After reading the Sept. 20 Viewpoint by Katie Cramb, I can’t help but speak up. It appears that WOW may have been the current event (excuse) students used to do more of what they usually do every weekend during the school year. This is not just a problem during WOW, even though it appeared to magnify the problem.
Long-term residents of SLO have had to endure student (Cal Poly and Cuesta) misbehavior problems for many years. SLO has lost many of its long-term residents because they couldn’t live with the loss of peace and safety in their neighborhoods.
These problems have escalated over the years and gotten to the point where some residents are afraid to leave their homes during evening hours, particularly on weekends, because of the crime that permeates their neighborhoods from drunken parties. Further, they are afraid to call the police because they fear retaliation by the offenders.
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The common denominator here is overuse of alcohol by students. No one has been effective in reducing this problem, which has resulted in misbehavior now being out control. It’s going to require a joint effort by Cal Poly, Cuesta and SLO police to try to resolve this problem that has been swept under the rug for so many years.
Education alone is obviously not working. Perhaps tougher laws and more enforcement by police will help, but add in academic consequences by Cal Poly and Cuesta for their student offenders and I think you’d see some improvement.
San Luis Obispo
I was interested in your article about more police presence in neighborhoods around Cal Poly. A few more patrols up Grand Avenue would be appreciated.
One night last week and again Saturday night large and small groups of kids were roaming up and down Grand Avenue until at least 1:30 a.m. What were they doing and where were they going? Just curious.
San Luis Obispo
No more hands off
Whether WOW is the reason to drink heavily or simply an excuse is immaterial. Beyond the heavy drinking and cases of alcohol poisoning, there was vandalism, littering, and public urination. Tuesday night’s (Sept. 15) disruptions made the papers, but that is not to say that everything was calm thereafter.
If Katie Cramb and other WOW leaders want to save WOW’s reputation, they should step up, ask the new students where they got the alcohol and provide that information to Cal Poly or SLO police instead of bemoaning the fact that WOW is being blamed. Someone, apparently several someones, didn’t care about giving alcohol to minors. Whether it was a commercial establishment, a fraternity or sorority or just people living off campus, they are responsible for much of the trouble.
Cal Poly’s administration is not blameless either. They have kept a “hands off what happens in the city” policy for far too long. Action could have been taken after the Poly Royal riot or the Mardi Gras riot. Efforts could be made now. If, in fact, the school really is prohibited by law from taking any kind of action against disruptive, law-breaking students who live in the city, they could work to change the law.
President Baker is an important, well-connected individual. If he were to engage the other state university presidents, then speak to the board of trustees and our legislative representatives, I’m certain they would listen and act accordingly.
San Luis Obispo