CRA Comes to the Aid of the Cal Poly Pomona University Chem-E-Car Team

July 21, 2023

Will Donahue, Founder of The College Republicans of America (CRA) and his top team members have stepped up to the plate to raise the money to come to the aid of the Cal Poly Pomona (CPP) Chemical Engineering Chem-E-Car team to enable them to have the opportunity to participate and showcase their innovative chemical engineering projects at the upcoming National AIChE competition to be held in Orlando, Florida.

"We were incredibly disappointed to learn that Governor Newsom’s actions were stifling student growth," explained Donahue.  "Governor Newsom is preventing Cal Poly Pomona engineers, a team comprised mostly of women of color, from competing in a prestigious student competition--at the biggest chemical engineering conference in the world--because Florida doesn’t allow men to compete in women’s sports. This is absurd. If Governor Newsom doesn’t want to sponsor women of color in STEM, the College Republicans will, because this isn’t about political orientation, it’s about doing right by students when radical progressive policy restricts their ability to flourish academically."

The CRA and the Cal Poly Pomona (CPP) Chemical Engineering Chem-E-Car team have faced the unexpected funding challenge together since the University denied their request for travel funding to participate in the prestigious national AI ChE (American Institute of Chemical Engineers) conference. The CPP Chem-E-Car team earned their spot at AIChE’s 2023 Annual Student Conference Chem-E-Car Competition after defeating teams from UC San Diego, UC Berkeley, USC, UCLA, and Cal Tech at the Western Regional Conference this past Spring. The denial of funding was attributed to Governor Gavin Newsom's decision to add Florida to the list of states with travel bans under AB 1887.

AB 1887, a California law enacted to address social issues in certain states, restricts state-funded travel to places with “discriminatory” laws. The Ban list includes twenty-six(26) states. Florida was added to this list due to its legislation preventing biological men from competing in women's sports. While the law was enacted to protect women's sports, its inclusion on the travel ban list inadvertently impacted the Cal Poly Pomona Chem-E-Car team's ability to attend the national AIChE competition in Florida.

The Chem-E-Car team is renowned for its dedication to promoting science, engineering, and technological advancement within the academic community. Their participation in national competitions not only fosters innovation but also highlights the excellence of the Cal Poly Pomona Chemical Engineering program. Furthermore, the team is comprised in majority of women of color, a testament to Cal Poly Pomona’s initiatives to encourage female and minority student representation in STEM.

The core pillars of CRA’s mission are community service and professional development. CRA’s decision to fund the team's trip underscores their commitment to supporting academic endeavors that transcend political boundaries. None of the members of the CPP Chem-E-Car team are members of the CPP College Republicans chapter.

As the Chem-E-Car team prepares to represent Cal Poly Pomona at the AIChE competition, they embody the spirit of resilience and adaptability, which are qualities that resonate deeply with the University's values. The Cal Poly Pomona community stands firmly behind the Chem-E-Car team, and the University remains committed to supporting its students' pursuit of academic excellence and fostering an environment that encourages inclusivity, diversity, and mutual respect.

[More About Cal Poly Pomona Chem-E-Car Team]

As the only collegiate project club for Chemical Engineering majors, Chem-E-Car offers a unique challenge. Students are tasked with building a car that can fit inside a shoebox that starts and stops as the result of a chemical reaction. During the competition, each team is given a specific distance that their car must travel, with the goal of achieving as close a distance as possible to the prescribed target. At regionals this year, the goal was a distance of eighteen (18) meters. The CPP team came within ten centimeters of the target, claiming first place by a wide margin. UCSD came in second, missing the target by 1.1 meters and UC Berkeley came in third at a distance of1.75 meters.

Support College Republicans of America