Fraternity at Cal Poly Is Suspended After Blackface Incident + Students Demand Action


The Lambda Chi Alpha chapter at California Polytechnic State University has been suspended after social media posts showed its members dressed as gangster stereotypes and blackface.

An emergency town hall meeting occurred on the San Luis Obispo campus with hundreds of students addressing racism and intolerance. Protests have occurred as a result of this insensitive incident with many students stating that they feel unwelcomed on their own campus.

Members of the Black Student Union at the university helped organize the student meeting that occurred Monday night and demanded that the university publicly state their actions in ending these racially insensitive incidents.

The student organization said in a statement, “As a predominantly white institution with an overwhelming representation of those in the top 10 percent of the income bracket, Cal Poly has shown time and time again that it does not hold itself, its Greek organizations or its students accountable for their actions.”

According to The New York Times, Cal Poly has struggled with attracting students of color, but college leaders have stated that they are committed to welcoming everyone.

“Cal Poly is focused on enhancing the diversity of our campus and providing an environment that is welcoming to all who study, work or visit here,” Kathleen McMahon, Cal Poly’s dean of students stated. “Racism and hate are unwelcome here, in any form.”

Cal Poly held its annual multicultural event over the weekend, which was when photos surfaced of white students from the fraternity throwing fake gang signs while dressed in baggy clothes.

The chapter released a statement saying, “We are extremely sorry and embarrassed for failing to recognize the racial impacts this brought forth.” They further stated, “Although it was not our intention to stir up racial tension, we understand the negative impact this picture had on our peers.”