Tag Archives: college

Behind the Scenes: Discovering Cal Poly Archery Club

When the topic  of Cal Poly’s archery club was pitched, I was immediately pumped up. I knew absolutely nothing about the sport, let alone anything about our on campus club, but I knew there would be a great story in there and the opportunity to meet archery enthusiasts.

Members gather weekly at SLOSA range for events and a chance to bond over their love for the sport. Photo by: Alejandra Garcia


As the Strategy/Engagement individual this week, I immediately reached out to the president of the club, Timmy Nguyen. I spoke to him on the phone and easily set up an interview.

At this interview both Candice and I asked questions about the origins of the club, certain techniques used and events they hold. It was exciting to see the passion he had for archery while talking to us, giving  us in depth answers to simple questions.

We were told they had both an event and fundraiser that coming weekend at the San Luis Obispo Sportsmen’s Association (SLOSA).

Candice Kelchner took on the role of videographer for this story and shares her experience in covering this story.

“After working on this project, I’ve gained a new perspective on and have an increased interest in archery. Going to SLOSA gave me insight as to why people have an interest in archery. Additionally, watching the Cal Poly Archery Club at SLOSA provided me with a taste of the thrill that can come from archery. Overall, this was a fun topic to cover.”

SLOSA is a wide-open range with beautiful scenery and plenty of space for members to practice. It is located next door to the shooting range and has several targets and wooden figures for members to practice on. 


SLOSA is located on Highway 1 between San Luis Obispo and Morro Bay. Photo by: Alejandra Garcia

As we walked out to the designated archery area we were immediately welcomed by the treasurer of the club as well as some of the members. After getting the permission of those at the range, we captured our footage needed while also getting to know the members and learning more about the club and archery as a sport.

Timmy Nguyen, second year electrical engineer and president of the Cal Poly archery club gave us insight on the competitiveness of the organization.

“Right now our club is basically recreational. We have a few members who want to get into it competitively, including me, so I’m going to start that next year,” said Nguyen. “We have members who participate to the side who are a little more serious and prefer something quieter. That’s basically what I do because I want to get better really fast just to get to that competitive level that so many other schools are at by next year so that I can compete with them at a head to head level.”

Julio Escamilla, third year materials engineer and secretary of the archery club has been shooting for two years at Cal Poly. Photo by: Alejandra Garcia

This story seemed to be a little more challenging to put together, not because of the content or material, but with having our whole group in attendance when we interviewed sources. 

Going into the role of word, I was slightly worried because I haven’t actually written a story in a while,” said Jessica Frantzides. “I was really hoping the process would come right back to me, just like riding a bike. And it did to a point, but I was definitely rusty. The hardest part for me was actually indirect, due to me being out of town for 5 days during the process. This made me very reliant on my group for interviews and content to write on. Fortunately, we worked cohesively and I was able to get everything together easily and on time.”

Lauren Pluim, who filled the interactive role this week experienced something similar, “The archery story has been tougher than the rest for me due to the fact that I have not been able to attend any of the meet ups due to my lack of availability on the weekends.  I am very lucky that my group members were so willing to help out and pick up the slack in my portion of the story.”

Overall, this was an exciting story to cover. As a group, we learned a lot and were able to meet some great people. As a graduating senior, I wish I knew about this club sooner because I definitely would have joined.

To protect and to serve for more than 20 years

Going into this second project, our group decided to focus on a topic that is more fun, active, and something that we thought students would really enjoy learning more about. The one-unit racquetball class attracts a significant amount of students each quarter, but most students don’t know that their lecturer not only works outside of Cal Poly as a lieutenant with the SLO Police Department, but also freely volunteers his time to teach the class. With these interesting facts in mind, we decided to focus on Proll and how the racquetball class would not exist without him.

However, we did not start off thinking that this would be our focus. Initially, we wanted to talk about the role of volunteer lecturers in general and how they contribute to the Cal Poly environment. We were hoping to speak with administration and get a full outline of the qualifications, expectations, requirements, and logistics involved with volunteer part-time lecturers. What we quickly began to find is that very few people know anything about this position.

“We were unable to find a list or anyone in administration who was aware of how many volunteers there are. Because of this difficulty, we narrowed our story to focus more on Bill Proll and his racquetball class.” -Sophia Levin, print

Part of our inspiration came from a Mustang News story from back in 2007 on Bill Proll. It was exciting to learn that he has been volunteering for more than 20 years, allowing the racquetball class to go on. And when our group interviewed Proll, he showed no signs of quitting anytime soon.

“I don’t see any reason why I would stop,”

Proll told us when we interviewed him at the Recreation Center.

“Something might come up but I don’t plan on leaving here. I’ve worked for the police department now for 33 years so I don’t know how much longer I’ll do that but, this I would continue even after I retire from there.”

Group member James Tweet going up against Bill Proll (photo by Amanda Newell)

Our whole group was present for our interview with Proll which took place directly after he finished teaching his Monday morning racquetball class. Since we have a video component as part of this story, group member James Tweet worked with the Recreation Center to get permission to film inside.

“A lot of student journalists have had issues with reporting on the premise. I went in and explained my project and filled out a request form, it wasn’t anything too gnarly. When we went in to film, there was some bureaucracy we had to deal with to talk to the highest person in charge available at the time. Besides that, it was pretty straightforward, a little intimidating at times, but totally I respect and understand their cautiousness because of student liability.” -James Tweet, broadcast

Group members Sophia Levin and Laura Hoover getting footage (photo by Amanda Newell)

Once inside, James, and fellow group members Amanda Newell and Sophia Levin, photographed and filmed students playing racquetball and had Proll demonstrate some of his skills.

“Interviewing Bill Proll was great. It can be intimidating to have four journalism students filming and interviewing you, but I felt that he really opened up to us by the end of his interview and shared great insight about his last 20 years here at Cal Poly.” -Amanda Newell, multimedia

Group members Laura Hoover, James Tweet, and Sophia Levin interviewing Bill Proll at the Recreation Center (photo by Amanda Newell)

Amanda and Sophia interviewed a few students who stayed after class to get their thoughts on Proll and his volunteer work. We left the Recreation Center with great footage, photos, and successful interviews. Not only did we learn a thing or two, but this project proved to be fun as well!