Israel-Hamas conflict fuels tensions at Cal Poly

October 14, 2023

President Jeffrey Armstrong


Cal Poly officials described a hate crime against two Jewish students after administrators initially attempted to stay out of the fray caused by the Israel-Hamas conflict.

On Oct. 8, a day after Hamas invaded Israel, a male suspect stuck his head out of the passenger window of a passing black truck and shouted “Death to Israel” at two Jewish students, according to campus officials. University police deemed the act a hate crime of intimidation.

On Aug. 12, Cal Poly President Jefferey Armstrong said Cal Poly would not be commenting on the Israel-Hamas conflict.

“Our practice at Cal Poly is not to comment on current national and world events that do not directly impact a critical mass of our students and employees,” Armstrong said in a statement. “Our silence regarding these events should not be taken as a position that we don’t care, but that we reserve our public responses for those things that we can control or influence.”

Multiple members of the community chastised Armstrong for an alleged failure to stand against terrorism.

On Oct. 13, Armstrong apologized for his initial response.

“On Thursday, I sent you a message that was meant to reassure, but it failed badly in that effort,” Armstrong wrote in his second statement. “My message did not address the issues, the humanity, and I sincerely apologize for the hurt that I know it caused many of you — especially those in our Jewish and other communities.”


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We need better leadership at Cal Poly. This guy has a very poor vision for our University and community. This is the same guy who turned down our offer to join the Western Athletic Conference(WAC). He seems short sighted on his politically motivated moves. We would be better served by someone who stands for progress and not isolationism.

Even better example was how Armstrong caved to pressure to force Cal Poly to the semester system, something that Baker was always able to resist.

Sadly, the Middle East is almost a taboo subject that labels people and creates more of the same. I’d rather study Appalachian music and listen to: I Am a Man Of Constant Sorrow / O Brother Where Art Thou.

What a mess. While Jeffrey is an incredibly great person, there is simply nothing he can say or not say that will make everyone happy. He’s pretty much damned if he does or damned if he doesn’t. I wonder what a strong leader would do in this situation…

Gee, maybe giving his honest opinion might work…

Just pay Armstrong another $500,000 a year and that will fix everything, oh and by the way tuition is going up again. Its amazing Washington cant figure out why college costs so much and why kids have huge debt after graduation, it apparently never occurs to them that college administration is to blame.

Well, yes, college administrators are far too numerous and far too well compensated. But let’s not forget their brethren in the front of the classrooms- also far too numerous and far too well compensated. But everything else you said there is right on the mark. And, in the meantime, many private colleges, and even some public universities, are struggling to stay afloat, as many high school graduates now realize that a college degree doesn’t have the inherent value that it did back in “our day.” So kids, especially many boys, opt to attend trade and tech schools to fashion acceptable and successful careers instead of “college.” Change….. lots of change and lots of changes happening all over.

Don’t be fooled by right wingers who would discount the importance of a college education. The college educated not only make more money than their uneducated brethren, but are also far happier in their careers.

Obviously, some young people are not fit for college, but those that are should do whatever it takes to get that diploma.

Straddling a fence is a good way to get splinters in your you-know-what…

“Sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me”. Or did ya’ll miss that day in kindergarten?

This guy doesn’t know what to do or say, because the intersectional algebra has gotten too dense. So afraid of offending anyone, he managed to offend pretty much everyone. I don’t think Julian McPhee or even Warren Baker would have struggled with how to condemn murderous pig-demons who behead infants.

Julian McPhee and Warren Baker were college presidents during a different time.

Thanks, Captain Obvious!

I’m shocked at the intense hatred for Jews by so many young Americans… Its time to pull the cover off of our education system and see just what’s going on in our classrooms….

With the increasing political normalization of neo-nazis, neo-facists, autocrats, dictators, and strongmen, none of us should be shocked by that.

Spineless coward, Jeffrey Armstrong, needs to get himself a backbone. The evil beheading of infants is not worthy of a comment?

Totally agree. Hamas, and more widely, Hezbollah, have to be stamped out. Unfortunately, the IDF will have no choice but to kill civilians in order to push the villains into the sea. Americans need to stand fast in support of Israel. Hostages will be killed, Americans among them.

Unfortunately the Republican Party is absent without a leader. And America declines in the world view a little more every day.

Entropy is the third law of thermodynamics. It predicts a lack of order and a decline into chaos. Adams is currently tossing in his grave.

you can’t just stamp out Hamas. you can’t keep 2 million people in a strip after you steal their land they opened up to Jews. you can’t destroy the middle east and just say oh well. here’s America causing hell; Yemen, Libiya, Iraq, Isreal, Afghanistan, Egypt, Saudis, Pakistan, India and the list goes on of people we armed or destroyed. if you opress people and make them poor while bolstering rich, you will get extremists. you don’t Just Kill them Willy nilly.** spelling. no different then here in America, where 53 percent of people have less than 1k in their bank yelling civil war and Jesus crap at the same time and freaking out about gays and trans.

also, to whom said children were beheaded; that is False Information and was retracted by dumb News Outlets; ie, all of them.