This piece reflects the opinions of Mick Bruckner, a SLO Solidarity Coordinator and political science sophomore. Letters to the editor do not reflect the opinion or editorial coverage of Mustang News.
The email that President Armstrong sent out last week was an unsurprising reminder that our administration seems to be at a loss for how to facilitate more inclusivity and diversity, in regards to SLO Solidarity’s demands. The draft action plan that was shared in the email — while neat and tidy — is essentially a repackaging of information we students have had all along. The only new pieces of information in this plan are the additions of expected completion dates and when these processes will begin.
The administration has shared with us drafts like this before, and yet again, there is nether accountability or methodology laid out as to how they will actually address our demands. I understand that the administration does not operate in a vacuum, and that it would be impossible to consult with SLO Solidarity every time they took a step in that direction; but I also know that as of yet, President Armstrong and Academic Provost Kathleen Finken have not, in my opinion and careful observation, addressed the campus in a helpful and productive manner on the topic of more diversity. They have sat behind vague campus processes, buzz words like “Diversity Strategic Framework,” “Vision 2022” — and the commitments that have been made have almost all been prefaced with “we will consider.” Quite frankly, the coordinators of SLO Solidarity have been raising these issues for five years now, and we are done waiting for you to “consider” our livelihoods, educational goals and identities — because that is what they have been doing so wonderfully for the past decade: considering.
I have said this before, and I will say it again: Cal Poly’s administration will not effectively improve diversity on this campus until they learn how to value, engage with and center it in their administrative pursuits — just like they do with other kinds of frameworks of thinking on a daily basis as they make decisions. Improving diversity and inclusivity is taking accountability for diversity and inclusivity.
And until I see that accountability, I will do everything in my power as a student to bring about change and progress that Cal Poly’s marginalized groups need. Until then, these marginalized groups — namely black and brown, Muslim, queer, disabled, undocumented, trans and other students of color will continue to suffer at the expense of an incompetent administration.
Sincerely and in Solidarity with students who feel they still do not benefit from our administration’s so-called inclusion plans and efforts,
SLO Solidarity Coordinator
VP of Activism & Advocacy, Queer Student Union
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