Cal Poly started the school year with a busy month for campus news. From the possibility of a pub coming to the university to the alleged burglary of VG Cafe, Mustang News had many opportunities to test out our new converged online newsroom. This is a review of some of the most interesting — and bizarre — stories from October.
Fraternities followed their usual recruitment strategies this month — but all a few months early. After a compromise between Interfraternity Council and Cal Poly administrators, fraternities were allowed to recruit first-quarter students this fall for the first time in three years.
The restriction barring first-quarter students from joining on a fraternity came after Carson Starkey, a Cal Poly freshman, died in December 2008 in a hazing-related incident. Starkey, and Cal Poly’s backpedal on deferred recruitment were also the focus of a Bloomberg News article distributed nationally this month and one of Mustang News’ editorials.
We have to give a shout out to Reddit on this story, where someone who said they had talked to a university police official posted about an alleged break in at the infamous VG Cafe. According to police, at least 100 people broke into the restaurant after hours and stole bags of chips and cookies.
Thirteen students have been identified as suspects in the case, and more are being investigated by university police.
Since this story broke, I’ve heard people asking more than once why you’d want to steal from VG Cafe in the first place.
In a somber moment for Cal Poly, hundreds came to the University Union Plaza to honor four of the five students who died since the end of Spring Quarter 2012. Those present honored Greg Inamori, Weston Crowe, Kyle Rhodes and Luke Powers in a joint memorial where Cal Poly administrators and faculty spoke about the men’s lives.
Cal Poly had already seen a high number of student deaths before the summer — Mustang News reported in spring there were six since July 2011, the most in one year since 2007.
Associated Students, Inc. President Jason Colombini mentioned to us that in an upcoming survey, ASI would include a question on whether or not students would be interested in an on-campus pub. As one local columnist pointed out, the answer to that question is unlikely to surprise anybody — an informal Mustang News poll found well more than half of the 100 people we surveyed were interested in the idea. KSBY, KCOY and the San Luis Obispo Tribune all followed up on this story. ASI included the idea in the survey, which Colombini sent to students via email on Monday.
Cal Poly doesn’t always discuss cancer, but its effects pierce the protective bubble we learn to live inside here in San Luis Obispo. Business administration junior Sarah Islas opened up with Mustang News about the story of her ovarian cancer and how her friends and family helped through her battle with it.
A 1-1 tie might not be all that exciting, but the energy that filled Alex G. Spanos Stadium as men’s soccer took on UC Santa Barbara was worth reliving — in GIF form. Though the action on the field stalled for much of the game, the stands were alive and well with a sold-out crowd of more than 11,000.
Unrelated to the game, the UC Santa Barbara associate dean of student life took out an advertisement in Mustang News, warning students against making the trip south for Isla Vista’s annual Halloween party (riot). The dean said she couldn’t afford to pay for advertisements in multiple newspapers, but chose Cal Poly because of our proximity to Santa Barbara. That, and some say we like to party almost as much as UCSB.
Sean McMinn is a journalism senior and Mustang Media Group editor.