ASI Board of Directors Stance on the Presence of Chick-fil-A on Campus (Resolution #23-03)
On April 19, 2023, the ASI Board of Directors voted to approve Resolution #23-03. This resolution urged Cal Poly Corporation (CPC) to remove Chick-fil-A (CFA) from campus and replace the franchise with a different fast-food restaurant. Additionally, the Board demanded that CPC terminate its contract with CFA promptly and refrain from renewing it in the future. A widespread misconception arose around campus regarding the Board’s intentions behind Resolution #23-03. Co-author and the 2023–24 ASI president, Sam Andrews, clarified the matter, stating that the Board’s goal was not to simply eliminate but rather to recommend another restaurant to replace the current contract with CFA.
In Resolution #23-03, the Board emphasized that “CFA is a private, family-owned company and the former CEO, Dan Cathy, through the Dan and Rhonda Cathy Foundation, continues to make, as of 2020 – significant donations to organizations including The National Christian Foundation Inc., which in turn provides tens of millions of dollars to groups such as the Alliance Defending Freedom and others that are designated as anti-LGBTQ+ hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center”.
ASI Student Government members conducted a survey among the Cal Poly community before writing this resolution. They asked students to rank their preferred fast-food restaurants to be featured on campus. Out of the 249 student responses, Chipotle, Panda Express, and In-n-Out emerged as the top choices, while Chick-fil-A ranked sixth in terms of student preferences.
In light of this resolution and the broader discussions it has sparked, the Cal Poly campus community now has an opportunity to engage in meaningful conversations about the importance of aligning business partnerships with shared values. This resolution serves as a reminder that ASI Student Government plays a critical role in advocating for inclusivity and social responsibility. Through open dialogue and collaborative efforts, the resolution can serve as a catalyst for positive change and reinforce the university’s dedication to fostering an inclusive and supportive community for years to come.
ASI Board of Directors Support of a Cal Poly Disability Cultural Program (Resolution #23-04)
In passing Resolution #23-04: Resolution in Support of a Cal Poly Disability Cultural Program, the ASI Board of Directors as the official voice of Cal Poly students, advocated for the development of a disability cultural program to support students on campus and create a sense of community.
Throughout the 2022–23 academic year, the Cal Poly campus community has shown strong support for the establishment of a disability cultural program. This support is evident through a petition that garnered 673 signatures as of March 19, 2023, representing students, faculty, staff, and alumni who have voiced their desire for this program. The petition also highlights the challenges faced by students with disabilities, such as stigma and financial constraints, which hinder students’ registration with the Disability Resource Center (DRC) and contribute to higher rates of dissatisfaction and discrimination.
With the proposal of a Disability Cultural Program (DCP), the Board aims to advocate for student success and promote campus-wide DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) efforts. The purpose of the proposed program would be to serve all students with disabilities, regardless of their registration status with the DRC, with particular attention to the diversity of race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexuality, and religion of students.
Additionally, the DCP would function to organize campus-wide events, aimed at educating the entire Cal Poly community about disability-related matters. The Board, through their advocacy for the program, placed special emphasis on reaching out to underrepresented minority students with disabilities and providing them with enhanced support and guidance to help them register for reasonable accommodation.
Tyler Coari, a former member of the ASI Board of Directors and an author of this resolution expressed that “While the resolution does not contain within it any specific funding or resource requests, it stands as a symbol of the Board’s commitment to the support of all our students with disabilities, especially those unrecognized by the Disability Resource Center (DRC)”.
ASI Board of Directors Unanimously Supports the Amendment of the Cal Poly Academic Grading Scale (Resolution #23-05)
On May 3, 2023, the ASI Board of Directors unanimously passed Resolution #23-05. In this resolution, the Board called on Cal Poly administration, in conjunction with the Cal Poly Academic Senate, to update the current grading to allow for the inclusion of an A+ in the grading scale, while continuing to count those receiving an “A” and above as a 4.0.
Currently, there are three other California State Universities (CSUs), California State University Monterey Bay, California State University Fullerton, and California State University Channel Islands, that allow for the usage of an “A+” for their grading scale. Those institutions that have modified their grading policies to provide their graduates with an “A+” create a slight competitive advantage over Cal Poly students and the current grading system does not allow students to take advantage of this.
If Cal Poly follows suit and changes the academic grading scale, this would provide students who are more ambitious with the motivation to succeed at the highest levels, past achieving an “A” in a course. “The current academic grading scale not including an ‘A+’ does not allow the highest achieving students to be rewarded for the full extent of their efforts,” said former Board member, Tyler Coari. “I hope to see the Academic Senate review this matter further and determine the best path forward for students, faculty, and staff”. Additionally, the quarter-to-semester conversion transition presents the optimal opportunity for this adjustment to take place due to widespread required bureaucratic changes throughout Cal Poly.
ASI Board of Directors Approves to Expand Active Transportation at Cal Poly (Resolution #23-06)
Through Resolution #23-06, the ASI Board of Directors called on Cal Poly Transportation and Parking Services (TAPS), Facilities Management and Development (FMD), along with any other applicable campus departments, to communicate and coordinate with one another to better integrate active transportation planning and construction across campus.
According to the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy and Partnership for Active Transportation, active transportation is defined as “a means of getting around that is powered by human energy, primarily walking and bicycling”. With comprehensive active transportation planning in place, the campus community can effectively work to reduce injuries and casualties that result from transportation, as well as increase the quality of life for those using such infrastructure.
Following the deadly Cal Poly student bicyclist accident on Grand Avenue in early May, the Board passed Resolution #23-06 on May 31, 2023. The purpose of this resolution is to promote more pro-pedestrian/cyclist infrastructure and policies across Cal Poly, while also calling for more integration between Cal Poly and the City of San Luis Obispo. Additionally, the Board urged the Cal Poly administration to utilize all resources at its disposal to reduce serious traffic fatalities, beginning with expert consultation from traffic engineers and associated trades to potentially begin implementing the following low-cost tools:
- Quick-build bollards to increase cyclist and pedestrian safety through traffic calming strategies.
- Putting funding towards clearer lane striping and the installation of chicanes to better protect bicyclists.
- Traffic calming measures and curb extensions near pedestrian crossings to reduce vehicle speeds.
- Further efforts to increase the visibility of pedestrian crossings throughout campus via line striping, etc.
- A more widespread adoption of bollards throughout campus to better separate bicyclists from motorists and pedestrians.
Tyler Coari, co-author of Resolution #23-06 and a former ASI Board of Directors representative, stated that “a commonsense way to make our campus safer and more accessible for all students is allocating more funding and resources to active transportation initiates at Cal Poly”. He further emphasized that “While we [the Board] understand and incorporated steps the University is taking on this matter, the document passed by the board advocates for more to be done and sooner”.
Furthermore, the Board acknowledges the need for improved publicity of active transportation planning across campus. Outreach efforts have sometimes been unclear or obscured for members of the Cal Poly campus community.
ASI Board of Directors Urges the Cal Poly Corporation to Combat Food Insecurity More Effectively (Resolution #23-07)
On May 31, 2023, the ASI Board of Directors unanimously approved Resolution #23-07. Provided in this resolution, the Board urged Cal Poly Corporation (CPC) to refrain from increasing meal plan prices. Further, if there are any future changes to meal plan costs, the Board requested that the CPC sustain open communication with ASI Student Government about future modifications. Additionally, the resolution, states that “The CPC should be clearer about its own efforts to combat hunger on campus and should do far more than rely on individual donations from students and outside supporters.”
As stated directly in the resolution, “The CPC is appropriating hundreds of thousands of dollars from Cal Poly Students to their reserves.” Furthermore, the resolution read that “With 40 meals a week to the Food Pantry and 50,000 yearly proposed free meals, this amount does not go far enough in combating food insecurity and pales in comparison to the 20,000 daily meals Campus Dining serves.”
Given the current situation, The Board strongly recommended that Cal Poly Corporation direct all forfeited money from student accounts to the Cal Poly Food Pantry yearly, the Mustang Meal Share Program, or in other ways to directly fight food insecurity on campus. Regardless of whether the CPC changes the policy of forfeiting students’ dining accounts, the Board believes that the CPC and the University should give a substantial amount of funding to the food pantry so that it can fulfill its future goals. Moreover, the Board supports that the CPC should match student donations at the same rate that they match outside donations to the Mustang Meal Share program, both currently and with the future program. “Students should not have to struggle in order to meet their most basic physical needs,” said Tyler Coari, co-author of the resolution and former Board member. He further emphasized that “In passing this resolution the ASI Board of Directors demonstrated a commitment to supporting basic needs issues at Cal Poly”.
Additionally, the Board suggested that Campus Dining should work to bring their food costs in line with student cost expectations, and drastically bring down prices in the campus market so that they are not unnecessarily higher compared to relatively comparable grocery stores.