New Immigration Policies Are Making Immigrants Feel Unwelcome

America is known as a “melting pot” of different cultures and ethnicities from around the world. Only two percent of United States citizens are Native American.

Every family’s immigration story is unique. Some people came to the United States for love, some came for an education, and some came to escape something from their original country in order to have a better life.

I learned that my grandma, Graciela Menold, immigrated into the United States in order to have more rights as a woman, and to live a better life for herself and her two kids born in the United States.

Grandma from Cydney Melton on Vimeo.

My grandma did not have much of an issue with immigrating back in 1955 when the immigration policies were more lenient than they are today. President Trump’s new policies, for example his goal to build a wall at the border between Mexico and the United States, make it more difficult to immigrate.

Under the Obama administration, deportation efforts focused on undocumented immigrants with criminal convictions. Trump’s policies broaden the deportation target, allowing for immigration officials to target people they see as threatening to public safety.

“[Secretary of Homeland Security John] Kelly’s memos instruct agents to also prioritize undocumented immigrants who have been charged with a crime but not convicted of it, or committed an act that may be criminal offenses but haven’t been charged for it. Those categories mean that almost any brush with the American law-enforcement system could make an undocumented immigrant a target for removal,” according to The Atlantic’s article on Trump’s new immigration policies.

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People protest in Washington D.C. on A Day Without Immigrants in 2017. Photo by Ted Eytan (Flickr/Creative Commons)

This broader target on immigrants affects immigrants across the United States, but also specifically it affects the undocumented students at Cal Poly.

“There’s a lot of fear that students have for themselves and for their families. Not just fear from ICE, Immigrations, Customs and Enforcement, but also from other people, said Casey McCullough, an Americore CSU STEM VISTA at Cal Poly. “There seems to be nationally an increase in xenophobic hate crimes, so I think that’s a concern, too, that students have.”

McCullough works with many undocumented student organizations on campus in order to make this transition easier and provide support for student immigrants. She mainly focuses on the Undocumented Student Working Group, which formed in October 2015.

President Trump’s new immigration policies’ effects “really reemphasize the need for safe spaces and also the need for allies who can stand up for and advocate with and for undocumented immigrants,” McCullough said.

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), put in place by the Obama administration, is a great resource that allows undocumented students to receive some of the same benefits as their documented peers, McCullough said. But it could be signed away with by a federal executive order at any time. That’s what the Undocumented Student Working Group is preparing for.

Similarly, Congressman Salud Carbajal, representative of California’s 24th district, “has co-sponsored legislation called the BRIDGE Act in Congress, which would codify President Obama’s Executive Order on DACA,” Carbajal’s Communications Director, Tess Whittlesey said. “Many students rely on this Executive Order to pursue their education. Though the real answer to our immigration problems would be a reform of the entire immigration system, preserving DACA is an important step to protect those that immigrated here as children.”

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People of all ages protest Trump’s new immigration policies in Baltimore in January 2017. Photo by Bruce Emmerling (Flickr/Creative Commons)

Immigrants are fundamental to the United States, not just for economic reasons, said McCullough, but also to integrate more diversity and culture into the country.

“I think that there is never any harm in having diverse perspectives. It’s harmful when there is only one way of thinking and knowing,” McCullough said. “Cal Poly is not a very racially diverse place, so I think that it’s necessary to sort of disrupt that.”

On a federal level, Carbajal, an immigrant from Mexico, “remains deeply concerned about the anti-immigrant rhetoric from [Trump’s] administration,” Whittlesey said. “Immigrants are fundamental to our country’s continued success and greatly contribute to communities throughout the Central Coast.”

Feature Photo: People march in Minneapolis with immigrants and refugees in February 2017. Photo by Fibonacci Blue (Flickr/Creative Commons)

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Cal Poly Students Visit Woods Humane Society for Their Pet Fix

Many Cal Poly students miss their beloved pets back at home, and are often unable to have their own pets due to housing policies. A way to get a fix of their dearly missed family members is to visit Woods Humane Society, a donation-based animal shelter in San Luis Obispo.

“Being away from my dogs makes me sad sometimes. Going to Woods and seeing some puppies and petting them, and seeing them be happy makes me happy,” Cal Poly Animal Science major, Keely McLaughlin, said. “I think [volunteering at Woods] would be awesome because it is giving back to the community while doing something you love, and I think it’s a symbiotic relationship between me and the dogs because they make me  less stressed and they’d be happier because they’re getting walked and pet.”

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Ghost, 8,  is very playful and later went for a walk with one of the volunteers after I left.

Most of the volunteers at Woods Humane Society are Cal Poly students and retired SLO residents.

Spring break is coming up soon, so I was curious if that affected Woods’ volunteer help and overall operation of the Humane Society.

“[Cal Poly students] usually stay. They have no homework, or anything to study for. So, you get a lot of people with down time, cuddling, and a lot of off-site hikes as well,” Caitlin Amaral, Animal Care Supervisor of Woods Humane Society, said about spring break coming up.

Amaral deals with managing the animals and the people of the Humane Society, and is really satisfied with how Woods Humane Society has features not seen in many other shelters.

“We have on-staff veterinary care. We have an entire surgery center, and we do all the spays and neuters for the county, the public, and our facility. We also have on-staff trainers, so we have an entire pod dedicated for public or our dogs strictly behavioral training. Those are two things not very many shelters have,” Amaral said.

The Humane Society now has a brand new Cattery which opened on Friday, providing better accommodations for the cats, and allowing for more specific attention to the 58 cats’ personalities, sicknesses, and special diets.

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One of the 58 cats the Woods holds in the new Cattery.

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Cal Poly freshman Keely McLaughlin, an Animal Science major, holds one of the cats in the Cattery.

Woods offers many programs for younger children to get involved and to start their love for animals early on. Some of the new programs include Painting on Sundays which is when children from the community paint one of the long-term animal residents, and one of the paintings gets to go home with the family who adopts the animal.

They are also doing their second year of Spring Break Camp, which is a one-week program that introduces younger kids to the world of shelter animals, rescued animals, wildlife conservation and animal care.

Woods also has preexisting programs such as Book Buddies, where kids read to dogs and cats outside of their kennels. Critter Camp is also offered in the summer and allows the kids to learn about overpopulation, responsible pet care, and help the animals get adopted.

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This dog is working with a trainer to recover after a recent eye surgery.

Woods does not euthanize animals if they don’t find a home within a certain time period. Amaral said two months is about the maximum amount of time that a dog will be in the shelter because of the frequent adoptions, and improved social media and outreach programs.

“If they don’t find a home, then they’ll be here forever. We have no length of stay. Last year we beat our all time record. We had over 1,800 adoptions,” Amaral said.

Their biggest adoption day is on Black Friday. Usually 50 to 60 leave the shelter that day, so Woods goes empty and then takes more animals in to refill the shelter.

Amaral’s favorite part about working at the Woods Humane Society is, “seeing the dogs in Los Angeles or Bakersfield and seeing how they are there, then bringing them here and transforming them into just an outgoing, loving animal, and then finding that perfect home. That start to finish process of happiness is just the best thing here, which keeps most people working here.”

Woods is also merging with their north county location in the Atascadero area. Since they are finishing up with the Cattery construction, they are now focusing on renovating the north county location, which currently only has cats.

The Fremont Theater Incorporates More Live Events

Many people have been talking about how the Fremont Theater on Monterey in downtown San Luis Obispo stopped showing movies; however this isn’t entirely true. In fact, JG King, an event coordinator at the theater said the theater hosted “550 children and parents from the Pacheco Elementary School to watch a film,” on Tuesday evening.

In addition, King mentioned the upcoming films being shown at the theater.

“We will have movies being shown this weekend and the very popular SLO Film Festival run from March 14th through the 19th,” King said.

King did, however, mention that Fremont has been hosting more live events recently:

“We certainly have been providing more live entertainment events recently with concerts, comedy, speakers, and others using the theater.”

The Fremont Theater isn’t just a theater, it is a historic building in SLO. When you walk by the theater on the street, it definitely does not go unnoticed, especially at night. Fremont features the classic LED marquee displaying the words, “FEB 19 THE GROWLERS SOLD OUT.”

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The lead singer of The Growlers, Brooks Nielsen, singing and grooving on stage.

On Sunday night, I attended my first event at the Fremont Theater, and it was definitely a memorable experience. Hundreds of young adults were lined up outside the theater, anxious to get out of the rain and inside the venue to see The Growlers on their City Club Spring 2017 Tour.

Once inside, I bought some candy in the main lobby, and waited for the doors to the actual theater to open.

The theater had a vintage vibe to it and felt so immense with the intricately designed pink ceiling. But once everyone piled in, it suddenly felt much smaller.

I can’t say that I have ever been to a concert in a venue like Fremont, and now I don’t think any other venue will live up to this experience.

Here is a video of my night at The Growlers concert hosted at Fremont:

Along with being a great entertaining venue, Fremont has been owned by the same people for over 30 years, King said, and “the owners look forward to investing more dollars back into this historic theater.”

“[Fremont] makes me fall in love with SLO even more! I love how this town is such a unique mix of old and new, and I feel like the mix of the young crowd at The Growlers show and the vintage feel of the theater definitely paralleled that.” — Jenna Keith, Cal Poly Freshman seen in the video

As far as the city’s downtown concept plan goes, “The owners of the Fremont certainly share the vision of creating a space where artistic opportunities are expanded downtown, and where better than at the Fremont Theater?” King said.

Feature Photo Courtesy of Jenna Keith.

Giuseppe’s Remodel Enhances SLO’s Downtown Development

Whenever I think of a delicious Italian meal downtown, I immediately think Giuseppe’s. During fall quarter this year, a friend took me to this delicious restaurant and I was immediately hooked.

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Giuseppe’s new sign out front.

Giuseppe’s Cucina Rustica ribbon cutting for the remodeled restaurant took place on Dec. 7 and was featured on slochamber.org.

This quarter, I revisited Giuseppe’s after their huge remodel and was stunned by the expansion and new decor. I could barely even recognize the restaurant—until I saw the small Vespa that used to be parked outside of the old Giuseppe’s.

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One of Giuseppe’s signature accents: the classic Italian Vespa.

Downtown SLO has been going through a major developmental phase, and Giuseppe’s seems to be keeping up with the changes, adding to the development as a whole.

One of Giuseppe’s managers, Aurash Afshar has been working for the owner Joe “Giuseppe” DiFronzo for about five years, and has been managing Giuseppe’s for about four years.

Afshar said the Giuseppe’s staff likes the feel of the remodeled restaurant, and luckily they have most of the same staff at the new restaurant, so he doesn’t miss too much from the old location.

Afshar describes the new Giuseppe’s restaurant and remodel in more depth and how the restaurant adds to the development of downtown SLO in this audio clip:

The new remodel has also received many great reviews from recent customers who posted on tripadvisor.com:

“Everything about the new Giuseppes is great. The food, ambiance, decor and service. It’s a fun place to go and meet your friends or have a date night,” SLO resident Norene C. said in a post on tripadvisor.com.

“Totally new experience in the newly relocated Giuseppis. Close to old location in an old, I mean old, brewery, it has been made into a beautiful modern airy restaurant. Liked everything about it. The food as good as before and the server charming. Outside seating looked nice. Prices ok,” user lillanbc said.

 Giuseppe’s has a take out area where you can get food to go, which includes pizza by the slice, sandwiches, drinks, packaged pasta and sauces, and an assortment of desserts. The restaurant also has many different seating areas, for example, the outside garden area, multiple dining rooms, the bar, and a cocktail lounge.
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The take-out area adds to the authentic Italian feel of the restaurant.

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The patio adds a romantic vibe outside, under the twinkling lights and trees.

Giuseppe’s remodel seems to be a step in the right direction for the restaurant and the downtown development plan as a whole.

 

“We all love this location. I think it’s a nice part of San Luis Obispo and it’s nice that when we remodeled over here we were able to be more of a stand alone restaurant versus our old location was kind of at the end of a plaza. So I think that’s a nice feature to add to this restaurant” – Aurash Afshar, Giuseppe’s manager

Sunsets Take Over Social Media Feeds

As I scroll through my social media feeds on any given clear evening, I am destined to run into at least one sunset photo. Especially living on the coast, it seems to be much more common.

Luckily, San Luis Obispo has some really great sunset viewing spots, including Avila Beach, Montaña de Oro, Perfumo Canyon, and my personal favorite, Pirate’s Cove. These spots are popular with Cal Poly students and SLO residents. Sunsets are also very popular on San Luis Obispo Twitter feeds.

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There has been an ongoing trend of #sunsetpics flooding users’ feeds on all social media platforms. Even though people have been capturing sunsets since before the time of Snapchat or Instagram, social media enables the instant sharing of experiences.

Is it possible to both enjoy the sunset and simultaneously share that sunset with your social media friends?

“Research has found that smartphone use and some social networking can connect family members, seniors, or students to their family, friends, or loved ones who do not live in close proximity,”said Cal Poly experience industry management professor Keri Schwab.

While there are positives to sharing sunsets and other experiences through social media with family and friends, she said, there are also downsides to using social media to document your activities throughout the day.

“If the person is with someone, but somewhat ignoring them to instead post on social media, then that could be disruptive to the shared leisure experience,” Schwab said.

Is there a deeper background to sharing these experiences via social media? It is possible that the reasoning behind this sunset photo phenomena could go beyond simply wanting to keep others up to date on your life. Schwab believes it could be part of a development process for teens in particular:

“Developmentally, teenagers are often working through identity development. Figuring out who they are and what groups they feel good with and part of, is part of the process. Posting and sharing within or to a group may be part of the identity development process.”

Finding a balance is really important when using social media during time spent with friends. It is a great way to stay connected with loved ones far away, but it is also important to be present when you are spending time with someone.

In David Schroeder’s book Just Be Love: Messages on the Spiritual and Human Journey, he addresses the importance of the moment and says, “We seem preoccupied with capturing moments on our phones, cameras and videos in order to savor this moment in the future. We post it on Facebook and other sites for family and friends to get a sense of our experience in that moment.”

Instead of experiencing that raw moment, we take time to capture the moment for social media and lose that moment. Schroeder reflects on this loss of the present:

“In my ‘wanting’ to take a photo in order the have a picture for the future, I deprive myself of truly experiencing the present. I lose the essence of what is unfolding in the moment. I disrupt my present experience for the future.”

Here is a collection of people and students both enjoying the Pirate’s Cove sunset with friends and sharing their experience on social media:

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Scouting Out a Balance in Coffee Consumption

Scout Coffee Company provides fuel for college students to get through their busy days filled of hours of studying, classes, and every day to-dos. Its Foothill location is close to off-campus housing and Cal Poly’s campus, making it an easy to get to study spot for many students.

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Scout employee makes customers’ coffees and other orders.

Scout has a special charm to it because of the floral wall decor, light colors, and abundance of plants that fill the space.

There is a lot of seating, but all of the seats are almost always filled up, and the tables are covered with coffee, books, and laptops.

“[I order coffee] every time [I am at Scout] because it’s obligatory to order something if I am using the space to study here,”said Scout-loving Cal Poly student Molly Adcox.

She comes to Scout about twice a week because “everyone is so studious here, so it motivates me,” said Adcox.

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Adcox, a biology major, comes to Scout often to study distraction free.

Along with many other college students, Adcox drinks on average three cups of coffee per day.

According to Doris Derelian, a professor in the Food Science and Nutrition Department at Cal Poly, two to three cups of average caffeinated coffee per day between the hours of 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. can be beneficial by keeping a college student’s brain active.

Many students, like Adcox, drink multiple cups of coffee per day, but don’t realize that in addition to being a tasty, energy boosting drink, it could also be affecting their sleep.

Some college students drink coffee around 10 p.m. in order to gain a few more hours of study time. Derelian suggests to not do this because the student will either not be able to fall asleep, or will not be able to stay asleep, therefore leading to a miserable morning the next day.

“As a college student, you don’t want to use caffeine to increase small amounts of study time because going to sleep, which is highly needed for successful academic performance the next day, will be interrupted.” —Doris Derelian

Derelian acknowledged, though, that each individual is affected by caffeine in different ways, so she recommends to write down how different amounts of caffeine consumption affects you.

This way you will know what is too much for you, and what is just right for you so you can reach your highest productivity potential during the day while still getting an uninterrupted sleep.

“Most individuals find that caffeine is a stimulant, both in terms of physical metabolism and mental acuity. But there is a threshold at which the benefit is then decreased by the overload, and for everyone that might be something different,” said Derelian.

A study published in Nutrition in December 2016 also discusses the effects of caffeine causing sleep deprivation. The study says:

“In addition to the generation or aggravation of sleep continuity problems, consumption of coffee and other caffeinated drinks has been associated with insufficient duration of sleep or short sleep duration.”

Part of the study also focuses on college-aged coffee consumers: “In college students, a mean caffeine consumption of three to five cups of coffee per day was associated with habitual sleep duration of less than or equal to six hours a night.”

Depending on how caffeine affects you, a cup of Honey Co. Coffee from Scout could help you regain focus after a long class or for a study session before an exam. Just make sure you are still getting sufficient sleep.

Skaters Get Their Own Playgrounds

Skateboarding has been evolving since surfers decided to take surfing waves to surfing cement around the 1950s, according to skateboardingmagazine.com.

In addition to skateboarding being a large part of many people’s lives, the trend of implementing skate parks into communities has been growing rapidly over the years as well.

In previous generations, parents took their kids to throw a football, or kick a soccer ball back and fourth at the park. But now, it is becoming the norm to take your kids to skate at the new skate park down the street as skateboarding becomes more and more common amongst all ages.

7u9a6846-2Boy skates one of many ramps at the SLO Skate Park. Photo courtesy of San Luis Obispo Parks and Rec.

For instance, the local San Luis Obispo Skate Park located at 1050 Oak Street was reopened on Feb. 28, 2015 after being remodeled from its original construction in 1994.

The new skate park was built after residents of the San Luis Obispo skate community “rallied, voiced their opinions, and attended council meetings,” according to San Luis Obispo Parks and Rec Community Services and Events Supervisor David Setterlund.

After the community had put in many efforts for the new skate park, the city was finally in the financial state to start on the project, said Setterlund.

They also had the help of a $25,000 grant from the Tony Hawk Foundation to build the $2.2 million park designed by artists Jed Joyce and John T. Jones.

“The skate park gives people a place to [skate] in a place specifically designed for their behavior,” said Setterlund.

Similarly, the skate park is a great place for people in the community to learn how to skateboard and to improve.

“One thing I love is how [the skate park] allows kids from out of state or different areas to try skateboarding for their first time,” said first year Cal Poly student and skater Jackson Werbelow.

According to Setterlund, it is the busiest park during all times of the day, and he enjoys seeing the visitors happy, skating, and treating the facility well.

The SLO Skate Park, also known as the “Concrete Jungle” was even featured in the Los Angeles Times.

dsc07365One of many artistic features of the “Concrete Jungle.” Photo Courtesy of San Luis Obispo Parks and Rec.

“But overall, this may be California’s most artistic skate park. And, I hope, the start of a trend,” according to the latimes.com article about the SLO Skate Park.

Although some believe that skate parks lead to trouble in communities, the positive impact they have are well researched.

According to research done by the Local Government Association of Queensland in 2004, “Well designed and managed skate facilities will become a hub for community life . . . A skate facility can be a catalyst for healthy community life in which young and old socialize, have fun, develop new skills, make new friends, hang out and much more.”

The skate park offers many Cal Poly students a different form of exercise and enjoyment than going to a traditional gym.

“The skatepark is like my rec center. Instead of going to the gym to work out or play sports, I go to the SLO Skate Park.” — Jackson Werbelow

Skate parks in general allow for connections to be made with people who share a common interest in skating as well.

“Through the skate park, I’ve made many friends. I feel that I’m closer with many of them rather than the other friends I’ve made on campus due to our shared passions and interests for skateboarding,” said Werbelow.

The skate park trend seems to be very beneficial for communities and the residents involved in the skateboarding world. If you are interested in learning how to skate, checking out this sweet skate park would be a great option for you.

Feature Photo: Park user catches air on the bowl. Photo Courtesy of San Luis Obispo Parks and Rec.