A silent student protest was shut down after the University Police Department (UPD) K-9 unit was called at 9 a.m. April 24 near Dexter Lawn, according to a letter released by the Drylongso Collective. Drylongso Collective is a group of student organizations that joined together in response to a member of Lambda Chi Alpha in blackface.
The Collective had emailed nine administrators a time and date in which they would meet to discuss their demands that followed the blackface incident. The meeting was scheduled for 9 a.m. April 24 in the Mathematics and Science Building (building 38).
However, according to university spokesperson Matt Lazier, no meeting was officially scheduled.
“The press release issued by Drylongso misrepresents facts and is misleading,” Lazier wrote in an email. “There was never an agreed-upon meeting yesterday. Drylongso sent an email midday Monday to several university administrators, demanding their attendance.”
According to the letter, only four of the nine administrators asked to attend were present at the meeting, President Jeffrey Armstrong being 1 of the 5 absentees. Lazier said, Armstrong was not able to attend with less than a 24-hour notice, however Vice President for Student Affairs Keith Humphrey and Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion Jozi De Leon were in attendance.
“We were also asked to be mindful of the administrators’ time and schedules which dismissed the significance of our collective and individual efforts to attend and prepare the meeting,” the letter reads.
The Collective decided to give the absent administrators 15 minutes to show up before they decided to reschedule the meeting and, according to Lazier, left the room.
Accompanying the meeting, a small protest had been organized outside of building 38. Roughly 20 students held signs up to the window where the meeting was taking place before the police were called. According to Lazier, the police were not called by administrators, contrary to what Drylongso’s letter stated.
Lazier said UPD’s K-9 units are responsible for responding to calls for service and happened to be the closest officers in the area. The K-9 partner remained in the vehicle while the officer responded to the call.
The protest quickly disbanded and protesters declined to comment.
The Collective has requested to reschedule the meeting with all requested administrators in attendance, Monday, April 30, at 7 p.m.
“If this request is not met, we will have no choice to continue our resistance to administrative neglect. This will involve moving our efforts to a national level,” the letter said.
However, according to Lazier, Cal Poly administration has met with students to discuss the matter.
“Cal Poly administration has met with and will continue to meet with any and all reasonable members of the student body. The administration has extended an invitation to meet with several student leaders within the Drylongso collective and is awaiting a response,” Lazier said.
Drylongso has not returned a request for comment as of yet.