Newly crowned Mr. and Ms. CPP hope to set a positive example

By Karina Ultreras

Two individuals who love and give themselves to Cal Poly Pomona were recognized at the seventh annual Crowning of the Bronco Court. Fourth-year psychology student Benjamin Murdock and fourth-year gender, ethnic and multicultural studies student Teaira Martin were crowned Mr. and Ms. CPP.

From deciding if CPP was even a good fit for him to being Mr. CPP, Murdock has grown as a student and individual. School pride is a huge portion of being Mr. CPP, and Murdock cannot express enough how much he loves CPP.

“Being able to connect to have that name Mr. Cal Poly Pomona makes me really happy, because I love Cal Poly Pomona,” said Murdock. “I’m so happy to show my pride for the campus.”

During his freshman year, Murdock did not like the detachment of being a commuter and considered leaving. He felt college should be a place where he could meet people and have a sense of community.

“Maybe this wasn’t the right place for me,” said Murdock. “My mother challenged me to stay one year and get into at least one club. Thanks [to my] mom, she helped me get involved and kept going, and now I love Cal Poly Pomona because there is so much diversity.”

For Murdock, Mr. CPP represents someone who cares for the school and shows their pride and spirit. He wants to voice the students’ opinions.

“With this title, I hope I can help other students become more passionate about school,” said Murdock. “One of the problems I’ve had with Cal Poly Pomona was we are a commuter campus, and it is so sad that people are just interested in getting to class and leaving. There are so many clubs out there doing fun events.”

Murdock also made friendships in the many groups he got involved with. Some of these include Cal Poly Cru, Student Interest Council, Associated Students, Inc. and theatre.

Rebeca Ramirez, a third-year theatre student, is one of those friendships Murdock, made. While taking a theatre class together, she was drawn to his positive attitude.

“I’m definitely not surprised when I learned that he was running,” said Ramirez. “I had a hunch that he would win. [He is] a ray of sunshine. I [am] really excited for him, because I think Ben is such a kind person.”

At the crowning, the contestants showed off their talent. Murdock put a twist on William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet.” He played five characters at once while running around stage and entertaining the audience with his charm.

“For Juliet, I’d throw on a wig and put my voice into a nice high tone,” said Murdock. “I just had fun and wanted to make people laugh.”

Murdock thanks his family and friends for supporting him in everything he has done.

“My friends who came to the event and actually supported me showed me a lot of love and made me feel special and made that whole day memorable,” said Murdock.

Martin enjoys theatre as well. At the crowning, she performed a monologue called “My Short Skirt” by Eve Ensler. Martin uses acting as an outlet to express who she is and what she believes in.

During the showcase, Martin’s friends couldn’t believe how the list went on. Renaissance Scholars, Shades of Queen, House of Ruth, ASI and California Youth Connection are only a few of the organizations Martin has given her time to.

“I’m big on community service and giving back to my community, because I know if it wasn’t for my community, I wouldn’t be where I am today,” said Martin.

Martin is compassionate about helping her community and those in need. After being a part of the foster youth, Martin is motivated to follow her dreams. Ms. CPP is a dream she had since she began attending CPP.

“When I started here as Summer Bridge freshman in 2011, [Ms. CPP] was something I set a goal for myself,” said Martin. “I told my mentors at the time what I was interested in. I want to be Ms. CPP, work for ASI and be involved in clubs on campus, and just listed all the things I wanted as goals.”

Her determination and ambition led her to the crown. Martin puts the glitz and glamour of the crown aside and appreciates the meaning and responsibilities that come with the title.

“I want people to know that as Ms. Cal Poly, this isn’t just a title for me. This is who I am every day,” said Martin. “The title to me represents involvement, compassion and being transparent.”

According to Martin, the title comes with responsibilities.

“One of my responsibilities is to be the best student I can be in class and off campus,” said Martin. “If I’m in public and I’m speaking and someone says she is a Cal Poly Pomona student, then that credits my school. I want to make sure I uphold my school to the upmost respect, because they have given me the blessing of education.”

While playing Powder Puff football for Shades of Queen, fourth-year chemistry student Darionna Malone became closer to Martin. Malone thinks Ms. CPP is a determined person that wants to make a difference in the world by being an example.

“I feel like she very much deserves it and I wouldn’t want anybody else to represent Ms. Cal Poly but her,” said Malone. “I think the impact she’ll have on other people would be to never give up on the things that you’re doing in life and always follow your dreams.”

With their new titles, both Martin and Murdock hope to set a positive example for all students and provide a closer sense of community for CPP students.

“I don’t want it to come off as some popularity contest,” said Martin. “I want students to know I am a resource to them. If I can’t help them in something, then I know I can direct them to somewhere they can have an outlet. I want the commuters to know that there is so much that your campus can offer to you.”

Mr. and Ms. CPP

Victoria Kernen / The Poly Post

Mr. and Ms. CPP

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