Matt Hunt is a business administration freshman. Letters to the editor do not reflect the viewpoints or editorial coverage of Mustang News.
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Hi Keith Humphrey,
My name is Matt Hunt and I am a business administration freshman on the Cal Poly track and field team. So far, Cal Poly is wonderful. I find tremendous pride in this school and feel like the staff here serve as a strong backstop when things go sideways (injury, a drinking incident, counseling, you name it).
However, on Nov. 29 a series of bizarre events were met with a strange indifference to a student’s needs. After I talked to my dad about it, both he and I thought you would want to hear about it.
Biking back to Yosemite Hall from practice on Nov. 29, I saw the girl in front of me on her bike take a nasty fall and badly hurt her ankle just as we arrived at the bike racks behind Tower 7. She screamed in pain and told me she thought she sprained or even broke her ankle. It was clear she needed help. I was fine with helping her, but the rest of the services on campus were not. She couldn’t walk, so I locked up her bike and helped her to her room on the second floor, put ice on her ankle and gave her ibuprofen. I immediately called the Disability Resource Center (DRC) figuring they could send over a golf cart to take her to the Health Center. Their response was this; “We’re not an on-demand shuttle service. Without medical paperwork, we cannot just pick up a student. Sorry.”
Disappointed, I next tried the resident advisor (RA) on call — three times actually — and got no response. To my understanding, this is supposed to be a safe and secure service readily available to all students when someone needs help.
Finally, I called The University Police Department figuring this was a student safety issue. Again, I was met with, “We’re not a shuttle service for kids with sprained ankles. We can only send a fire truck, ambulance and police squad car all at once and that doesn’t seem necessary for a sprained ankle.”
I paid for an Uber and another student and I took her to the emergency room in town. When she was X-rayed, the doctors told her she badly fractured her ankle. She is now in a full cast.
The part where my dad’s words come in is this: “What the hell were they thinking? During orientation week, we [parents] get this series of presentations about underage drinking, about blue lights on campus, about the UPD, etc., about all the services on campus to assist students and keep them out of harm. If this kid was drinking, she’d stand a better chance of getting help than breaking her ankle in broad daylight.”
He is absolutely right. I found it mind-boggling that such an excellent school offering such excellent services undoubtedly failed all of us today in a quite serious event. Both she and I thought someone would be able to pull through and lend us a hand. After all, the Cal Poly Dean of Students Office mission statement reads:
“The Cal Poly Dean of Students Office promotes student development and leadership; enhances student success and retention; and facilitates a respectful, diverse, and inclusive campus. We provide educational programs, direct support, advocacy, and resources for successful navigation of campus and community life.”
To be quite frank, we did not feel as though this mission statement was in full effect today. We did not receive “direct support” and were not provided with “resources for successful navigation of campus and community life.” It worries me that in the future, this statement may not entirely hold up its end to students seeking help in times of turmoil and panic.
Again, I absolutely love this school for so many reasons. This is why I was so surprised to see a student left to fend for herself after seeking a helping hand. I hope that students of Tower 7, and any other residence hall for that matter, will regain a little faith in the “safety net” this wonderful school claims to offer.
Thank you for your time.
*This article has been edited for clarity