You are on page 1of 5

CAL POLY, SAN LUIS OBISPO ALUMNI OF COLOR ACTION PLAN

FOR CAMPUS DIVERSITY AND INCLUSIVITY

This document was drafted to reflect the concerns of


Alumni of Color from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.

We the Alumni of Color (AoC), recalling that the Blackface and “thug/gangster” incident occurred during
PolyCultural Weekend, ​a large-scale event hosted by Cal Poly’s cultural organizations that is “designed to
acquaint prospective students to the Cal Poly University by exploring academic, cultural, and social
resources of the institution”,​ are deeply distraught by the nationally reported Blackface incident involving
the Lambda Chi Alpha, Cal Poly Chapter on April 8, 2018 and inadequate response by the Cal Poly
Administration and current Cal Poly University President Jeffrey D. Armstrong, hereby demand that the
administration:
As a well regarded, public institution, California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly), San Luis
Obispo (SLO) needs to provide a safe, nurturing environment for Students of Color (SoC) to thrive and
have access to tools that will ensure their success--before entering Cal Poly, while at Cal Poly, and after
they leave Cal Poly. Administration must acknowledge those who are historically marginalized and
silenced by the complacency and manipulation of those who are in power. We seek to create an
environment that protects historically marginalized individuals through these list of demands and
initiatives to revise and improve diversity and inclusivity plans on campus.

Section I​…………….​Create an Environment That Protects Historically Marginalized Individuals


This section describes not only necessary actions to address the Lambda Chi Alpha incident, but
also to improve the current hostile environment for current and future students. Cal Poly as an
institution, needs to foster social learning and responsibility and uphold its commitment to
Diversity and Inclusion, “The Cal Poly community values a broad and inclusive campus learning
experience where its members embrace core values of mutual respect, academic excellence, open
inquiry, free expression, and respect for diversity.”

Section II​………………………………………..​Increase the Number of Underrepresented Students


Using proven models that maximize the probability for student success, Cal Poly must create an
environment where SoC feel connected and valued in the university community. SoC should not
only feel that their contributions are appreciated but also that their experiences are recognized
and respected,

Section III​………………………………………….​Improve the Retention of Students of Color


Cal Poly was ranked among the 7 worst institutions in the United States (out of more than 600
institutions of higher learning) for Latinx students (​LA Times, 2017​).​ ​Recognizing the population
of Black students on campus has dropped under 1% with respect to the whole student population
(​Cal Poly OUDI. Cal Poly Demographics, 2014​). Furthermore, we are deeply concerned that 1
in 4 students at Cal Poly have seriously considered leaving, with a majority of those cases citing
a hostile campus climate among their reasoning (​Cal Poly Campus Climate Survey​, 2016) ​Noting
that students of color reported experiencing exclusionary, intimidating, offensive, and/or hostile
conduct based on their race, (Cal Poly Report, 2014),

Section IV​……….​Improve Recruitment and Retention of Staff, Faculty and Administrators of


Color
Emphasizing that 100% of Cross Cultural Staff left the University in 2016 due to reasons of
hostile Cal Poly workplace, campus, and living climates (Students for Quality Education & Cal
Poly Student Affairs), acknowledging that 40% of Black staff left the University in 2016 (New
Times SLO. Cal Poly Confronts its Diversity Problem, 2016), and tenure line faculty density
dropped to just 60% (California Faculty Association, San Luis Obispo)

Section V​…………………………………….....​Institutionalize Best Practices For Students of Color


“At Cal Poly we believe that academic freedom, a cornerstone value, is exercised best when there
is understanding and respect for our diversity of experiences, identities, and world views.
Consequently, we create learning environments that allow for meaningful development of
self-awareness, knowledge, and skills alongside attention to others who may have experiences,
worldviews, and values that are different from our own.” - ​Cal Poly Statement on Diversity,
I. CREATE AN ENVIRONMENT THAT PROTECTS HISTORICALLY MARGINALIZED
INDIVIDUALS

A. Address the most ​recent incident


1. Require mandatory teach-in on history of Blackface and racism with Greek organizations
by the end of May 2018
2. Require Greek organizations to establish a diversity officer on each executive board who
will ensure multicultural competency of its organization’s members
3. Enforce a mandatory, moderated discussion with members of Lambda Chi Alpha and
Alpha Gamma Rho; if they fail to participate, their charters should be pulled within the
subsequent 2 weeks after the presentation of this document

B. Campus wide efforts


1. Institute empathy workshops for current and future students—​moderated by experts that
can mimic the study conducted by Jane Elliott​ such as ​Just Communities
2. Enforce mandatory diversity training workshop for all campus chartered organizations
by Fall 2018
3. Require mandatory diversity and cultural competency workshops for incoming students -
emphasizing empathy - format should include interactive social experiments to
understand the negative impacts of bias, prejudice and racism (Reference: ​Jane Elliott
experiment​)
4. Make diversity and inclusivity plans of action readily accessible and communicated to
the student body
5. Create an Ethnic Studies course requirement in addition to the current ​United States
Cultural Pluralism (USCP)​ requirement
6. Create a Diversity and Inclusivity Advisory Board composed of students and alumni
and/or re-establish the Student Diversity Advisory Council (SDAC)

C. Create protocol and update ​Code of Student Conduct​ to protect students from hate
speech and policies that outline specific consequences for future actions of​ (Reference:
SBCC Standards of Student Conduct​):
1. Verbal harassment, physical abuse or hazing or discriminatory behavior based on race,
sex, (i.e., gender) religion, age, national origin, disability, or any other status protected by
law, on or off College premises, of the person or property of any member of the College
community or members of the student’s family or the threat of any such physical abuse at
any College authorized or governed activity
2. Engaging in speech or other expression intended to insult or use of "fighting" words or
non- verbal symbols directed at an individual's age, sex, race, color, disability, religion,
sexual orientation, or national/ethnic origin which is obscene, libelous or slanderous, or
which by their very utterance or expression are likely to incite a violent reaction as to
create a clear and present danger of the commission of unlawful acts on college premises,
or the violation of lawful District administrative procedures, or the substantial disruption
of the orderly operation of the district
3. Require Cal Poly ASI to reiterate a zero-tolerance policy for racism, with non-negotiable
consequences for failure to comply—charters pulled, lose funding
4. Establish a bias incident reporting system (Reference: ​George Washington University​)

II. INCREASE THE NUMBER OF UNDERREPRESENTED STUDENTS

A. Improve Targeted Outreach to Students of Color


1. Collaborate with low-income and/or first-generation-majority high schools to promote a
an inclusive culture and increase exposure of marginalized student populations to Cal
Poly
2. Implement marketing materials targeted to admissions and prospective students using
(SoC) and alumni models of diverse backgrounds to follow implementation of better
retention efforts for existing SoC
3. Provide a status update on scholarships for SoC according to ​Cal Poly’s Diversity &
Inclusion Action Plan

B. Increase Financial Support


1. Ensure adequate funding for cultural events targeting prospective students
2. Expand the Cal Poly Scholars program; provide clear guideline for alumni to contribute
to scholarships specifically targeting at risk populations (low income SoC)
3. Establish a Cal Poly Alumni of Color network to help assist with recruitment, mentoring,
internships, job placement and scholarship funding

III. IMPROVE RETENTION OF STUDENTS OF COLOR

A. Create a Sense of Belonging


1. Develop mentorship programs with students composed of faculty, staff, alumni, junior,
and senior level students
2. Create systems that minimize the acculturative stress of new SoC: build self efficacy,
positive social networks based on family model, and connect with families

B. Academic Support
1. Develop a system to identify SoC who are academically at risk (ie - academic probation
or review profile data of SoC who were not successful), and provide academic resources
and support to do everything possible to keep them in school
2. Specially trained faculty to help support SoC in gateway courses; provide compensation
to faculty of color

C. Adequately Fund Programs


1. Provide adequate funding for Multicultural programming; this includes, but is not limited
to the Cross Cultural Centers, University Housing, Cultural Greek Life, and Multicultural
on-campus organizations
2. Create designated and subsidized SoC space in new dormitories to avoid future
segregated on-campus housing (Reference: ​UC Santa Cruz​ & ​UC Irvine​)
3. Fund resources for the Black Academic Excellence Center, Cross Cultural Centers,
Ethnic Studies Department, Women’s and Gender Studies Department, Queer Studies
minor, and the Science, Technology & Society Department with matching funds spent on
Milo Yiannopoulos’s 2017 and 2018 visits-- an estimated amount of over $55,000
4. Create specific line items in the Cal Poly CalFund dedicated to Multicultural
programming, the Cross Cultural Centers, Multicultural on-campus organizations so that
Alumni and corporations can easily donate to these causes; maintain financial records for
these donations

IV. IMPROVE RECRUITMENT AND RETENTION OF STAFF, FACULTY AND


ADMINISTRATORS OF COLOR

A. Recruitment
1. Provide adequate funding and marketing for the Faculty and Staff Associations (for
events, scholarships, etc.)
2. Create targeted campaign to attract professionals of color to fill vacancies at Cal Poly

B. Professional Development
1. Provide PD opportunities that further support the demands in this document
2. To ensure job security and prevent retaliation against faculty, staff, or administrators that
support this list of demands
C. Tenure
1. Create and commit to a strategic 10-year plan by the end of Fall Quarter 2018 that will
recruit, train, and retain new hires to increase the percentage of Indigenous,
Black/African-American, Latinx-American, Asian-American, Multiracial, Queer,
Woman-identified, and International faculty and staff members that adequately represent
the State of California
2. Provide mentorship for any and all faculty of color wishing to obtain tenure

V. INSTITUTIONALIZE BEST PRACTICES FOR STUDENTS OF COLOR

A. Implementation/accomplishment of these initiatives/list of demands


1. College President must begin with an announcement of an implementation strategy for
section I.A and assigning the representative to ensure the entire document is implemented

B. Monitoring
1. To track the progress of the initiatives included in this plan, a third party must be funded
to perform demographic research (across students, staff and faculty) annually and
analysis publicized
2. Include staff, faculty, and administration of color at strategic plan meetings and
throughout the development process

C. Evaluation
1. Publish a evaluation report at the end of each academic year highlighting how the
administration has been meeting the goals stated in the plan