The Hoof is a satire column, created to find the humor in the daily life of Cal Poly students. If you’re looking for news, this is not it. If you’re looking for sports, this is kind of it, because we’re having a ball. Ha. Puns.
Izaac Tompkins is an environmental protection and management senior and satire columnist. The views represented do not necessarily reflect those of Mustang News.
Friends, students, parents, alumni — it comes with a heavy heart to report the closure of a longtime on-campus favorite. Learn By VapeZ, the last on-campus vape shop, is set to close at the end of Fall quarter. Following a nationwide outbreak of vaping-related illnesses, campus officials reluctantly reevaluated whether or not national pressure would lead to sanctions against the university. Students and professors alike vehemently mounted protests in order to persuade the administration to reconsider the closure of the 44 year-old business.
At 2,000 square feet, Learn By VapeZ has served the campus community with a low-stress environment frequented by community members and professors alike. The space was utilized efficiently to facilitate discussion among the purchase and use of flavors like “C0tt0n C4ndy” and “Melon ExxPlosion.” In addition, the store also handled the overflow of University Union students searching for a place to study. Learn By Vapez offered a sizeable 40 tables and desks to accommodate studiers late into the night. Subway will now be the last on-campus business to have full 24-hour service for late-night students and residents. Although the protests were met with sympathy by Cal Poly’s administration, officials had no option. The Board vote on the resolution to close Learn By VapeZ passed by just a single vote.
“Well, we thought about taking off all the bathroom stalls like that high school in Alabama, but we instead decided to initiate a vote to unfortunately close a community and campus favorite,” an administrative official told The Hoof. “This was a tough choice to make, and we hope to repurpose the space.”
Incoming students and on-campus residents expressed the greatest concern for the eventually passed measure to close Learn By VapeZ. Many freshmen students are met with conflict at the end of the school-year due to unused meal credits for on-campus dining. This issue can be pressing for some students, but Learn By VapeZ was an approved use of campus dining credits since the store’s opening ceremony in 1975. Without a consistent outlet to liquidate sometimes hundreds of unused dining dollars, first-year students will be faced with a tough challenge at the end of the 2019-2020 school year. Over the past few years, the Cal Poly campus’ three full-service vape shops have closed their doors due to out-of-city pressure.
Alumni still living in the San Luis Obispo community reached out to The Hoof to express their concern for the sudden shutdown of a known campus icon. Roger Firstman, Class of ’77, was starting his second year when Learn By Vapez was unanimously approved by campus officials and the City of San Luis Obispo.
“It’s disappointing to see such a well-loved campus locale shutdown.” Firstman said. “There was a huge opening celebration with live music and a suspended class schedule, followed by decades as a hub for myself and others.”
The issue was raised to repurpose the space into a purely study-focused area, but officials are considering a bid to welcome a new asbestos-based milkshake shop.