Tyler Middlestadt

For some Cal Poly students, this is the last week of classes they’ll ever attend at this campus. For the rest, that week will come sooner than you think. But regardless of when you have the privilege of wearing your cap and gown, receiving your diploma and stepping out of academia and into the ‘real world” there is one thing that I guarantee we will all have in common: We will brag about graduating from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo for the rest of our lives.

Cal Poly has a reputation that competes with any Ivy League or UC, and an emphasis on pragmatism and real-world experience that is invaluable in life. We’ve been rated “Best in the West” by US News and World Report for 13 consecutive years with no sign of slowing down. So whether you’re studying liberal arts, design, business or science you are bound to find what you’re looking for at Cal Poly.

Some people think that polytechnic schools are only about academics, but Cal Poly breaks the mold. We have one of the most active campuses in the country with an average of 80 percent of our students involved in various clubs and organizations, and have some of the largest and most successful community service programs in the country.

Cal Poly athletics continue to raise eyebrows as well. Our Mustang football team ranked third in the nation, remained in the top 20 all season and won its debut game in the Big West Division I-AA playoffs. Our men’s and women’s Mustang basketball teams swept our home opener, we’ve got national champions in our club sports programs and fierce intramural competition every quarter.

We have undergraduate students competing with graduate students in national competitions and winning consistently. There’s no doubt that Cal Poly will leave a legacy of success and progress, and that our campus sets the bar for undergraduate standards.

The only thing missing from this great formula is a collective spirit of campus pride.

I think most of us agree that it would be great to have more campus pride at Cal Poly. To have the student section packed at sporting events, record attendance at every program and event, and every student informed and excited about everything that’s happening each week. All the necessary elements are here, but it takes people to put it all together to create a campus we can all be proud of not only in memory, but right here, right now.

Let’s make 2006 a year where we support all the great work that our athletes, clubs and organizations are doing to make our campus a great place.

A year where each of us gets more involved to learn more, see more and do more than we ever have in the past. A year of change, where we quit talking about what needs to be done and we start doing it.

There are thousands of students who are already making it happen. This is a call to action to the thousands more who haven’t started yet.

As poet and author Talaam Acey put it, “Let the one who says it can’t be done, step out the way of the one who’s already doing it!” Or better yet, join them.

Tylor Middlestadt is the ASI president and Mustang Daily columnist

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