Cal Poly cheerleaders have multiple practices a week, a GPA requirement and mandatory attendance over academic breaks in a season lasting from August to May. Paying over $1,500 a season, team members lack access to scholarships, as well as priority registration.
These facts were first shared by Megan. In the span of two weeks, we were able to witness the effects of Cal Poly cheerleaders, and other groups, being cast outside the university’s athletics department. Our reporting process exposed student’s dedication to their sports with little validation from their college. Naturally, the story resulted in moments of conflict.
In our social media and public relations process we found that the general public almost unanimously supported cheerleading as a sport. We also found that support extended to the Cal Poly dance team.
In short the cheer/stunt team have a coach and assistant coach that delegate the amount of funding the dance team receives. Resentment seems to spur from the disproportionate amount of money going to cheer, rather than dance.
The dance team lacks a coach, a designated practice area and leadership at sports games as well as their own competitions. The general public in their support of cheer often mentioned the obvious demand for more dance team resources.
“As a reporter, I should be more critical in dealing with confrontation from a source. There is a lot of tension between the cheer team and the dance team. It’s important not to make an assumption before I get the full story ,” said Megan.
This story is one that was largely supported by people online. As far as I can tell, people desperately want a better environment many sports excluded from the Cal Poly athletics department. This story quickly became pretty complex, especially in regard to different sports funding and classifications. Exploring how female sports are regarded by university’s in California is a story in itself.
“One thing I struggle with is news writing so I was glad to be pushed out of my comfort zone a little this round,” said Aaron.