Students were outraged at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo two weeks ago when a fraternity was exposed for one member wearing “blackface” at a party. This week, flyers were found by a SLO professor targeting African-American students, creating more controversy for the campus.
This situation did not go unnoticed at this week’s Associated Students Inc. senate meeting, as senator of health and human services Courtney Yamagiwa led a discussion about the behavior. Yamagiwa suggested that the senate show solidarity and support for the student government in SLO.
“There have been student organizations on Cal Poly’s campus that have come together and [tried] to make action happen to … stop this behavior,” Yamagiwa said. “I thought it would be really nice of us as a board to show support of those student activists. We need to let our student body know that we don’t want anything like that happening on our campus.”
Yamagiwa brought up the concern to senator at-large Thulani Ngazimbi this week and the two of them suggested to the senate writing a letter of support and sending it to the student government at Cal Poly.
“The most important thing about this case is that the president of SLO has gone on the record and said that there is no indication that racism is a problem in the United States, and he has also said that there is no indication of racism at SLO,” Ngazimbi said. “That level of ignorance is so astounding.”
The senate has spent a year trying to pass a resolution that deals with the problem of hate speech and racism at Cal State Long Beach. With last week’s success of passing the resolution “ASI Against White Supremacy,” the senators were quick to address racism in the Cal State system.
“As far as we are over here, we still care about these things and are still in support of the student activists,” said senator of the college of liberal arts Melissa Mejia.
A draft of the letter will be written this week and presented to the senate at next’s weeks meeting before being sent out.