Students Step Up to the Mic

By Manuel Carrillo III

The Center for Community Service-Learning held its annual Open
Mic Night Tuesday, where all students were given an opportunity to
speak their minds publicly about issues ranging from one’s
individuality to rape.

The early part of the open mic night showcased scheduled acts
and guest speakers. Afterward, any student in attendance had an
opportunity to speak about any issue on his or her mind.

Catherine Evanilla, a second-year business and political science
student, who organized the event, said the Raise Your Voice
Campaign and the Open Mic Night allow students to voice their
concerns while enlightening one another in a fashion that
correlates with Cal Poly’s learn by doing motto.

“It’s a forum for students to speak out…. A venue for students
to perform,” said Evanilla.

With a 100-seat capacity, the event, held in Ursa Minor, began
with nearly a full room of attendees and a skit performed by
members of the organization for The Education Against Abusive
Relationships, a Peer Theatre Group where students educate the
campus community about abuse in relationships through various

The skit portrayed a group of college students who have to deal
with some tough issues as a result of events that transpired at a

In the skit, a young man and woman meet each other at the party
where the young man convinces the girl to go back to his apartment.
While they are at the apartment, the man advances on the woman,
managing to have sexual relations with her despite her

At the same time, another couple meets at the party, where the
woman decides to have sex with the man only because of his race.
The next day, the man confides in his friends saying he feels used
because of how the woman treated him like a conquest.

Information was integrated within the skit’s script to make
viewers knowledgeable of the programs offered on campus for victims
of abuse.

Open Mic Night continued with a performance by the Pomona Peer
Theatre Group, an organization where Cal Poly students collaborate
with high school students from the Pomona Unified School

The group performed an excerpt of an upcoming play, which
tackles issues such as drug abuse, bullying and abuse in
relationships. Part of the play also tells the story of how a
school copes with the loss of a student due to suicide.

Rounding out the scheduled portion of the evening was a series
of poem readings by members of the Student Coalition for a Just
Peace, followed by an informative statistical fact blurb on the war
in Iraq by ASI Senator At-Large Amir Mertaban.

By the part of the evening when spontaneous acts could come on
stage to speak or perform, attendance had dropped from an estimated
80 percent at the beginning of the event to about 25 percent

Audience members who left the event missed out on fourth-year
liberal studies student Brandon Espinoza’s comical musical

Despite his ability to entertain, the audience count continued
its decline.

“I’ve seen some people leave,” said Espinoza. “That’s cool. I’m
causing that.”

By the end of Espinoza’s set, 16 spectators remained.

The event, which was scheduled to run from 6-10 p.m., was cut
short at 8 p.m.

Despite the lack of attendance at the end of open mic night, Dr.
Sandra Posey, director of the Center for Community
Service-Learning, said the event went well.

“I like to teach my students fearlessness, so it’s nice to see
students getting up [on stage] in front of everyone to speak their

Manuel Carrillo can be reached by e-mail at
or by phone at (909) 896-3744.

Students Step Up to the Mic

Students Step Up to the Mic

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