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The life of a


extraordinaire TAKING THE HIGH ROAD


| Forestry junior Bryan Sipe joined the highlining community after coming to Cal Poly. He started slacklining behind Business (building 3) and evolved to highlining at Bishop Peak.

Kaylee Zaccone Special to Mustang News

Imagine being hundreds of feet in the air. You look around and see there is nothing to hold on to. You walk through the air on nothing but a piece of webbing not even as wide as your foot. It’s springy and the only thing

between you and the ground. Now imagine doing this all the time, just for fun. Meet Bryan Sipe, a forestry junior and highlining extraordinaire. Sipe joined the highlining community after coming to Cal Poly. He started by slacklining on the lawn behind Business (building

3). Slacklining is a sport where a long piece of webbing is tied between two anchors, such as trees or large boulders, and then pulled taut enough for someone to walk on. It requires significant balance and focus, both traits that Sipe posseses. After practicing slacklining, Sipe set his sights even higher

and researched highlining. It is essentially the same as slacklining, but much higher in the air. Through his research, Sipe came across a group of highliners planning a get-together in Humboldt, so he decided to go check it out. “I was drawn to the sport just because of how insane it looked,”

Sipe said. “When I first saw videos of the sport, I thought it was just for professionals with huge sponsors, but after learning that really anyone can do it with the right knowledge, experience and gear, I wanted to be all about it.” EXTRAORDINAIRE continued on page 4

The long, strange trip of a Cal Poly professor Annie Vainshtein Special to Mustang News

It was 1996 in a pre-gentrified Baltimore that Christian Anderson decided he needed to leave. He packed the few bags he owned and headed west. Just the year prior, his graduation from University of Maryland at College Park spun him into a state of discontent which he dealt with through Grateful Dead tapes, philosophical musings and a gig at Greg’s Bagels — the gem of Baltimore’s bagel scene that Anderson is still devoted to. Anyone who meets Anderson, a German professor at Cal Poly, knows his past doesn’t really make any sense, but it’s not supposed to. Back to 1996 — Anderson had just graduated with about as much idea of his life’s purpose as, well, anyone. That year included a stint in the Appalachian Mountains where he worked as a counselor for what he calls “wayward youth.” His job description there included cutting down trees, resisting hypothermia and making sure no one ran away or murdered each other. He only lasted 10 days. So concluded a year of bagel rolling and trust falls with “psychopathic” teenagers in the mountains. He sold a chunk of

his belongings and headed to California by car. Halfway through his travel, in Wyoming at Medicine BowRoutt National Forest, he had a vision compelling enough to make him turn back on the 1,100 miles he already drove: He was supposed to be the mayor of Baltimore. So, he turned around. On his way to begin his political campaign, he stopped in Urbana, Illinois to celebrate his birthday. He planned to leave the next day but ended up staying — for two years. 2016 Anderson’s office in the department of liberal arts is a menagerie of things living and deceased: thick philosophy and historical texts packed like sardines on his bookshelf, Red Bull he drinks out of shot glasses and a ferociously mint Bernie sticker. The day after Donald Trump was elected president, Anderson cancelled class and instead hosted office hours all day. Today, class is cancelled again, but not because of Trump. He read me an email he sent to his German language class that contains links to all kinds of German media: a silent film showing Berlin before World War II, old hymns, German expressionism. In fact, media — music, film, art and literature — all are cen-

tral to coursework in Anderson’s classes, even if they don’t immediately concern culture. He has a master’s degree in 19th and 20th century German cultural studies, and his Ph.D is in 18th-21st century German cultural studies. Some days, he spends class marveling with students at the sound of classical music in the dark. “It’s being open to sensory impression,” he said. “I don’t care what people learn in my class, but I do want them to come out stronger and more flexible. It only matters if it’s something they care about because that’s what will germinate, and later on, be the basis for some other thought; that’s how the mind grows.” Anderson’s classes draw students who aren’t even enrolled; they just come because they like him. And it seems even he finds his popularity amusing, something to poke fun at rather than bask in. Despite his doctorate degrees and the accelerated speed at which he learned German himself, Anderson describes himself as having been a “terrible language student.” He struggled with the way languages were taught in school; he thought some of the programs propagated unfair divisions between those who swam and those who sank. STRANGE TRIP continued on page 4



| In 1996, Christian Anderson packed his bags and drove from Baltimore to California.

What’s next after Trump’s travel ban Brendan Matsuyama @CPMustangNews



| The executive order prevents citizens of certain countries from traveling to the U.S.

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals denied the Trump administration’s request for a stay on a restraining order on its travel ban issued by a Washington state judge earlier in the week. This denial makes the future of the executive order uncertain. President Donald Trump signed Executive Order 13769 Jan. 27 at the Pentagon. The order, titled

“Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States,” placed a 90-day ban on all individuals with visas from Libya, Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Additionally, it placed a 120-day moratorium on the admission of refugees from any country and an indefinite ban on refugees from Syria. All countries included in the order were marked as “countries or areas of concern” by the Department of Homeland Security

News 1-3 | Arts 4-5 | Opinion 6 | Classifieds 7 | Sports 8

under the Obama administration and were subject to restrictions under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). The order specifically cites the 9/11 attacks as a justification for the proposed travel ban, though the home countries of the hijackers responsible — Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates — were not included in the ban. TRAVEL BAN continued on page 3



Change in security fee policy causes controversy on campus Brendan Matsuyama @CPMustangNews

In wake of the Milo Yiannopoulos event sponsored by the College Republicans Jan. 31, controversy arose about Cal Poly’s security fee policy. Shortly after the event, Cal Poly’s Muslim Student Association (MSA) voiced its dissatisfaction with the university’s actions concerning fees. The group cited the security fees it was charged for the MSA West Annual Conference that took place at Cal Poly Jan. 15-17, 2016 while the Cal Poly College Republicans had their fees waived for the Yiannopoulos event. Cal Poly said it changed its policy in September, deciding to not charge student clubs for security fees incurred for speaking events. Joy Pedersen, associate dean of Students for Student Support, Success and Retention, cited instances during an Associated Students, Inc. (ASI) board meeting on Feb. 8 where clubs, including College Republicans, were charged a security fee prior to this September decision. “Prior to this past September, all clubs were paying for their own security and facilities,” Pedersen said. “It was in April the College Republicans paid $400 to $500 for security for a smaller event. The MSA paid for their own security on the facilities for the conference.” The university referenced a lawsuit filed by the Young America’s Foundation against California State University (CSU) Los Angeles in May of 2016 instigated by a $600 security fee on students and alleged obstruction of students entering an event featuring conservative political commentator Ben Shapiro as one of the chief motivations for the policy change. However, the university did not reveal this until several days after the issue had gained media attention.



| MSA adviser Lloyd-Moffett created a petition asking the university to reimburse the group’s $4,888 security fee payment toward their MSA West Annual Conference.

Cal Poly officials initially told The Tribune that the university did not have a written policy regarding security fees. Cynthia Lambert, a communications specialist for the Office of University Communications, later stated that this information was not publicly announced because it was not necessary. “Cal Poly simply changed its practice of charging student clubs for extra security as of the beginning of this academic year,” Lambert said. “It made this change to ensure all student club activities are treated in a consistent, view-

point-neutral manner. The university would have openly discussed this change with anyone who inquired, but it was never of public interest until recently.” Stephen Lloyd-Moffett, associate professor of religious studies and faculty adviser for MSA, criticized this practice, stating that all parties involved should have been notified of this change. “It undoubtedly is convenient that, after three days of bad press, [we] discovered that they changed the policy,” Lloyd-Moffett said. “If they changed the policy, they should have made everybody aware of this back in September … Not reveal it after three days of bad press.” Lloyd-Moffett launched a petition Feb. 4 calling for the university to reimburse MSA with the $4,888 they paid to Cal Poly in security fees. However, Cal Poly says there is nothing to reimburse. “The university covered the costs of security for the MSA West event through Cal Poly division and department sponsorships,” Lambert said. Vice President of Student Affairs Keith Humphrey told The Tribune that the administration worked with MSA West to organize the event through the Cal Poly MSA — a club recognized by ASI — to lower the club’s costs. Initially, the university distinguished the two events by la-


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belling the College Republicans’ event a free speech activity protected under the First Amendment. Lloyd-Moffett countered this argument, noting its ambiguity and narrow interpretation of the First Amendment as causes for concern. “First, the university has no category called ‘free speech activity,’” Lloyd-Moffett said. “There’s no

The rationale for the petition was based on... fairness to treating groups on campus. STEPHEN LLOYD-MOFFETT

box you can check that grants you free protection because you are engaged in a free speech activity. Second, all public speaking is a free speech activity. The idea that Milo’s talk was uniquely a free speech activity suggests one doesn’t understand the First Amendment. Third, within the First Amendment is a protection for religion and if any event is a free speech activity, the right of students to talk about their religion and its place in our society seems to fall under that. So,

I think that was an attempt to create a distinction that didn’t actually exist.” The university has changed the basis of its justification, maintaining the position that the College Republicans’ event was distinctly different from the MSA event because the MSA conference was initiated by an outside group — MSA West. “In the case of the MSA West conference, it was not a student club, but an external organization which used the campus for an external event that included a three-day conference and required the university to house several hundred people in the Recreation Center for two nights. While Cal Poly was able to classify portions of the conference as a student club event, to help minimize costs, it was an external event that required extra security, which MSA West understood,” Lambert said. However, in terms of how clubs were supported by external organizations, Lloyd-Moffett believes that the College Republican and MSA events were not as different as the administration states. “The university wants to create a distinction in that the MSA club partnered with MSA West,” Lloyd-Moffett said. “College Republicans partnered with Breitbart and other groups to bring it in. I don’t think those are distinctions that are mean-

ingful to most people who are looking at it from the outside ... For it to be placed in a different category, it’s got to be a meaningfully different category.” The university stated that it will review and possibly rewrite its current policy regarding security fees for student club events as early as Fall 2017. Lloyd-Moffett commended the university for its support of the MSA in the past. He expressed his hope that the university uses this dispute as an opportunity to support inclusivity at Cal Poly. “I’m working with the leadership of the Muslim Student Association to draft some suggestions for meaningful actions to demonstrate this support,” Lloyd-Moffett said. “The rationale for the petition was not based on administrative categories or policy, but based on fairness to treating groups on campus. And to the extent that there still is the perception that the Muslim students were treated differently, I think it’s important that the administration takes the opportunity to demonstrate their support for the Muslim students and for all vulnerable groups on campus.” Lloyd-Moffett’s stance, as well as his aforementioned criticisms, were reiterated in his letter to the editor that was published by The Tribune Feb. 11. His petition is published on and accumulated 1,038 signatures as of Feb. 11.


MONDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2017 TRAVEL BAN continued from page 1

Immediately after its implementation, airports throughout the United States detained travelers. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer originally stated that 109 people were affected by the ban, but it was later reported that this statistic only included individuals who were traveling at the time the ban was implemented. The Department of Homeland Security reported that 940 people were not allowed to board planes bound for the U.S. as of Feb. 1. On Jan. 28, Judge Ann Donnelly of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New

York issued an emergency stay blocking the section of the order that authorized the deportation of individuals with valid visas or refugee status. On Jan. 29, Judge Allison Burroughs and Magistrate Judge Judith Dein of the U.S. District Court of Massachusetts ordered that individuals who would have legally been allowed to enter the United States prior to the implementation of the executive order — including refugees, permanent residents and visa holders — could not be detained or deported. The White House changed a portion of its order Jan. 29, exempting permanent residents from the ban.

Cal Poly reacts to ban Cal Poly students gathered to protest the immigration ban and border wall Feb. 1 concurrently with Milo Yiannopoulos’ speech at Alex and Faye Spanos Theatre. Many of the protesters were organized by the Cal Poly Student Collective and marched through campus, beginning and ending at Mott Lawn. According to Cal Poly International Center Director Caroline Moore, the center contacted about 10 students affected by the ban as of Feb. 2. California State University (CSU) Chancellor Timothy White released a statement Jan. 30 signed by him and the presidents of every CSU condemning

the order and expressing hopes that the Trump administration would reconsider. President Jeffrey Armstrong sent out a similar statement to Cal Poly students via email on Jan. 31. “Like many others who have been speaking out, I am concerned that the ban is in opposition to our country’s values,” Armstrong said. “We are a nation of immigrants and indigenous peoples that represents hope, opportunity, liberty and freedom. It is my fervent desire that the level of peaceful protest and opposition we are seeing nationally and internationally will convince the new president and his administration to reconsider this policy.”

Post-ban fallout Acting Attorney General Sally Yates was dismissed from her position by Trump Jan. 30 after instructing the Department of Justice not to defend the executive order in court. Yates was replaced by Dana Boente — a U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia — before the confirmation of Jeff Sessions to the office of Attorney General Feb. 9. On Feb. 3, Judge James Robart of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington issued a restraining order prohibiting federal employees from enforcing the travel ban. The Justice Department filed for an emergency

stay in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, but this request was ultimately denied Feb. 9 by a three-judge panel in San Francisco. After the decision of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus told the Washington Post that the White House is considering appealing to the Supreme Court. Trump expressed this intention on his Twitter saying, “See you in court, the security of our nation is at stake!” However, the president then stated that he was considering filing a new executive order concerning immigration as early as Feb. 13.

Incubation period for meningococcal

disease ends, vaccines continue Austin Linthicum @CPMustangNews

Students were on high alert after an email sent by Campus Health and Wellbeing the morning of Jan. 20 warned about a case of meningococcal disease, a bacterial infection that causes meningitis. Later that day, they announced that anyone who attended social events hosted by Alpha Phi, Delta Chi or Delta Sigma Phi Jan. 14-15, as well as people affiliated with the groups, had an increased risk of being exposed.


Alpha Phi, Delta Chi and Delta Sigma Phi all declined to comment. As of Monday, Jan. 30, San Luis Obispo Public Health notified Campus Health and Wellbeing that the incubation period for new cases of meningococcal disease is over. Neisseria meningitidis is the bacteria that caused meningitis in the case on campus, according to Campus Health and Wellbeing Medical Director Dr. Aaron Baker. A San Luis Obis-

po County public health official notified Cal Poly of the indexed infection and provided additional updates as more information became available in helping Cal Poly address the infection risk. Ultimately, only one case of the disease was diagnosed. “Meningococcal disease is quite dangerous due to the rapidly progressive and potentially fatal nature of the infection,” Baker said. “In worst case scenarios, the disease can be rapidly fatal, starting off with flu-like symptoms and worsen-


| There will be another clinic March 9 and 10 for students to get the meningococcal B vaccine.

ing to death.” To combat the spread of meningococcal disease, any student who thought they were exposed could receive a prophylactic antibiotic medication at a free Campus Health and Wellbeing clinic or from any local pharmacy. In total, 487 students received the preventative medication. On Feb. 2, 3 and 9, over 300 people received the meningococcal B vaccine. Campus Health and Wellbeing planned a second vaccine clinic on March

9 and 10 to either continue the series of vaccines or start if someone missed the first clinic. Baker believes that wide use of the ACYW meningococcal vaccine has decreased risk of disease from those bacterial strains. Baker noted that significant exposure in terms of spreading the disease includes intimate contacts such as sharing food or drink or being in close contact — less than three feet — for more than eight hours. “Any party where you are

closely in contact with other people [sharing food, drink, saliva] is [an] excellent place to transmit,” Baker said. Even when it is treated, meningococcal disease kills 10 to 15 infected people out of 100. Furthermore, the disease can lead to lifelong disabilities. Campus Health and Wellbeing monitored five cases of viral meningitis in Cal Poly students in 2015. Viral meningitis, however, can be treated and is less aggressive than this year’s bacterial case.

ARTS 4 STRANGE TRIP continued from page 1

In his lower level classes, he allows students to speak English and sometimes spends entire class periods writing complex sentences laden with historical and cultural references and dissecting them piece by piece. It’s language as a cultural medium that he finds significant, not the correct phrase for greeting a German bank attendant. Many students in his classes might never guess he only started learning German in his twenties, during his previous life as an investment bank analyst at Alex. Brown & Sons in Baltimore. When Deutsche Bank bought the company in 1999, in an effort to “sweeten the deal” they offered oneon-one five-hour-per-week German lessons to employees. Anderson was thrilled. He was even more thrilled because his path to become a full-time, soonto-be six-figure-making employee at their office in Frankfurt had really been, he partially quips, “a long, strange trip.” Like most things in his life, he explains, it was largely about personality. To be clear, Anderson had no financial experience. He had long hair and no plans to tuck in his shirt. But after his crusade to the Midwest, he was broke and finally realized he had to negotiate with a reality which for most of his life was elastic and open to interpretation: adulthood. Anderson is particularly interested in adulthood — the way it looms over all, not just as a concept but as a collection of daily actions and choices everyone seems expected to resign themselves to. He likes to joke he’s been 20 for 20 years. In a given moment, his speech patterns oscillate between hyper-intellectualism and “fer sure.” He can house pataphysics, Beethoven’s thoughts on Napoleon and the irony of craft beer all in the same sentence. “I’ve stayed away from every convention that I could,” he said. “I’m not married, I don’t own a house, I went 15 years without a car until just last year.” The stock pathway to adult “normalcy” has always been an area Anderson liked to explore. He doesn’t own a dresser because he’s been living out of suitcases since 2001. But to be

EXTRAORDINAIRE continued from page 1

At the gathering, Sipe learned how to mount the line without falling. Once he felt he had it somewhat mastered, he took his first go at the highline. “The first time I got up on a highline, it was the most

MUSTANG NEWS clear: it’s not general convention he’s up against, just stagnation. One singular path feels confining, unfulfilling and not representative of a larger world which to him appears borderless and utterly uncertain. “I think it’s astonishing how stable life is, given how little we know about it,” he says. Chapter 1: Urbana Anderson has always welcomed the untrodden path of the unknown. He calls it an “emerging adulthood,” and traces it back to that formative summer of 1996 in Urbana. Before he got to Urbana, he was worn out from emotions, romantic strings, ties to a fraternity and the stress of finding a job. He wasn’t ready to face reality. Urbana was a necessary sabbatical — it was when his life as he knows it began. “When I got to Urbana, I had no friends, no job, no money; I basically started at ground zero,” he said. “And so when I think about who I am, it doesn’t really go back to childhood, it goes back to that summer.” In Urbana, Anderson pulled himself up by his bootstraps and ignited what would eventually become a career in teaching; he got a job as a teacher’s aid in a home/ school for abused children. His two years there taught him more about human behavior and teaching than any course or degree could. These kids, some as young as five years old, had been severely battered and tended toward violence and misconduct, but it was precisely the noise of conflict that put him at ease. He was good in crisis mode. He was the oldest of four brothers in a family that could “suddenly erupt into strong emotion.” At the Cunningham Children’s Home, it became clear to him that even against all odds, it was possible for the kids to have good times. “They [the students] weren’t paralyzed — they just tended, very often, to go into sub-optimal thought patterns that preserved them in miserable states,” Anderson said. “But you could get them out.” So he started looking for ways to do that. He was the master of activities. He bought the students raw materials for grotesque meat sculptures, with radishes for eyes and spaghetti for guts. He put on Hook and innerve-wracking, untrusting thing I had ever felt,” Sipe said. “I didn’t know much about the gear, but just had to trust what everyone was telling me.” His first highline was about 20 feet in the air, but was a relatively short length. Even though he knew he could make the distance, he said it still felt like a

troduced them to anchovy toppings on ice cream sundaes. It was teaching, just in a different way. He didn’t have any illusions about them being studious; it was the least of his concerns. “I mean sure, it would have been nice if they learned how to read, but honestly, at that level of dysfunction, who even cares,” he said. “The important thing is that they don’t wake up suicidal.” Anderson was good at that, and found he could even distract them into learning. He learned there that teaching was best directed from an oblique angle. “If you can find a path in all that chaos, you have succeeded in quieting the mind,” Anderson said. History senior Scout Schiebel worked closely with Anderson in and outside of the classroom. He said Anderson’s openness to new ideas and alternative routes is part of what bonds students to him so closely. One time, he said, Anderson joked that the only thing to make local cafe Kreuzberg, CA better, would be a saltwater hot tub on the roof. What started off as a joke, Schiebel said, was actually put into action: engineers in the class were interested. Anderson and four other students formed a small group to start seeing how far they could take the design. They worked tirelessly, coming up with real plans and water-friendly designs. “It turned into something a lot bigger, I think, [than] anyone thought it would,” Schiebel said. They drafted an outline for a 125- foot water wheel that would pump water from Los Osos to the back of Kreuzberg Cafe. They made a mockumentary out of it, which Schiebel helped film. How to not become a zombie These days, Anderson researches transcendence, both in broad universal strokes and within the confines of the mind. He’s also interested in the German Bildungsroman, or ‘coming of age’ narrative. But most of all, it’s the astonishment of life he doesn’t want to lose sight of. “It’s easy to become a zombie, or if you don’t like a zombie, a robot — or, if you don’t like a robot, someone who’s living an unexamined life,” he said. “I like to examine it. I have a feeling we’re only here for a little while, and to go through [life] without “one-inch piece of fiber that was extremely wobbly and, quite frankly, impossible to walk.” After the gathering at Humboldt, Sipe knew he wanted to be a part of the close highlining community he had experienced. “The people in the community are some of the nicest and most welcoming people I have ever

probing at all the different edges to me seems like a waste.” Straying from the unexamined life is something that Anderson’s former student Jose Quintero has in common with him. Taking German with Anderson was a refuge from Quintero’s excruciating second year as an economics major. “He had a different way of teaching,” Quintero said. “It was a conversation.” Quintero was dead-set on studying abroad in Berlin, but was discouraged to find that the program seemed like a rip-off from an economics standpoint. Anderson helped him find another way. He suggested Quintero move there for a few months

and take classes. Most students who dreamed of this unorthodox academic route were unable to because of push-back from parents or social expectation. Somehow, Quintero convinced his parents and with Anderson’s help, he found an apartment in the center of Berlin and took German courses. He lived alone, but was totally immersed. It wasn’t the study abroad experience most have, but it was one he wouldn’t trade for anything. “I became one with the city,” Quintero said. “By the time I left, I didn’t feel like someone who had studied abroad; I felt like I belonged — it was really rewarding.” He’s always felt he and Ander-

son were “on the same page.” “It’s sort of a rare wavelength to be on when you find somebody else like that,” Quintero said. “Especially someone usually in an authoritative position; it’s really special.” To Quintero, living eclectically is risky and uncertain, but it mirrors the way the world actually works. If you have the opportunity to pursue many different interests, he said, in a way that’s random and fluid, the world’s much more interesting. Anderson is someone who recognizes that, he said. Anderson’s life hasn’t been linear, but it’s managed to follow some order. In his case, it’s just the energy of the alternative.


SPARKED | Anderson inspired history senior Scout Schiebel to build water-friendly designs for buildings. met,” Sipe said. “I can go across the world and trust that there will be a slackliner that I have never met before, but will let me sleep on their couch and will be more than happy to show me some of the local lines.” Despite the nerves he felt on his first few highlines, Sipe continued to practice. He said the sport made him a much stronger person, both physically and emotionally, and credits it for taking him to some unbelievable places, like Yosemite National Park. “I get to be in pieces of space that only a few people have ever been in,” Sipe said. This is a sentiment shared by many highline enthusiasts. Within the San Luis Obispo highlining community, there is a tight knit group that enjoys the places their sport has taken them. “It brings me to the most insane places,” environmental earth and soil sciences junior Douglass Platt said. “I want to go to all these awesome places anyways, but with highlining it gives us a super rare and fun way to fully celebrate a beautiful location.”

Platt is another local highliner who often highlines with Sipe. He credits Sipe with teaching him everything he knows about highlining. Sipe also took several weekend trips to highline in different places, including Moab, Utah, where Sipe said he saw his first “real” highline, as in the first line that was extremely high above the ground and not in the teaching environment of the Humboldt gathering. He said he was pretty nervous during his first highlines, and at times felt like the sport may not be for him, but after continuously pushing himself to do it, he slowly gained confidence. Then his trip to Moab brought back that same feeling of doubt. He got up on his first “real” highline and found himself about 400 feet in the air. “It felt like I was starting all over again,” Sipe said. However, he kept pushing and practicing and can now highline at those heights with ease. Blaine Quackenbush, a math graduate student and another highlining friend of Sipe’s, said he loves everything about

highlining and the way it has shaped him. “It teaches me about failure and how to deal with it when I know I can do something, but it’s just not clicking for some reason,” Quackenbush said. “It also teaches me not to have expectations, because that can only let me down. My best walks and longest highlines have been times where I expect nothing from myself and my worst experiences have been when I am really confident I’m going to do well, but then I completely suck.” Now, Sipe is fully integrated into the community he so badly wanted to be a part of. He is currently working on a project with other San Luis Obispo highliners to put in a line on Cerro San Luis Mountain (Madonna Mountain) that would be about 600 feet in length and 150 feet in the air. If they can finish this project, it will be the longest highline in San Luis Obispo. “When you’re 1,000 feet up and on only a piece of webbing, but you feel as comfortable as being at home, that’s an amazing feeling,” Sipe said.

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NEAR AND FAR | Aside from SLO, Sipe has highlined in Yosemite National Park and Moab, Utah.

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Combating the gender gap in economics Rebecca Ezrin @CPMustangNews

Within the economics major in Cal Poly’s Orfalea College of Business, there are four students who identify as male for every one student who identifies as female. According to Assistant Professor of economics and Adviser of Women in Economics Stefanie Fischer, this ratio is worse than the nationwide average. “The disparity is puzzling because those with an economics degree earn among the highest starting salaries,” Fischer said. Nationally, women make up 30 percent of the workforce in economic professions on average. However, from 2008 to 2014, women made up between 15 to 24 percent of economics students at Cal Poly. “A lot of women leave [economics] classes,” Fischer said. “It’s not exactly clear why that is.”

Fischer said the most common problems expressed to her by women in the economics major are that they feel uncomfortable asking questions and feel left out of groups. Fischer noted that many of the men in the major met previously outside of class. “One girl had to do a class project alone because she was the only girl and other groups claimed they were full,” Fischer said. However, Fischer emphasized that none of the women she has spoken to mentioned anything about sexism. She thinks these experiences are the result of being a minority, rather than the male economics students at Cal Poly being sexist. Fischer did her doctoral dissertation on a topic that looked deeper into this experience. Her study is called “The Downside of Good Peers: How Classroom Composition Differentially Affects Men’s and

Women’s STEM Persistence.” She found through her research that women tend to opt out of competitive environments more than men. The most common reasons for this were dissatisfaction with grades, rigorous course loads and the competitive culture. Fischer does her part to combat the gender diversity problem. In 2016, Fischer, along with partner Jacqueline Doremus, founded Women in Economics. The group is a branch of the Cal Poly Economics Society (CPES). “One of the goals is to try to provide information for networks for first and second-year female students in the business school or taking a principles of econ class,” Fischer said. To Fischer, the main benefits of achieving gender diversity in the economics world include narrowing the gender gap and allowing for more female representation in public policy. However, given the

current disparity, these goals may not be easily executed. “Having more women studying public policy and weighing in on those debates is important,” Fischer said. “I’m not sure that men would really study paid leave and gender pay gap, for instance.” Aside from starting Women in Economics, CPES is taking several initiatives to make its program more inclusive. “We’re trying to create a positive environment for different groups, especially women,” economics senior and CPES president Danny Klinenberg said. “We all need role models and I think the econ department is doing a great job of that.” On Thursday Feb. 9, the CPES and a few economics professors hosted guest speaker Merry Brown, who received her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Cal Poly. In 2014, Brown graduated with a Bachelor of Science in quantitative economics. In

2015, she received her masters of science in quantitative economics. Brown experienced male-dominated classes in her undergraduate courses at Cal Poly, but in graduate school, her graduating class consisted of six men and six women. Brown understands the importance of encouraging more women to pursue economics, but unlike several of her counterparts, being a minority in the field had no influence on her experience. “Being a woman just made me value that it was very merit-based,” Brown said. “I didn’t feel like because I was a woman, I was treated differently.” Economics senior and board member of CPES Emilee Matthews said her woman-

We all need role models and I think the econ

hood can be very empowering, even though she’s had some awkward experiences in her classes. “In the class I took last quarter, I had a professor who would constantly comment on the fact that there’s no girls in econ and that he notices they are more intimidated in classes, so when he calls on them they divert from answering questions,” Matthews said. Matthews added her professors won’t give “brownie points” to women or cut them any slack, but if they say something smart, they’re more likely to get an enthusiastic response. Several on-campus clubs are taking initiative to help women in the field. “We need everyone’s opinion. If we only have one group’s opinion, we’d never get it right,” Klinenberg said. “We’d be doing a disservice if we looked at things from one angle. Everyone has different experiences.”

department is doing a great job of that. DANNY KLINENBERG

Find your way to Mustang News



| From 2008 to 2014, 15 to 24 percent of the economic students at Cal Poly were women.

TASTE. LEARN. WIN. Stop by Campus Market on Wednesday, February 22 from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. to start a conversation about heart-healthy foods with our registered dietitian. We will also be raffling off a basket full of goodies for one lucky winner to enjoy to their heart’s content!


Drink your fruits and veggies on the go with a refreshing whole food nutrition smoothie from Jamba Juice. It’s a berry delicious pick-me-up that will leave you feeling nourished and energized! (Registered Dietitian approved)

FACULTY AND STAFF MIXER DESSERT NIGHT AT 19 METRO Satisfy your sweet tooth on February 14 and 15 with the ultimate assortment of desserts. From 5 - 8 p.m., 19 Metro will be hosting an evening of treats complete with an ice cream bar, brownies, crepes, Valentine’s Day desserts and much more. It’s sure to take the cake!


THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 16 3:00 – 5:00 PM Join your colleagues to mingle at Myron’s and enjoy a Thai-inspired menu featuring Thai Larb, Moo Ping and Pad Thai as well as beer and wine for a cost of $5 per guest. For more info, visit

We are now 36 days into school! Students in residence halls should have about $862 Plu$ dollars left to spend this quarter and apartment students should have about $657 Plu$ dollars left.



The wedding of American ideals

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| A house is overrun by rambunctious wedding guests, which itself is a timely metaphor for the current state of our three-branch government.

OUTREACH COORDINATORS Hayley Sakae, Claire Blachowski WEB DEVELOPER Alex Taleott

Brendan Abrams @CPMustangNews

Brendan Abrams is a liberal arts and engineering studies junior and Mustang News columnist. The views expressed in this column do not necessarily reflect the viewpoints and editorial coverage of Mustang News. In recent weeks, I’ve done a lot of writing about how random events and experiences in my own life seem to have uncanny parallels with politics. I don’t receive much feedback on these things. Do people care what I have to say? Do I care what people have to say? No one has told me to quit drawing similarities between my perpetual mundanity and the mundanity of the 24-hour news cycle, so I’ll keep doing it. Try to stop me. Here’s another question: Were the previous two paragraphs a waste of 81 words? Probably not. See if you can spot the parallels in what follows. I certainly saw some similarities last weekend. My roommates and I did something a little unusual for normal college students, not that we consider ourselves normal — we hosted a wedding reception. At our house. I’ll be the first to admit it: we live in a pretty sweet house. Of course, we’re at the limits of our budgets, but that’s beside the point. Months ago, my friend asked if we might consider having the party at our place and I was a bit hesitant. Then, he offered us a modest payday and we were immediately all-in. Last weekend, the day finally came to pass (Super Bowl Sunday, no less) and we were unexpectedly treated to a microcosm of our country’s social tendencies. Wed-

dings bring out the best and worst in people and alcohol temporarily removes the shame. Luckily for everyone, weddings typically involve alcohol. There was plenty to go around. Disclaimer: My roommates and I did not participate in consumption of alcohol of any kind, nor would we even consider it. This is due to our respect for the arbitrary number used by our government to determine whether we are fit to consume alcohol and the fact that our ages in years were in fact below that number at press time. For those who don’t know, I’ll explain what happens when you gather about 25 people in their 20s — many of whom do not know the others — in some college household for a semi-formal event during the Super Bowl, celebrating the union of two people who are below the current widely accepted age for marriage. What, this hasn’t happened to you? First, the guests arrive and do their best to avoid talking to anyone they don’t know. Individuals and couples cycle between rooms, hoping the next one will be less tense than the last. Once the first brave soul cracks a beer, everyone else follows suit because no one wants to be the only person still uncomfortable in the obvious social gray area. Eventually, some of the male guests find a shared interest in the game, and they say all the cliché things there are to say about Tom Brady. They get comfortable. They get rowdy. They scream loud enough for the neighbors to call in a noise complaint when the Patriots come back from a 25-point deficit. They have stomachs full

of mediocre food and booze. They’re no longer uncomfortable. For a brief moment, they lose their entire supply of one very important thing: shame. Things go on in this excruciating fashion until the guests decide they’ve been respectful enough to the bride and groom and begin making up excuses to leave. Then, I leave to study at Kreuzberg because it’s midterm season.

Weddings bring out the best and worst in people, and alcohol temporarily removes the shame.

The party showed me that politicians are more like wedding guests these days than ever before. Chicken and fish are still on the menu as always, but shame is not. There’s no other explanation for the relentless tide of blatant ethical violations, idiotic rhetoric and straightup falsehood that defines the current conservative presence in government. Though our democracy has never been truly representative, past generations of politicians seemed more concerned with upholding the ideals of voters, or at least with pretending to in the interest of reelection if nothing else. But now President Trump and his cronies don’t hesitate to move forward with spectacularly unpopular policies based on

spectacular lies. It’s not just the Trump administration; now that the Republican Party is properly intoxicated by its majorities in Congress, Senate and The White House, the GOP is quickly beginning to scream at TVs and generally not give a shit what anyone else thinks. This isn’t about partisan politics as much as it is a mocking of the preferences of American citizens. They’re going to roll back Wall Street regulation, build the Dakota Access Pipeline and discriminate against Muslims from ever y country except the ones important for business interests. These are ethical violations and obviously not what most people want. Anyone who knows anything can see that these types of policies are meant to benefit a few specific people at the expense of millions. This is nothing new in American politics. What’s new is that now the politicians behind the policies are not making the smallest attempt at veiling their intentions. In the past, Americans had to look closely to figure out when they were getting screwed over. Now it’s right in front of our faces laid out by unashamed white men in suits. It could be a positive thing that such injustices are finally in the open, but it’s going to take a lot more civil unrest to break through the insulation separating public opinion from shameless public servant. The challenges and systemic problems are numerous. I would elaborate, but I can’t stay because I have this thing I have to do. Really, thanks for having me, I had a good time. Congratulations, by the way.

STAFF REPORTERS Sydney Harder, Megan Schellong, James Hayes, Connor McCarthy, Elena Wasserman, Allison Royal, Cecilia Seiter, Brendan Matsuyama, Austin Linthicum, Sabrina Thompson, Nicole Horton, Carly Quinn, Greg Llamas, Olivia Doty, Frances Mylod-Vargas, Mikaela Duhs, Francois Rucki, Tyler Schilling, Erik Engle, Michael Frank, Tommy Tran COPY EDITORS Quinn Fish, Andi DiMatteo, Monique Geisen DESIGNERS Kylie Everitt, Aaron Matsuda, Tanner Layton OPINION COLUMNISTS Elias Atienza, Brendan Abrams, Brandon Bartlett, Abbie Lauten-Scrivner PHOTOGRAPHERS Matthew Lalanne, Sophia O’Keefe, Hanna Crowley, Samantha Mulhern, Andrew Epperson, Christa Lam, Kara Douds, Iliana Arroyos ILLUSTRATOR Roston Johnson ADVERTISING MANAGERS Maddie Spivek, Kristen Corey ART DIRECTOR Erica Patstone PRODUCTION MANAGER Ellen Fabini MARKETING MANAGER Ross Pfeifer ADVERTISING CONSULTANTS Clara Howley, Levi Adissi, Trevor Murchison, Carryn Powers ADVERTISING DESIGNERS Jacqui Luis, Habib Placencia, Kelly Chiu DISTRIBUTION MANAGER Dylan Ring FACULTY ADVISOR Pat Howe GENERAL MANAGER Paul Bittick

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Hyland shines in Kajikawa Classic



| The Mustangs won four of their first five games to start the season in the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Arizona. This is the best start for the team since 2007, when they won the conference title.

Ayrton Ostly @AyrtonOstly

The Cal Poly softball team kicked off its 2017 season with a 4-1 record in the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Ariz. The team played two games on Friday and Saturday and finished with a Sunday morning game against no. 9 Oregon. Friday Friday began with a morning game against Purdue followed by an afternoon game against the University of San Diego. Against Purdue in the first game of the year, senior pitcher Sierra Hyland threw a no-hitter in a 2-1 win. Hyland struck out nine hitters in seven innings to earn her first win this season and the fourth no-hitter of her career. Junior center fielder Amanda Sandoval scored on a passed ball

in the bottom of the first to give Cal Poly a 1-0 lead. Sophomore right fielder Crimson Kaiser doubled down left field to score sophomore catcher Makenna Young in the second inning to extend the lead to 2-0. Purdue wouldn’t be shut out, though, as the Boilermakers scored an unearned run in the top of the fourth inning on an error. Against University of San Diego, the Mustangs used prolific offense to get an 8-6 win against the Toreros. The Mustangs traded runs with the Toreros in the first inning as Sandoval hit a solo home run before Torero left fielder Taylor Spence scored an unearned run. After a scoreless second inning, junior utility Stephanie Heyward hit a two-run home run, scoring herself and junior shortstop Chelsea Convissar to open up a 3-1

lead for the Mustangs. Again, the Toreros responded, as second baseman Hannah Gilliland hit a three-RBI home run in the bottom of the third to go up 4-3. The Mustangs’ offense opened the game up in the top of the fourth as senior second baseman Ashley Tornio doubled to score Young, tying the game 4-4. Sandoval then hit a two-run double to plate Tornio and Kaiser and extend the lead before Heyward singled to score Sandoval and push the advantage to 7-4. The Toreros almost came back, scoring twice in the bottom of the fifth to cut the lead to 7-6. However, between Young scoring a solo home run in the top of the seventh and Hyland coming in to post a one-hitter in the final two innings, the Mustangs closed out the first day of the Kajikawa Classic with a pair of wins.

Saturday Following an impressive Friday sweep, the Mustangs continued their hot start with an 8-0 win versus Creighton Saturday morning before beating Western Michigan 2-1 Saturday afternoon. Against Creighton, Hyland earned her second win in spectacular fashion, following her no-hitter Friday morning with a perfect game. The Mustangs wasted no time getting an early lead. Sandoval scored an unearned run in the first inning before Hyland hit a three-run home run to push the lead to 4-0. With Hyland nullifying the Bluejays’ offense, the Mustangs extended the lead in the bottom of the fifth. Convissar hit a solo home run before Tyler scored on a fielder’s choice and freshman infielder Alyssa McKiernan

scored an unearned run on the same play. Young then singled to left field to score freshman outfielder Erin Roloff and cap off the game with eight runs for the Mustangs. Against Western Michigan, the Mustangs were held scoreless in the first five innings in a 0-0 deadlock. Hyland, as she did against Creighton, used offense to help the Mustangs take the lead. She hit a triple in the bottom of the sixth to score Tyler and Heyward and give Cal Poly a 2-0 lead. Hyland came in to pitch the sixth inning in relief for freshman pitcher Steffi Best and all the Broncos could muster was an unearned run in the top of the seventh, giving Cal Poly a 2-1 win for their fourth in a row. Sunday Sunday morning was the Mustangs’ first matchup against

a ranked opponent. Oregon handed Cal Poly a 3-1 loss, its first of the season. After two scoreless innings from both teams, the Ducks took a 2-0 lead in the top of the third inning after Jenna Lilley hit a two-run single. They extended the lead in the fifth inning on an RBI single by Alexis Mack to make it 3-0. In the seventh inning, Heyward singled to right field causing Sandoval to score an unearned run, but the Mustangs couldn’t complete the comeback. The Mustangs’ offense went 4 for 25. Hyland struck out five but gave up six hits and three runs in her first loss in the circle this year. The Mustangs (4-1) travel to Cathedral City, Calif. next weekend to play another five games over three days in the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic.

Feb 13, 2017