This letter reflects the opinions of the College of Liberal Arts Student Advisory Council, a council made up of student representatives from each College of Liberal Arts major. Letters to the editor do not reflect the opinion or editorial coverage of Mustang News.
To the prospective students, their families and our Cal Poly community,
We, the members of the College of Liberal Arts (CLA) Student Advisory Council, are disgusted by and fully condemn the actions of current Cal Poly student Kyler Watkins and Cal Poly’s Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity. Last week, after pictures of Watkins dressed in blackface at a brotherhood event hosted by Lambda Chi Alpha surfaced, each of our members individually processed the media surrounding this action. When we came together for our meeting, our thoughts were unanimous: we stand in solidarity with our Black, Latinx and Indigenous peers and communities, and demand change.
Incidents of racism are not unprecedented here at Cal Poly. We stand with our fellow students in calling for serious action to be taken toward incidents like this. This is a cycle that contributes to and perpetuates the racism prevalent on our campus. As a university that is predominantly white, many may not be aware of the experiences of members of marginalized communities. Thus, it is of utmost importance to take the time to listen to the experiences of underrepresented students, and if we are part of the majority, to make the effort to educate ourselves on how to be better allies, rather than turn a blind eye because of the discomfort we may feel. This includes having genuine conversations with your peers on issues of racism, not just in this moment, but in everyday situations.
As student representatives and leaders for the CLA, we recognize that we have a responsibility to actively speak against racism and support Black, Latinx and Indigenous communities. We urge other leaders of Cal Poly to recognize their responsibility to take action, too.
The College of Liberal Arts Student Advisory Council
*This letter has been edited for clarity.