects serious concerns about the U.S. economy and its massive budget and trade deficits. Many people worry about an eventual onslaught of inflation. Though hardly anybody predicts an outright collapse in the dollar, most analysts expect a further gradual erosion in its value as investors continue to move into riskier assets and foreign banks that are paying higher interest rates. In public remarks, Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner has re-

mcclatchy-newspapers The chart above shows the trend in closing prices on the U.S. dollar index this year by comparing it with six other foreign currencies.

peated the standard mantra that the U.S. favors a strong dollar. But he and others on Obama’s economic team, which is struggling to stanch rising unemployment, may be quietly cheering the greenback’s decline. “It’s a lucky break for the administration,” said Simon Johnson, an MIT professor and former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund. “In this environment where there’s low inflation,” he says, the weak dollar “is expansionary for the economy and will help create jobs.” It could also boost the Obama administration’s effort to “rebalance”

the global economy, which many believe relies too heavily on American consumer spending. A weaker dollar could help the U.S. build a more export-oriented economy. Treasury officials declined to comment. But last week, in addressing the National Association. of Manufacturers’ board in Washington, Geithner conveyed a message that “his first thing was getting the economy stronger and that he’ll worry about the dollar later,” said Drew Greenblatt, a board member of the association and president of Marlin Steel Wire Products in Baltimore.


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Iraqis say they want U.S. investment, strategic support

mcclatchy-newspapers U.S. ambassador Christopher Hill visits a U.S. military installation at Um Qasr, Iraq.

Roy Gutman mcclatchy newspapers

BASRA, Iraq – The tourist ship “Peace” was at anchor in the Shatt al-Arab waterway but southern Iraq’s business leaders were eager to explore new waters when Christopher Hill, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, took the podium Thursday and urged them to project positive energy instead of complaining about all the things that are wrong with Iraq. After declaring Hill an honorary citizen of Basra, the center of southern Iraq’s oil wealth and home to its

major port, Hatim al-Machari, the owner of several publications, went on to welcome the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of his country. “We feel proud that America and the multinational forces have freed our country from the Saddam (Hussein) regime,” he said. Three months after U.S. troops withdrew from Iraq’s cities and started packing their bags, violence is down dramatically in Iraq, and the U.S. seems to be returning to a role familiar from postwar Western Europe – that of supporter, protector see Support, page 5


Monday, October 19, 2009





SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. (MCT) — Some Cal Poly students Friday protested plans to reduce the university’s dairy cow herd by 80 percent. Dairy students – some dressed in cow costumes – protested in the morning outside the Embassy Suites Hotel in San Luis Obispo, where Cal Poly’s dairy science advisory committee was meeting. Protests continued in the afternoon at the school’s dairy unit. In a letter sent Sept. 30, Dairy Science Department Head Bruce Golden said that plummeting milk prices and state budget cutbacks were forcing the university to reduce the milking herd to 30 animals from 150. He promised to restore the herd once finances improve. However, students are concerned that the cuts may be permanent and 106 years of building good genetics into the Holstein milking herd will be lost, said Theresa Machado, president of the Los Lecheros Dairy Club. ••• SACRAMENTO (MCT) — Arnold Schwarzenegger accomplished little for Hollywood during his first five years as governor despite industry pleas to stop film and television crews from fleeing to states like Louisiana. Last year’s publicized defection of the television show “Ugly Betty” to New York may have been the final straw. Now, as state programs grapple with spending cuts, California has begun dedicating millions of dollars in tax credits toward movie and television productions in an attempt to bolster the industry. That money was set aside in a February budget deal negotiated behind closed doors, part of an agreement between the movie-star governor and lawmakers to give hundreds of millions of dollars to the film and television companies through the tax credits and a change in how corporate taxes are calculated starting in 2011.

NEW YORK (MCT) — The “balloon boy” case that sparked international media news attention Thursday was a hoax that will result in criminal charges against the boy’s parents, Larimer County, Colo., Sheriff Jim Alderden said Sunday. Richard and Mayumi Heene concocted the hoax–that their 6-year-old son, Falcon was in a helium balloon that broke away from its mooring and was drifting over Northern Colorado–hoping to market themselves for a reality television show, Alderden said. The world’s news media was riveted as authorities, believing the boy was in the balloon and helpless, tried to figure out how to rescue him. The balloon’s gondola was empty when it landed about 50 miles from the Keene home in Fort Collins, Colo. The boy later was found safe at home. “They put on a very good show for us,” Alderden said, “and we bought it.We have since learned that these people are actors.” Alderden called a news conference Sunday after deputies searched the residence and interviewed the parents. He said charges likely will include conspiracy, contributing to delinquency of a minor and filing a false report. ••• FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (MCT) — An ultraviolet light that its sellers promise will “destroy swine flu virus.” A dietary supplement claiming to be “more effective than the swine flu shot.” Pills, hand sanitizers and air filters galore. These products were among the hundreds of swine flu deterrents and cures that were advertised online this year. And their Internet purveyors were among the 80 who received warnings from the Food and Drug Administration over the past six wmonths to stop peddling unproven or illegal treatments. The FDA has issued an advisory, telling consumers to use “extreme care” when purchasing online products claiming to diagnose, treat or prevent the H1N1 virus.

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (MCT) — On the second day of Pakistan’s major offensive to uproot the Taliban from tribal areas along the Afghan border, the military claimed to have killed 60 militants, while the Taliban countered it had fended off the troops’ initial onslaught. Wildly differing interpretations of progress being made on both sides are expected to continue as the military proceeds with its most crucial ground operation so far in its war against Islamic militants. Pakistani army officials said Sunday that 60 militants and five soldiers were killed during the first 24 hours of the offensive, in which thousands of troops have been moved into a large section of South Waziristan considered a stronghold for militants loyal to Taliban leader Hakimullah Mahsud and his predecessor, Baitullah Mahsud, as well as al-Qaida fighters. Baitullah Mahsud was killed in a U.S. drone strike Aug. 5. The military also said it had destroyed six Taliban antiaircraft gun positions and found locations that Taliban militants fled, leaving behind their firearms and ammunition. Pakistani fighter jets Sunday pounded suspected Taliban hide-outs in the villages of Ladha and Makeen, military officials said.


ADDIS ABABA, Sudan (MCT) — Ethiopian security forces seized 3.7 tons of chemicals which has been in the hands of a rebel group that Addis Ababa designate it as “terrorist group”, police said on Friday. The state-run Ethiopian Television (ETV) displayed the seized chemicals and other related materials, which police said were under preparation to be assembled as explosives by the rebel Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF). The dangerous chemicals were uncovered at the remote eastern region of Somali’s Daforqalt local area, where it was kept buried. Police said some 7,000 bullets of various types and with a potential of producing 1,850 explosives were among the unearthed from the ground. y always something new.


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Support continued from page 4

and mentor. Iraqi military and civilian officials talk about the United States as a strategic partner in a dangerous neighborhood, the facilitator of future business investments, even the solver of problems in the provinces and the dysfunctional central government. Ehsan Abdul Jabbar, the head of a local government investment council in Basra, told the crowd of 50 aboard the “Peace” the Americans are staying “to lead Iraq to the place where it can develop, to reach with Iraq the edge of safety.” Hill agreed with a businessman who asked for help convincing the United Nations to revoke 1991 sanctions that still thwart Iraq’s air and sea transportation. “It’s definitely on my radar screen.” Hill said just what the audience wanted to hear. “We are sure that if the Americans are convinced of something they will do it,” someone cried out. The 50 or so businessmen nodded agreement as the mood morphed into that of a revival meeting. It was the first trip to Iraq’s second-largest city for Hill, a veteran diplomat with experience in Eastern Europe and Korea, since he assumed his post in late April. Hill came to Basra to deliver the “tough love” message that Iraqis must start taking over the management of their own affairs, but his own takeaway was the country’s enormous problems could be solved if Iraqis learn to manage their affairs. His visit took place on the eve of a U.S.-sponsored conference in Washington that’s expected to attract hundreds of U.S. and foreign investors, as well as some 200 Iraqi businessmen in a delegation led by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. The top ranking-military officer in Basra, Maj. Gen. Mohammed Jawad Hwaidi, in a separate meeting, expressed gratitude for the heartsand-minds projects that U.S. forces and civil affairs experts are undertaking and asked the U.S. to help defend Shiite Muslim-ruled Iraq in the face of hostile Sunni-ruled countries. “Neighboring countries in the area will not like to see a strong and secure Iraq,” he told Hill, singling out Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Syria by name. Hill responded diplomatically that some of Iraq’s neighbors “dislike us even more than they dislike you,” a reference to Iran, but added: “Others have respect for us, and I think we can do something to help you,” a reference to the Sunni neighbors. As for the U.S. military presence, “as long as your people want us here, we will be here,” Hill said. Hwaidi, who spent years in prison under the Saddam Hussein regime and in March 2008 was in charge of the operations room when al-Maliki led the military operation that freed Basra of Shiite militias, was supposed to be in Lebanon to receive medical treatment, but he delayed his departure to welcome Hill, an aide said. When British troops were in southern Iraq, children “threw rocks at convoys,” the general told him. “Now they wave and say ‘hi.’” He added: “Iraqis realize the Americans are here to help change the country. With your continued support, we will find benefits both in the economy and in our security.”


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Monday, October 19, 2009


Word on the Street

“Have you read senior projects on microfiche at the library?”

“No, I’m just a freshman. Maybe eventually I will read them.” -Tony Kilbo, business freshman

“No, I don’t know where or what that is.” -Brett Armstrong, computer engineering junior

“No, because I don’t know where they are and they are probably boring.” -Brittany Franz, recreation parks and tourism administration senior

“Yes, I used it yesterday for the first time. I’d use it more if it was converted; it would be a lot easier.” -Kerstin Claunch, kinesiology sophomore

compiled and photographed by jennifer titcomb

“No, maybe if it were easier to find and easier to use. I don’t even pay attention to them because they are tucked away (in the corner of the library).” -Ivy Ku, environmental management and protection junior

Mustang Daily

“No, I’m new here. I might read them to get ideas for mine.” -William Blodgett, Electrical engineering junior

monday, october 19, 2009

arts & Entertainment editor: cassandra keyse

Poly experiences Colombian perspective Leticia Rodriguez mustang daily

If there’s one thing Colombians want people around the world to know, it’s that there is more to their

country than the current drug problem. In a panel discussion Thursday night at Lambda Theta Alpha’s “A Night in Colombia” event, mechanical engineering grad student Oscar Daza reminisced about the passion for

life and food the people of Colombia have in his home country. A native of Palmira, Colombia, Daza has been in America for five years and said he is still struggling to adapt to the differences of the people. “(I miss) the warmth of the people, seeing more smiles in the streets, the food, the natural juices that we make over there,” he said. “All (Americans) see and hear about is drugs and that hurts me (because) Colombia’s not just about drugs.” In the event hosted by the MultiCultural Center (MCC), Lambda Theta Alpha sorority and the Interested Ladies of Lambda Theta Alpha, the ASI San Luis Lounge looked more like the Colombian flag than a university study room. Decorated with balloons, streamers and posters in yellow, blue and red, approximately 40 students piled in to learn about the country’s culture, religion and history. Posterboard displays highlighting famous Colombian natives (such as Shakira and Nascar driver Juan Pablo Montoya) and the country’s culture (such as the patron saint of the Republic of Colombia, La Virgen de Chiquinquira, and Colombian-style see Columbia, page 7

“Not Quite There Yet”

mustang daily

Monday, October 19, 2009


Arts editor: Cassandra Keyse

music column

Atlas Sound’s second album more upbeat than expected Over the past couple of years, I have made countless irrelevant analogies, pretentious statements, contentious contradictions and flat out dick-moves. Not only that, but I’ve spent some years as a music director, columnist, on-air personality, public speaker and all-around attention whore. The reason is that I have always believed that I was an interesting case study for humanity. In my head, when I played “truth time” or made a spectacle/ass of myself, people would read or hear or see me and come to the conclusion that I am an interesting and poignant individual who is worth spending some time with. Spending countless hours reading romantic poetry and being super introspective, I thought I was discovering universal truths that would somehow deviate from the banal cliches crammed down our throats by everybody else. But it was really just a bunch of bullshit. Just because I feel any sort of way about anything doesn’t mean that that’s the way it is (Oh my god, look at me teaching

you people things you didn’t already know). My personal experiences do not and cannot match yours, and that’s why whatever I have to say about experience doesn’t help anybody. What I’m trying to say here is that introspection is masturbation. That’s why, I’ve just now decided, I didn’t like “Let the Blind Lead Those Who Can See but Cannot Feel,” the debut LP by Atlas Sound, but really enjoyed “Logos,” the second LP by Atlas Sound and the solo project of Deerhunter frontman, Bradford Cox. “Logos,” as Cox himself explains, is a more collaborative effort that deviates away from his “last album [which] was a bedroom laptop type thing. Very introverted.” Recorded in studios and homes around the world, “Logos” moves away from the autobiographical nature of “Let the Blind Lead” and seems to be acknowledging the world outside of himself. Songs like “Walkabout,” which features Noah Lennox, more popularly known as Panda

Bear of Animal Collective, are way more upbeat and positive while still holding on to the haunting and depressing things about life. “Logos,” on a purely sonic level, is an absolutely beautiful and sprawling masterpiece that starts off with “The Light That Failed,” a repetitive but intriguing track that expands, pours, shuffles, blooms, blossoms, etc. from plain laptop-pop to panoramic instrumentation, whatever the hell that means. The vocals are fuzzed to give it a dreamy effect, but still clear enough to follow the lyrics and plenty enjoyable. It is perfectly clear by this album that Bradford Cox has “become bored with introspection.” His album doesn’t just speak about him and assume that he speaks for all. Instead, he has opened up to the world around him, has collaborated and has even let others interpret and rearrange his own creation (I am referring to “Quick Canal,” which was originally a fifteen-minute-long instrumental turned into a nine-minute-long song with vocals by Laetitia Sadier of Stereolab). So whether or not this was a pedantic and useless article that was just masturbatory gobbledygook or not, you should definitely give the album a listen. Jack LaPorte is an English senior, and “Hipster Bullshit” contributing columnist.

Columbia continued from page 6

bunuelos) were the main attraction of the room. Sorority sister Byanka Gaxiola and event coordinator Patty Lopez both said they wanted people to walk away from the event more knowledgeable about Cal Poly’s diversity and more aware of another country’s culture. “We hope that they have a better understanding of their heritage and awareness of the fact that we are different,” Lopez said. “The biggest stereotype is that we’re all Mexican, and I know that a lot of people don’t want to be called that or assumed that. Everyone’s proud of where they come from and I think learning about it helps a lot.” A slideshow presentation of the country’s economy, religion and natural disasters and a YouTube video titled “Colombia es Pasion en Ingles” mixed Colombia’s well-known problems with its more hidden passion for food, festivals, music and life.The video placed emphasis on the lively passion of the people as it showed footage of Colombians laughing and dancing in street festivals. At the end, a panel of Colombian natives (including two students and a woman who happened to walk by the room coincidentally) spoke about the warm waters of Colombian beaches and laughed when asked if they ate tortillas in Colombia. “We eat a lot of pais and a lot of rice so we don’t need any tortillas,” said one panelist. Home to approximately 43 million people, the Republic of Colombia is most known for its drug cartel and economy problems. With 50 percent of its people living below the poverty line, Colombia has an 11.1 percent

7 unemployment rate and a devastatingly low peso. But what the panelists, the members of the sorority and the MCC wanted people to see was that the country is also rich in culture, political history and diversity, all of which were heard when the panelists from different areas of Colombia compared the cloudless skies of Palmira to the still beautiful Bogota. Daza hopes that by speaking about the other things Colombia has to offer, he can make a difference and help people gain a different perspective of Colombia than what they see through the media. “There’s this sense of responsibility I have to speak well about my country, to speak the truth and I want to be a part of it,” Daza said. Many students initially attended the hour-long event to fulfill a cultural learning objective for a class, but they walked away with something better. “It was nice to learn about something different than I’m used to for a change,” kinesiology sophomore Aly Geppert said. “I thought it was interesting, I learned a lot. I thought it was cool how they had people from Colombia come and speak about their experiences.” This is the third year the sorority and the MCC have put on an event like this. The last two years, the sorority and the MCC have dedicated nights to Belize and El Salvador and Lopez said they hope to continue these events in the future. “It’s always good to know fun things about a country to kind of keep that with you always and not focus on the bad stuff (but) what makes that country very, very unique,” Lopez said. “We hope to continue on and maybe showcase every other country and hopefully have students be curious and maybe find something fun about Ecuador or Argentina.”

opinion/editorial Monday, October 19, 2009

Editor in chief: Emilie Egger Managing Editor: Alex Kacik

mustang daily The voice of Cal Poly since 1916


Pollan saga highlights shortcomings in Poly’s commitment to free speech Michael Pollan should have been the only man on stage when he came to speak at Cal Poly regarding farming sustainability last Thursday. After all, that was the original agreement when the Sustainable Agriculture Research Consortium decided to bring him to campus. Instead, the bestselling author of “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” was forced to share the stage with a hastily assembled panel, which was formed to balance out the “significant backlash” that would come with giving him center stage, according to Cal Poly dean of agriculture David Wehner in an LA Times article. While the hot topics surrounding Pollan’s appearance should have been sustainable farming practices, the real issues turned out to lie beneath the environmental hype. Instead of focusing on what Pollan had to say, the buzzwords changed to money, speech, ideas and the censorship thereof. Instead of being left to consider how the Cal Poly community, both individually and collectively, can lead a more sustainable way of life, Cal Poly is left with the reality that the higherups will turn to cover-ups when it might cost them a pretty penny. It’s true that some people find Pollan’s ideas to be too radical. But as a university, Cal Poly shouldn’t shy away from presenting controversial ideas to start discussion. Throwing together a panel with people who don’t come close to having Pollan’s sort of recognition made the university look silly. More importantly, it called into question the university’s committment to new ideas and its faith in students and faculty to make their own decisions when it comes to heated topics. Harris Ranch C.E.O. and Cal Poly alumnus David Wood, who threatened to take back some of his hundreds of thousands of dollars in gifts to Cal Poly over the event, has criticized Pollan for being “against conventional agriculture.” It was partially this criticism that prompted the powers that be to place Pollan on a panel.


to the editor New ‘get out of school quick’ requirements unrealistic Engineering students, we have been screwed. The engineering program is getting ridiculous. How can Cal Poly still dangle that four-year constraint above our heads when almost every engineering student sullenly admits that they will be here at least five years? Now the department, anxious over budget cuts and too many students, is making its guidelines stricter and more outrageous for making progress towards one’s degree. They don’t even want you to retake classes anymore to raise your GPA — in fact, they said they are “reviewing” students with lots of repeats and sending them letters threatening dismissal.

But as a respected agricultural school, Cal Poly shouldn’t equate a well-known and highly-respected voice for agricultural reform with two people who represent the old system, one that already has a huge voice on this campus. With something as important as food, progressive ideas should be taken seriously when they’re presented instead of getting lost in half-hearted attempts to give equal press time to old ideologies. The fact that Wood was upset enough over Pollan’s planned onehour presentation to “reconsider” a several hundred thousand dollar donation should make one wonder what exactly made him feel so threatened. His extreme reaction prompts a deeper look into who gives Cal Poly money and what influence they have over speech on campus. Members of the Cal Poly community should be wondering what other times ideas were suppressed to make a big donor happy. How many other times has President Baker received threatening letters and changed the agenda at

the last minute in order to save face or funding? As students who picked this university to spend four years of our lives learning, we should be wondering how often ideas are quieted to keep donors happy. Obviously, outside funding and community support are good things and money allocated toward specific programs is beneficial for university enhancement. But it should be expected that donors will sometimes disagree with what happens on campus. Furthermore, money that comes at the expense of transparency should never be welcomed. When this happens, the people with the money are the winners, while everyone else is left in the dark as to what’s really going on. Just because Baker’s letter correspondence with a big donor hasn’t leaked before, doesn’t mean similar conversations haven’t occurred over other ‘controversial’ speakers or events. All Cal Poly community members, from freshmen to the (not-so-famous) alumni should be suspicious about what’s being con-

john krause newsart

Any engineering student who has been at Cal Poly for a while will tell you that engineering classes are hard. And in the flowchart we are supposed to follow, they expect us to take five difficult technical classes during some quarters? How does anyone do that? Who wrote this curriculum? I want to know the statistics behind Cal Poly’s engineers. How many of them actually graduate? How long does it take them? What is the average GPA for an engineering student? I want to know because I think I have misplaced my trust in Cal Poly. They sold me a “learn by doing” four-year education. I came out of high school with high test scores, a huge GPA and a huge horizon. Three years later, I’m on contract, consumed with anxiety over grades and frustrated that I have fallen behind, even with a 4-class head start (from AP test substitution) freshman year!

I am not a slacker. I am energetic and smart. Does anyone care that so many engineering students have so much trouble? Or are we all just ashamed of ourselves because the school posts flyers telling us we aren’t studying hard enough? Arly Davies aerospace engineering junior American healthcare doesn’t need all that much fixing Oh, Stephanie.The right to health care? Do you not realize that this wonderful country in which we live has some of the best medical care in the world? You claim that all have a right to health coverage and that all other industrialized democratic nations recognize this right. Well, did you know that people come from those countries to receive medical treatment here? If those other systems were so glorious, that would not be the case! Here’s something to think

cealed. Cal Poly is often criticized for not being an ideologically-progressive school and for hiding behind terms like ‘diversity’ while doing little to progress ideas across the campus. Not only does this event add to that harmful image, but it begs the question of how much further along Cal Poly would be in terms of goals like diversity and sustainability if more ideas were given the opportunity to flourish. Baker released a statement last week to offset some of the controversy, in which he defended his decision of forming the panel, saying “I believe the panel discussion served our students well and cannot even remotely be considered a disservice to academic freedom, a core value that I have dedicated my entire professional life to protecting and defending.” While academic freedom is an admirable thing to aspire to, the leaked letters beg to differ. Instead of bowing to the power of money, Baker should have stood up to the big agribusiness bullies and refused to let their strongholds on agriculture transfer into a stronghold on ideas on campus instead of hiding behind the notions of “free speech” and “diversity.” Censored speech isn’t free, even if it comes with a half-million dollar gift. Michael Pollan put it best this weekend in an LA Times article. “The issue is about whether the school is really free to explore diverse ideas about farming,’’ he said. “Is the principle of balance going to apply across the board? The next time Monsanto (a multinational agricultural corporation) comes to speak at Cal Poly about why we need (genetically modified organisms) to feed the world, will there be a similar effort? Will I be invited back for that show?” I doubt it. Emilie Egger is a history and English senior and Mustang Daily editor-in-chief.

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write a letter Mustang Daily reserves the right to edit letters for grammar, profanities and length. Letters, commentaries and cartoons do not represent the views of the Mustang Daily. Please limit length to 250 words. Letters should include the writer’s full name, phone number, major and class standing. Letters must come from a Cal Poly e-mail account. Do not send letters as an attachment. Please send the text in the body of the e-mail. By e-mail: By mail: Letters to the Editor Building 26, Room 226 Cal Poly, SLO, CA 93407 Online:


about, would we really have the best medicine and medical technology in this country if the government ran health care? No! Competition drives innovation and innovation brings all of us in this country (read: you too) the best medical care in the world. You want the government to take care of you? If you really want people to be able to receive the best medical treatment they can, keep the government’s dirty hands off of the healthcare system! After all, if there is a real emergency, by law, patients cannot be rejected from the ER. The Postal System, Social Security, and Medicare have all been ruined by the government, so please don’t ask them to ruin the outstanding medical industry that we have here! You want socialized healthcare of lower quality? Then go to a country that has it! You are, in fact, free to leave this one! David Lewis mechanical engineering senior

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Monday, October 19 2009 Volume LXXIV, No. 27 ©2009 Mustang Daily “We’re turning the respect zone into a meat market.”

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mustang daily

Monday, October 19, 2009



continued from page 12

sports Volleyball

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the Mustangs. Southern Utah quarterback Cade Cooper, who was ranked 19th in the FCS for passing yardage coming into Saturday, found his rhythm — finishing the contest 27-40 and three touchdowns. The Mustangs have been the only team to hold Cooper under 250 yards passing this season. Wide receiver Jared Urusa held on to a jaw-dropping, 14-yard touchdown catch in the corner of the end zone, soaring over one defender in the first quarter. The Thunderbirds out passed the Mustangs by 241 yards, but the Mustangs were able to gain 106 more yards than the Thunderbirds on the ground. Cal Poly held the Southern Utah on two of four fourthdown conversion attempts and tallied three turnovers, including an interception in the end zone. The Mustang defense has forced at least three takeaways in their past three games. Shotwell received Great West player of the week honors with his three-sack performance. He was also credited with a forced fumble and a pass deflection. Linebacker Marty Mohamed accumulated a game-high 12 tackles. Cal Poly looks to carry momentum into next week when they host Dixie State at Alex G. Spanos Stadium. Kickoff is set for 6:05.

minute when Camacho settled a ball off a pass from Nadia Link, and fired a shot from 10 yards out with Hoover making a diving save. The Mustangs took just three shots in the scoreless first half, two on goal compared to six by the 49ers with two on goal. The Mustangs best scoring opportunity came in the 30th minute when Kristina CondonSherwood was awarded a free kick from 30 yards out. She bent it around the wall, but LBSU goalie Emily Kingsborough was there for the stop. The 49ers had an opportunity in the 38th minute on a cross from the left side by Karina Camacho, but Hoover was able to punch the ball out of the box. Overall Long Beach State was able outshoot Cal Poly 15-8 with six shots on goal compared to the Mustangs’ four. Hoover earned her eighth shutout of the season making six saves in the game. Kingsborough took the loss for the 49ers, making three saves. The Mustangs honored the team’s seven seniors prior to the game: Coral Hoover, Kaleena Andruss, Ally Kellogg, Carissa Voegele, Kristina Condon-Sherwood, Jessica Rodriguez and Julianne Grinstead. The Mustangs return to the field on the road when they travel to Pacific for a conference game

lead changes at 24-23 following a McConnell kill. Cal Poly, however, committed 11 hitting miscues during a third set in which the Mustangs led just once and never by more than two points. Pacific forced the deciding set by hitting .440 during game No. 4. In the fifth set, kills by freshman Jennifer Keddy and sophomore Catie Smith allowed the Mustangs to build an early 4-2 advantage. Pacific, however, failed to commit a hitting error down the stretch and utilized an 8-2 run to post its first victory in Mott Gym since Oct. 2, 2004. Friday night Cal Poly fell in five-sets to UC Davis. Against the Aggies, it was more of a back-and-forth affair. The Mus-

tangs took the first set, the Aggies the second and the Mustangs the third. From there the Aggies controlled the next two sets for the victory. In both games the Mustangs won two of the first three matches. Despite a youthful team head coach Jon Stevenson is not convinced his recent teams struggles are due to a lack of experience. He’s solidified his rotation of young players and feels comfortable with their experience. “I don’t think it’s that they’re that young or youthful,” he said. “The freshman are 21 matches old. In volleyball life that’s a substantial number of matches.” Cal Poly resumes play at UC Riverside on Friday, Oct. 23.. Match time inside the Student Recreation Center, as well as for Cal Poly’s Oct. 24 match at No. 21 UC Irvine, is scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday, October 19, 2009


sports editor: Brian De Los Santos


Mustangs hold off fourth-quarter rally, defeat Thunderbirds in homecoming game, 24-23 Brian De Los Santos mustang daily

In a game highlighted with injuries, it was the story of comebacks that headlined Saturday’s contest. “In my five years at Cal Poly I’ve been on the other end of [missed field goals] a couple times to many,” defensive end Ryan Shotwell said. The Mustangs edged a win against Southern Utah 24-23 after the Thunderbirds missed an extra-point that should have tied the game with nine seconds left Saturday night in Alex G. Spanos Stadium. With the Thunderbirds trailing 17-24 and 1:47 left in the game, Southern Utah embarked on a 65-yard, 10-play drive that ended with Tysson Poots catching a 15yard pass in between two defenders for a touchdown. The Thunderbirds originally lined up to try for a two-point conversion, but following a timeout, a decision led Southern Utah to line up for one. The extra-point was then missed wide-left by Ryan Griffith, sending the Thunderbirds home (2-4). “I know exactly how those guys feel, it’s going to be a long bus ride home, they’re a good team and I wish them the best of luck this year,” Shotwell said. Cal Poly gains their first Great West win and advances to 3-3, with an undefeated record at home.

The come-from-behind touchdown was not the only comeback that found its way onto the gridiron Saturday, many Mustangs made appearances after being recently sidelined with injuries. Jon Hall, Xavier Gardner, Dominique Johnson and Tony Smith all saw playing time against Southern Utah. Hall and Smith both finished the game with touchdowns, Johnson caught two passes and Gardner tallied five tackles. All were effective, but the most impressive performance Saturday fell on the shoulders of sophomore fullback Jake Romanelli, who made a start due to an injury to starting fullback Jordan Yocum. Romanelli was able to rumble for 112 yards and a touchdown, in his first extensive playing time since San Jose State. His totals mark his first career 100-yard rushing game and his first career rushing touchdown. “It was an awesome feeling to say the least,” Romanelli said. “All the credit goes to my (offensive line) especially (Scott Winnewiser) and (Maurice McClure) on the left side.” Along with Romanelli Cal Poly was able gain success on the ground. He was just one of five Mustangs who rushed for 228 total yards combined. The Mustangs didn’t choose to throw the ball much, but when called upon, Tony Smith struggled to revive what has proven to be a stagnant passing offense.

Women’s soccer pulls past Long Beach State 1-0 sports information report

A goal by sophomore Tiffany Gummow in the 47th minute of play gave Cal Poly a 1-0 win over Long Beach State in a hotly contested Big West Conference game between the two women’s soccer programs in at Alex G. Spanos Stadium on Sunday. With the win, Cal Poly improves to 11-5-0 overall and 5-1-0 in Big West contests while the 49ers fall to 5-8-2 overall and 1-3-0 in BWC. Gummow’s game winner, her

fourth goal of the season, came when she dribbled the ball down the left side of the field, beating two LBSU defenders. The shot squeezed between the far post and deflected off the goalie and into the net. The goal by Gummow may have been the decider, but a play in the 73rd minute created the drama. Off a Long Beach State corner kick by Karina Camacho, 49er Lindsay Bullock headed the ball toward the Cal Poly goal while Coral Hoover, the Mustang goalie, deflected the ball toward the post and off a Cal Poly defender for an apparent save. Long Beach State claimed a goal while Cal Poly claimed the save. A discussion of over four minutes by the officials resulted in a no goal call and the officials put the ball back in play with a dropped ball 10 yards in front of the Cal Poly goal. The resulting dropped ball saw the ball played out of bounds. Long Beach State had another opportunity for a goal in the 50th see Soccer, page 11

nick camacho mustang daily file photo

Cal Poly’s offensive line has helped the Mustangs rush for more than 150 yards in every contest this season. Smith looked impressive early when he connected with Dominique Johnson for two receptions on Cal Poly’s first drive, but didn’t complete another pass until well into the fourth quarter. He finished the game 3-7 for 22 yards. Smith’s total number of comple-

tions matched the total number of rushing touchdowns the Mustangs scored Saturday. As the Mustang passing game struggled to find its stride, the Thunderbird passing offense was able to establish consistency. Poots put on a monster perfor-

mance for the Thunderbirds as he caught 12 catches for 170 yards and a touchdown. Poots may be all too familiar with multiple catches against Cal Poly; he caught 16 passes for 246 yards last year against see Football, page 11

Volleyball falls in five sets to Pacific sports information report

Freshman outside hitter Megan McConnell led a trio of Mustangs in double-digit kill figures with 16 Saturday evening, but the Cal Poly volleyball team suffered a 23-25, 23-25, 25-22, 25-19, 15-11 loss against Pacific in Mott Gym – the program’s third-straight, five-set defeat and second in as many nights after leading. “We were just ready to win in three,” freshman outside hitter Megan McConnell said. “We wanted revenge for our previous losses.” Junior middle blocker Dominique Olowolafe added a seasonbest 15 kills and hit .409 while freshman opposite Holly Franks added 13 kills for Cal Poly (6-15, 2-6), which fell to 2-4 in five-set matches this year and 0-3 when leading during a five-set match. Freshman setter Anuhea Keanini totaled a career-best 56 assists for the Mustangs, who were outhit by the Tigers, .333-.200, and outblocked, 23-10. Despite being limited to a .242 hitting mark during set No. 1, the Mustangs snatched nine of

nick camacho mustang daily file photo

The Mustangs fell in back-to-back five game sets this weekend. the initial 11 points and led the opening game wire-to-wire. Cal Poly solidified its lead by battering Pacific (15-4, 5-3) with a .448 hit-

ting percentage during the second set and claiming the last of three see Volleyball, page 11


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