Opinion » Shredder

Stay classy, SLO!


If you’re a straight white dude, SLO is the happiest place on earth. Are those people’s thoughts the only ones that factor into these little contests San Luis Obispo and Cal Poly keep ranking in?

But hey! For the 24th straight year in a row Cal Poly made the Best in the West list for U.S. News & World Report’s annual America’s Best Colleges guidebook. It made the top 10! Hip, hip, hurray!

Some of the schools ranked above Cal Poly include Gonzaga University, Trinity University, and the University of Portland. Also very pale schools. 

Maybe one of the ranking requirements is having a student body that’s more than 50 percent white.

Gonzaga’s student population is about 72 percent white—3,508 white students out of 4,837 total students, according to demographic statistics from 2014. The University of Portland shows 61 percent of its students were white in 2015 or 2,242 out of 3,697 total. Trinity is looking a little better, with 56 percent of its 2,344 students being white. 

Cal Poly’s student population fits right in, with 57 percent of its student body being white. And if the complaints coming out of our closest Best in the White school are any indication of what things are like for minorities in any of those other college towns, it’s not good. 

Remember the Cal Poly College Republicans’ Free Speech Wall that classy students wrote hate speech on? Or how about the dorm room door incident, where a student’s roommate wrote really classy things referring to black people? And then there’s always that super classy death threat against the founder of the SLO Solidarity movement. Or the fact that almost half of the African-American staff members at the university left for other jobs last year. I mean, hey, they were looking for some place a little classier! 

You know: More money. Better job. Better people. More support from administration. More support from the community. Less ignorance.

Not to worry, though, there’s a 174-point plan coming out of Poly that will fix everything

You know what else is classy? The new hashtag coined in honor of the renewed activity in the Kristin Smart case. And by classy, I mean it’s not. And yet, the Facebook groups Students Seeking Justice For Kristin Smart, Cal Poly Students for Quality Education, and The Cal Poly Queer Student Union are all using #DigHerUp to reference the case and all the associated things that go with it. 

It’s about as classy as Burger King’s new Cheetos chicken fries. “Chicken on the inside, dangerously cheesy on the outside.” Definitely trashy, and possibly hazardous for your health.

You know what’s good for your health? Golden retrievers. And both of the candidates running for mayor of Arroyo Grande are proud owners of their own such golden-haired fluffy beasts. How will residents ever pick between the two? 

Luckily, it’s not a petting contest, and current Mayor Jim Hill and contender Richard Waller recently revealed that there’s more to the election than what kind of pet they own. Both were panting heavily about what their opponent should be in the doghouse for at a recent candidates’ forum. 

For Waller, it’s all about civility, baby! He accused Hill of helping create an acrimonious environment, evidenced by the events that led up to the eventual firing of City Manager Dianne Thompson. Hill defended himself by calling it a “red herring.”

Hmmm. I’m not so sure about that. Thompson only made it for a year. If AG isn’t careful, I might get to compare it to the ongoing debacle that is the Los Osos Community Services District, which has gone through too many directors to count in the last several years. And I’ve definitely heard some not-so-classy talk coming out of Hill and his buddy Councilmember Tim Brown’s mouth in City Council meetings and on talk radio about city staff and Thompson. In fact, Hill (ahem, I mean City Council) got a letter from the city’s insurance provider essentially telling them to knock it off, that certain comments might get the city sued for harassment and creating a hostile working environment!

On the other hand, Waller made some comments about building moratoriums and the city’s water issues that I can’t be civil about. He said a building moratorium wouldn’t save much water, would cost AG economically, and that desalination could save the day! 

I have three things to say about that: It’s not so much about how much water building things uses, but the future of added water usage that development brings that’s unsustainable! Do you honestly believe that AG’s running out of water won’t affect the economy or cause people to move out of the area? And, desalination costs money, and the construction associated with running a pipeline from the paradise that is Diablo Canyon’s desal facility takes time. So what’s the interim plan, Waller?

And speaking of not-so-classy, Shredder flubbed again! I know, my boss is pissed! I misspoke last week about SLO’s City Council and a certain parking software. Although, the council allocated $100,000 to study downtown’s parking situation in June, they haven’t decided whom to spend it with yet. It’s only a matter of time, though, as that money is still waiting to be spent on a damn parking assessment!

I still say I’m your best bet. I checked the parking situation over the last week, and it still sucks. 

Shredder keeps it sassy and is never classy. Send comments to shredder@newtimesslo.com.


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