An SF State student who dresses like and identifies as “SF State Spidey,” poses for a portrait on campus on March 15, 2022. SF State Spidey aims to make the most of his college experience through fun interactions with fellow students, and has chosen not to reveal his identity to the public. (Morgan Ellis / Golden Gate Xpress) (Morgan Ellis)
An SF State student who dresses like and identifies as “SF State Spidey,” poses for a portrait on campus on March 15, 2022. SF State Spidey aims to make the most of his college experience through fun interactions with fellow students, and has chosen not to reveal his identity to the public. (Morgan Ellis / Golden Gate Xpress)

Morgan Ellis

Gator Talk: SF State Spidey

March 19, 2022

Welcome to Gator Talk, a collaborative CalState podcast that brings city and statewide perspectives to SF State news.

Earlier this month, an SF State student created an Instagram account by the name of “SF State Spidey.” The masked individual has gained 600 followers since being spotted on campus interacting with Christian protestors. Copy editor and guest Matthew Cardoza sat down with SF State’s friendly campus Spiderman to learn more about him.

Check out the story here at Gator Talk.

Intro   

Myron: Happy Saturday, Gators! This is Myron Caringal, diversity editor of Golden Gate Xpress. Welcome to Gatortalk, the podcast where we argue over who the best Spider-Man is.

Matt: Um, Tobey is definitely the best Spider-Man — no contest.

Myron: Well, you’re entitled to your wrong opinion. Tom Holland is definitely better. Editor-in-chief and Gatortalk’s host Chris Ramirez is missing in action, but the show must go on, so welcome back to another banger episode. With me today is Matthew Cardoza, Xpress’ copy editor and today’s guest.

Matt: Hello, everyone.

Myron: For more information and coverage, check out goldengatexpress.org OR @GGXnews on all social media platforms.

Preview of the show

Myron: Today’s main story focuses on a student who became a campus superhero: SF State Spidey.

[archival audio begins]

Student: Spider-man!

[archival audio ends]

Myron: We sat down with SF State’s friendly campus Spider-Man — his first ever media appearance — to talk about his origin, his interactions with students and protestors and his uprising.

Myron: So let’s get into it.

Main Story

Myron: So Matt, how did SF State Spidey become the new campus superhero?

Matt: He’s actually not the first campus Spider-Man. The first one originated on Twitter in Fall 2019 and vanished in February 2020, right before the pandemic. He didn’t have that big of a following, though.

Myron: So what about this Spider-Man?

Matt: Earlier this month, Spidey created an Instagram and gained traction for a post he made where he was seen with a Christian protester near Cesar Chavez Student Center. He now has over 600 followers. His friend sent him a picture of what was happening, so he left to change and came back as Spider-Man.

[interview audio begins]

Spidey: The only reason I did it was because this guy was saying a lot of hateful stuff. And a lot of like, like, pretty much. He was forcing his beliefs on others, which I think if you’re gonna have your own beliefs, that’s fine. Just don’t force it on people. And tell them that their opinion is wrong, or what the way they think is wrong. And I thought that what if Spider-an just showed up? Like, what is he? What is he going to do?

[interview audio ends]

Matt: When Spidey was changing, he figured that the protester was doing all this for attention. So, what if he took away the attention from him?

[interview audio begins]

Spidey: Right when I go visit him and talk to him everybody starts taking pictures with me, and he just decides to leave. So I was like, maybe he was just doing it for attention. Well, yeah, that’s how I saved the day that day.

[interview audio ends]

Myron: Did he have any sort of strategy coming into this?

Matt: He just wings it most of the time. Spidey thinks that he needs to assemble a team when he goes out in costume because the second time he encountered the protesters in the Quad, there were around six of them.

[interview audio begins]

And so instead of like my first time coming out, it was just one person this time it was like six so I needed like a little bit more distractions for this one. Because my rule is to not, I’m  not going to get physical with them. I’m not going to touch them I’m not gonna slur at them I’m just there to you know, distract — I’m there peacefully.

[interview audio ends]

Myron: So with this group of protesters, did he end up in the right place at the right time again?

Matt: Since students around campus started noticing him, he got tagged in their Instagram stories when this happened.

[interview audio begins]

Spidey: Everybody was tagging me on their Instagram Stories telling me ‘we need SF State Spidey we need SF State Spidey,’ So I’m guessing that’s sort of like my Bat-Signal; when I’m called I’m needed. Also on my Instagram, I have my phone number and my email. So if I ever need to be contacted from something else besides Instagram, my phone number and my email are there.

[interview audio ends]

Myron: So he’s on-call all the time?

Matt: Yeah, basically.

Myron: How does he balance school and being Spiderman?

Matt: It’s been tough for him because —

[interview audio begins]

Spidey: I’ve had to ditch class sometimes, but I think I’m okay because the class I always ditch is recorded lectures, and they don’t take attendance. So I feel like that’s perfect for what I want to do. When I just want to leave class, I just come back to class online at a different time.

[interview audio ends]

Myron: Ditching class to save the day? Do you think it’s worth it?

Matt: I’ll let Spidey speak on what he thinks about that…

[interview audio begins]

Spidey: A lot of people have told me that, that I’m making campus a lot better, a lot more fun, that they have something to look forward to when coming out of class and that a lot of people are just really happy to see me all the time. Which is kind of cool because it’s like, it’s like wow, like I really liked doing that. Like I like making people happy, especially when I’m Spider-Man.

[interview audio ends]

— Myron: We’re going to take a quick break —

Break

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By the way, our sibling publication, Xpress Magazine, released its second issue of the semester today. Go check out their content at XpressMagazine.org.

  • break ends    –

Cont. Main Story

Myron: And, we’re back.

Myron: So Matt, what inspired him to become SF State Spidey?

Matt: Spidey wanted to give people a little bit more fun on campus. He wants to make the most of his college experience, and what better way to make the most of it than being Spider-Man on campus?

Myron: Has he run into any issues wearing the Spidey suit?

Matt: He said that–

[interview audio begins]

Spidey: I’ve tested where I can go inside with the mask, and I’ve been able to get inside everywhere on campus with the mask on. I’ve went to in-person meetings with the mask on. I’ve went into like some offices with the mask on. I went to a concert with the mask on. I was like okay so yeah, no problems here. Not yet.

[interview audio ends]

Myron: And, he’s an underclassman, right?

Matt: Yup, Class of 2024.

Myron: So what are his plans for when he graduates then?

Matt: He might pass the mantle to someone else… or even expand his team.

[interview audio begins]

Spidey: Well, that would be the plan. Hopefully, I bring upon something to the campus where there is people that dress up. You know, like, there’s a there’s a on campus Avengers or something. Because it’s just starting off with me. And I’ve gotten messages from people saying they want to dress up too and I’m all for it. I’m all for an on campus Avengers. Even if it’s Batman. I’m fine with teaming up with Batman on campus.

[interview audio ends]

Myron: An SF State DC/Marvel crossover? That would be so sick.

Matt: Yeah, that would be pretty cool. He’s actually planning on having a screening of “Spider-Man: No Way Home” in the fall.

[interview audio begins]

Spidey: That’s the meeting I had yesterday. And we’re talking about all the finances and all the rights that we have for it. Which I knew there was going to be money involved, but I didn’t know it’s gonna be that much. Because I think it’s like $1,500 to  just have the movie rights.  But they told me that most definitely that it will happen in the fall. So looking forward to that.

[interview audio ends]

Matt: Let it be known, we did try to get Spidey’s identity. He didn’t even want to give us his major. He said it adds to the thrill of all that, and that Spidey should get the fame, not him.

Myron: So how does Spidey keep his identity a secret from everyone?

Matt: Not everyone, there’s certain people in his life who know who he is, like his roommates and friends.

Myron: They must be some pretty good friends to keep a big secret like that.

[interview audio begins]

Spidey: Oh yeah. They have all the support me I couldn’t I couldn’t do any of this without my friends. And I’m pretty sure one of them is going to come out with me very soon. I don’t know when he still needs to get his costume, but I know he has a costume, but he just he wants a better one. But if he has to come out, he will.

[interview audio ends]

News brief

Myron: Here’s some other things that happened this week:

California legislators unveiled a proposal Thursday that’ll give a $400 gas rebate to California residents to counter the rising gas prices and its taxes, some of which are the highest in the country. Anyone who files taxes in the state would be given $400 regardless if they’re a car-owner or not.

UCLA will become the first University of California to offer four years of free housing to freshmen and two years for transfer students. The milestone announcement comes as UCs across the state, such as UC Berkeley, are struggling to keep up with the increased admissions they are receiving from potential students.

State Sen. Scott Weiner (D-San Francisco) announced an upcoming bill Thursday that would give protections to transgender children and their parents, if they were to come to California seeking gender affirming healthcare. The bill is in direct response to legislation in states like Texas and Florida, which are moving to block trans youth from such treatments and procedures.

End 

Myron: And that’s all I got! This is Myron Caringal, Diversity Editor.

Matt: And Matt Cardoza, Copy Editor for Xpress. New episodes will premiere every other weekend, so keep an eye out. And with that, have a great spring break, gators!

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About the Contributors
Photo of Myron Caringal
Myron Caringal, Diversity Editor

Myron Caringal (he/they) is a first-year transfer student at SF State and serves as diversity editor for the Golden Gate Xpress. He is majoring in journalism...

Photo of Matthew Cardoza
Matthew Cardoza, Copy Editor

Hello everyone, My name is Matthew Cardoza, and I am majoring in journalism and minoring in political science. I am nearing graduation, and though my time...

Photo of Morgan Ellis
Morgan Ellis

Morgan Ellis is a staff photographer for Xpress. She moved to San Francisco last year to pursue her Photojournalism degree with a minor in Museum Studies....

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