Bars buck Marx, will open early for Cal Poly graduation

May 15, 2014

cal polyDowntown San Luis Obispo bars have spurned a request from Cal Poly and Mayor Jan Marx to forego opening at 6 a.m. on the upcoming days of the university’s graduation ceremonies. [Mustang News]

For years Cal Poly students have participated in a tradition of drinking downtown with friends on the mornings of their graduation. Some parents, as well, join in the festivities.

On April 16, Marx and Cal Poly Vice President for Student Affairs Keith Humphrey wrote a letter to the San Luis Obispo Downtown Association asking that bars not serve alcohol until 9 a.m. on June 14 and 15, the day of Cal Poly’s upcoming graduation ceremonies. Marx and Humphrey argued student intoxication was overshadowing the ceremonies.

Downtown Association representatives met with the mayor and Cal Poly administrator on Tuesday but chose not to fulfill their request.

“Overall, we did not feel that closing bars at 6 a.m. was the correct approach to handling the situation,” said Kimberly Walker, chair of the Downtown Association’s food and beverage committee.

Walker said the organization instead agreed to collaborate with Marx and Humphrey on a campaign to educate students about responsibly celebrating graduation.


I popped into the 7/11 on Marsh for coffee the other morning and there was the Budweiser guy delivering the vital necessity for a sick society that can handle life in no other manner: alcohol. One catch….he had vomit on his clothes-all up and down the side. He said he had slipped on vomit in Bubblegum Alley on an early morning delivery.

Do you know that morning drinking is a sign of deep issues regarding substance abuse? What a sick, sick society we live in. Too much in denial to really take a look at the world and see how desperately ill we are-we remain in denial and….drink. Or, maybe others do. I wouldn’t touch the stuff.

Hold hostage by what the Cal Poly kids want…we let them decide when potentially dangerous activities can transpire. We say 9am? They say 6am. And that is how it works. I saw 3 young men a couple of weeks ago (pretty drunk) with a lone female co-ed who looked like she had indulged herself. She was saying “I am not sure I want to get in the car with you…I feel kinda creepy”. They ushered her into the backseat. And off they went. The college kids here do what they want; when they want.


I have an idea Jan, on Graduation Day why don’t you fly a black ball flag from 6 am until noon to prevent any bar surfing before the graduation ceremony.

You wouldn’t even have to lower it to half staff AS YOU SHOULD HAVE DONE on Pearl Harbor Day.


A few drinks are necessary before telling mom and dad that after 4-years and $100k or so in expenses that you will be moving back in with them.

45% of recent college grads move back in with mom and dad – a full 61 percent more college-educated 18-34-year-olds were living with their families in 2011 than in 2001. The phenomenon is called “the boomerang effect”.

That also explains why mom and dad accompany the graduate to the bar!

Ted Slanders

Why not just open the bars at 6am every day so the kids can get drunk sooner, in this way, tey will have three additional hours to become responsible for their actions!


But what if these young adults are just learning from the SLO leaders? as the city council and mayor are not being responsible for their actions.


Nothing says “Thanks Mom and Dad, I love you!” quite so impressively as blowing chunks on your special day.


Bravo! It’s time to scrap the “nanny” mentality. These young people are ADULTS and should act accordingly…whether the bars are open or not.

This is not just about being awarded a piece of paper, this is acknowledging the successful completion of a phase of life that includes learning the essential life skills that will be with you forever. Skills like self discipline, responsibility, accountability, and self respect…just to name a few.

These are not taught by closing bars the morning of graduation.


Pelican, what turnip truck are you driving. Jan and her cronies are riding the nanny state train as long as we the people let them.


Maybe the voters of SLO will take notice of the bars telling Mayor Marx “NO”, and the mayor will learn you can’t continue to award failure, give raises from money that was supposed to pay for capital improvements.




There are many issues here (as I see it): 1) Having a drink or drinks the day you graduate. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that all by itself. 2) Being intoxicated to a level of disturbing the peace of those around you. There needs to be cause and effect involved and those disturbing the peace of others should be carefully and quickly removed from the proceedings.

But, NEITHER involve what time a downtown bar opens for business.

As these precious “gems” receive their diplomas they or their parents or grants have invested (a guess) somewhere north of $100,000 to be there. Our local economy has relieved them of much of that cash as well!

See it for what it is SLO….


The graduates are 21 years old or older. Mom and dad sent them to school 4 years ago or longer to live on their own, with their credit cards in most cases. At what age do they grow up to take care of themselves and be responsible? If they show up drunk on campus, arrest them for Public intoxication, also known as “drunk and disorderly”. Lesson learned that is NOT taught in college but in the real world. Why punish everyone when it is just a few?