Protests disrupt Cal Poly’s Open House

April 16, 2018

As Cal Poly welcomed prospective students and their families over the weekend to the university’s annual Open House, hundreds of students boycotted the event, marched and protested on and off campus, creating an uneasy situation for administrators, particularly President Jeffrey Armstrong. [Cal Coast Times]

Protesters chanted numerous slogans, including “I am not Cal Poly proud” and “Hey, hey, ho, ho. Armstrong has got to go,” while the university president spoke with prospective students. The various protests stemmed from the fraternity blackface incident that occurred the previous weekend, which angry students say Armstrong and other administrators have not properly addressed.

On Saturday, numerous Cal Poly clubs set up booths, as they traditionally do for Open House. However, they left the booths unmanned with statements expressing support “Black, Latino and indigenous peers.”

The clubs condemned Cal Poly administrators “for doing nothing about” the blackface incident and gangster impersonation that occurred during a Lambda Chi Alpha brotherhood event a week prior.

Student protesters also handed out material to families of prospective students warning them of rampant racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination on campus. Protesters allege Cal Poly administrators are protecting a serial rapist on campus, in addition to racist fraternity members.

Following the blackface incident, the Cal Poly Lambda Chi Alpha chapter was suspended and its leadership resigned. University administrators are continuing to investigate the fraternity, but Armstrong said at a public forum addressing the issue that the student who was photographed in blackface would most likely not be expelled because of his free speech rights.

Kyler Watkins, the student who painted his face black, said he was unaware of the history of blackface, and that he painted his face black because he was on the black team. He has apologized to anyone he made uncomfortable.

Nonetheless, protesters continued on Saturday to call for the Watkins’s expulsion. They also continued to express anger at the fraternity.

“Lambda Chi needs to die,” protesters chanted on Saturday.







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18 Comments

  1. sweethome says:

    From politically correct to fascism in a heartbeat. These are strange and scary times to live in San
    Luis Obispo.

  2. Jorge Estrada says:

    All of this hype may result in a outside review. This won’t look good since looks has been the triggering media boost. Take away the foreign students who pay a hefty tuition and what do you have left for a diverse student body? Bright, right and white… Just saying.

  3. Wildrnes says:

    George Bailey, are you a nutzi? “most of the minority students protesting are at Cal Poly only because of affirmative action” is a false and biased statement. Don’t you have better things to do on your 15 minute work break at McDonalds?

  4. aye-caramba says:

    It is so frustrating to go to this over-hyped college, become a meaningless number, and be completely unable to get the classes you need because of just admitting too many students. SOOO…. discourage others from coming so you can get out in less than six years….brilliant strategy. BTW, all those little coeds with bull horns, berets, piercings and radical tats will be driving minivans, wrestling with carseats, and struggling with the extra 30 pounds gained in ten years. Let them enjoy the “activist fantasy life” so they have something to reminisce about in a decade.

    • copperhead says:

      It’s easy to protest when you are in college or are a college professor for that matter because there are no consequences to standing for liberal causes.

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