Diversity group, Cal Poly president march together

December 4, 2015

Cal Poly diversity marchCal Poly President Jeffrey Armstrong marched Thursday alongside a student group threatening his job. Hundreds of students, faculty, staff and supporters marched in solidarity with the cause “Cal Poly is no place for hate,” according to the university.

Matt Klepfer, the leader of student group SLO Solidarity, called for the march after receiving a death threat on Tuesday. On Monday, SLO Solidarity sent a list of 41 demands to Cal Poly administrators.

The demands include mandatory women’s and gender studies or ethnic studies courses for students in every major and a cultural sensitivity class on privilege, oppression, culture, society and campus climate. SLO Solidarity is also demanding gender-neutral or co-gender bathrooms and living quarters within campus dorms.

Likewise, the diversity group is demanding a dramatic increase in the hiring of tenure-line “faculty of color.”

Matt Klepfer

Matt Klepfer

“If these demands cannot be met, we will demand a new administration which will treat underrepresented students with equity and make Cal Poly a place where everyone is equally empowered to obtain a high quality education,” SLO Solidarity stated in its letter to administrators.

Video of Thursday’s march shows students chanting, “We received a threat. What don’t you get?” Armstrong was walking at the front of the crowd and directing the route of the march, video shows.

At the conclusion of the march, Armstrong addressed a crowd at the University Union plaza.

“Extremely proud of the Cal Poly community coming together today for the No Place for Hate march,” Armstrong stated later in a tweet.

San Luis Obispo Mayor Jan Marx and Councilman John Ashbaugh also attended the March. So did San Luis Obispo County Supervisor Debbie Arnold.

The threat Klepfer received came in a Facebook message from a profile with the name Mordecai Shekelburg. The message included a jab at Jews.

“The day of the rope will be coming soon, and you people will be the first to go. If you don’t like how it is in this town, you can all go somewhere else. We have a nice thing going here, and if you fuck with that you’re going to have some pretty angry young white man on your hands. Kike.”

In addition to leading SLO Solidarity, Klepfer is also president of the Cal Poly Queer Student Union. He studies political science, women and gender studies and music at the university.

Cal Poly administrators say they will propose policy changes before the current quarter ends later this month.

Protests over race relations at the University of Missouri recently led to the resignations of the chancellor and campus president.

Armstrong speaking at the rally

Armstrong speaking at the rally



  1. Danachristine says:

    When I was a student, if the university I was attending did not have the classes I wanted, I went to another university where they did. Why do students now days have the right to demand what classes the university offers. These students spend so much time protesting, do they bother with classes with the hope of learning something to use when they get into the real world as other posters have said?

    (12) 18 Total Votes - 15 up - 3 down
  2. r0y says:

    The real question is: will racism ever end as long as there are quotas and mandatory diversity distribution? This isn’t a marketing photo (i.e. make sure there’s “one of each”), what ever happened to merit? I know, I am kidding. I know there is no such thing as merit in government or any of it’s hell-spawn.

    (12) 14 Total Votes - 13 up - 1 down
  3. shelworth says:

    And I quote arguably the most brilliant philosopher in the last 100 years; “We have to protect our phony baloney jobs Gentlemen!”.

    (20) 22 Total Votes - 21 up - 1 down
  4. Rambunctious says:

    “The demands include mandatory women’s and gender studies or ethnic studies courses for students in every major and a cultural sensitivity class on privilege, oppression, culture, society and campus climate”

    Well if the students want to throw their money away on courses that will not allow them to reach gainful employment….knock yourself out! It’s their debt.

    (13) 19 Total Votes - 16 up - 3 down
    • r0y says:

      With progressive “useful idiots” such as these, it is never about what THEY want to do; rather, it is always about what they want YOU to do (or not do). In other words, they want you and others to throw your money away on classes and subjects that might make them feel better about themselves. In the end, they never do feel better about themselves and just degrade back into the vile, loathsome, vacuous, soul-less beings they gravitate towards.

      (16) 18 Total Votes - 17 up - 1 down
  5. Kaiser Bill says:

    No doubt that the death threat is fake and Klepfer is astroturfing.

    Our local polticians Arnold, Marx, and Ashbaugh are worthless and must go.

    (12) 22 Total Votes - 17 up - 5 down
    • SLOBIRD says:

      How about Hill, he wrote a rant that would make your hair stand up and then he took it down being the rant idiot he is. I would expect this from Marx and Ashbaugh but I am surprised about Arnold. I guess the opportunity was to great and she needs those votes. Like Raul Emmanuel would say, “You never let a serious crisis go to waste.”

      (9) 13 Total Votes - 11 up - 2 down
  6. SamLouis says:

    Looking back as a Cal Poly grad, I have to say it was nice attending a school that didn’t spend a great deal of its time and resources on matters that have literally crippled other institutions of higher learning.

    I hope Poly doesn’t derail under Armstrong. He doesn’t appear to be a very strong leader. Poly has something very special that began decades ago under the leadership of Julian McPhee. It would be a shame if it was lost.

    (21) 25 Total Votes - 23 up - 2 down
  7. Citizen says:

    If President Armstrong really wanted to solve this problem, he would just step down as the protesters demand. Then the University could start a job search and let the diversity people help choose a new President.

    (1) 21 Total Votes - 11 up - 10 down
  8. Russ J says:

    Best man for the job – I always say, but that’s just an old saying you blithering morons. Lighten up folks. If a woman kicks my ass, she’s the winner and deserves the job, promotion, or whatever we’re COMPETING for. This is why Trump’s quote of “China is kicking our ass” appeals to so many people. Even though he’s crazy, people are just tired of all these beard scratching idiots who feel compelled to right the world’s wrongs without advancing middle class opportunities. People need what Cal Poly is about; skills to produce, build, invent and economically move our society forward, not a new breed of touchy, feely, sensitivity experts. Get a real f’ng job Matt Klepfer and quit wasting our state tax dollars.

    (20) 22 Total Votes - 21 up - 1 down
  9. agag1 says:

    My suggestion for these kids who think they’re so minunderstood, mistreated, and have it so rough in college…
    STOP allowing your parents to support you, thus subjecting you to the unfair treatment you believe you’re receiving in school, and GO GET A JOB!

    Biggest bunch of sissy waa-waa’s EVER!

    (46) 50 Total Votes - 48 up - 2 down

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