Joetopia

UCs think they're too good for Parkland's David Hogg, so he should come to Cal Poly

David Hogg speaks during March for Our Lives to demand stricter gun control laws on Saturday, March 24, 2018, in Washington, D.C.
David Hogg speaks during March for Our Lives to demand stricter gun control laws on Saturday, March 24, 2018, in Washington, D.C. Abaca Press/TNS

It goes without saying that teenage gun-violence activist David Hogg should pay little attention to the many unhelpful people telling him how to act or what to do.

(Looking at you, Laura Ingraham!)

He is doing just fine on his own, leading a national movement six weeks removed from witnessing the massacre of his Parkland, Florida, high school classmates.

He is poised and confident, whether speaking before large crowds or fielding questions on CNN.

And he's savvy and merciless on social media.

Memo to big-shot media loudmouths looking to take him down on Twitter: Look out. You may want to dismiss him, but your advertisers won't.

All that being said, I'd like David to listen to me, because I have a simple message for him.

Come to Cal Poly.

We'd love to have you here studying political science or journalism for the next four years before heading back out to take the nation by storm.

Better yet, maybe he can study in SLO and continue throttling the NRA and its political enablers at the same time.

David announced in an interview with TMZ this week that he'd been rejected from the four UC schools he applied to, but had acceptances here from Cal State San Marcos and Cal Poly. After some uncertainty about which Cal Poly campus he was referring to, the New York Times reported it was San Luis Obispo and not Pomona.

David hasn't decided where he might attend college or even if he will at all next year. Word is he's leaning toward taking a gap year and continuing his activism through the November elections.

"Just got rejected from another college but that’s ok we’re already changing the world," he tweeted this week.

I'd understand completely if he continued on that route, and few could argue that a year in a classroom will serve him better in the long term than the life experience he's earning right now.

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Florida shooting activist David Hogg started a boycott of Fox News host Laura Ingraham's advertisers after Ingraham taunted him about his college rejections. Associated Press

But how awesome would it be to have him headquartering the #NeverAgain movement from his room in one of Cal Poly's red-brick dorms?

Just think of the potential.

Shoot, imagine having David Hogg on campus to take on the Cal Poly Republicans? He could return their trolling till their hair turns green.

We already have one powerhouse gun-violence crusader in our midst: Richard Martinez, father of Isla Vista shooting victim Christopher Michaels-Martinez.

So it's not like David would be isolated in a disconnected backwater. Certainly not with Twitter at his disposal.

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SLO County residents are also highly engaged in the Women's March and March for Our Lives movements, as all of this year's demonstrations have proven.

Frankly, I'm kind of floored that David doesn't have every major American university knocking on his door. They should be recruiting him, not the other way around.

He should be the political equivalent of a star athlete, shopping around scholarship offers.

Instead, he's fielding rejections from apparently clueless University of California campuses.

Seriously, how does this happen? The kid's got a 4.2 GPA, a 1270 SAT and a better list of extracurricular accomplishments in two months than everyone else could hope for in four years, but he's not good enough for UC Irvine or UCSB?

To its credit, Cal Poly didn't overlook this applicant, and if I were dean of Liberal Arts, I'd be making a personal phone call to the teen to try to get him enrolled.

Do it. Get it done. David Hogg should be a Mustang.

Joe Tarica: 805-81-7911, @joetarica
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