On Monday, September 23, the Performing Arts Center plaza was filled with food and music as the Cross Cultural Centers welcomed the most diverse class at Cal Poly to date.
The event featured resources from the Cross Cultural Centers and provided free food to attendees catered by Campus Dining.
“Diversity is not just visual diversity — it’s really deep diversity,” Associate Dean of Students and Director of the Cross Cultural Centers Bryan Hubain said. “It’s all about how we are acknowledging the diversity that we have and celebrating that diversity in all shapes and forms.”
This year will mark Hubain’s fourth year working at Cal Poly. Dean of Students Kathleen McMahon recently announced Hubain’s last day will be Nov. 6 as he accepted a position at the University of Utah.
“I think in starting here a couple of years ago, what I wanted to do was really have this new tradition that really includes other voices, other faces, other forms of representation that I didn’t see when I started and other students did not see when they were here at Cal Poly,” said Hubain.
Electrical engineering senior Daniel Weber said he has seen both positive and negative changes over his five years at Cal Poly.
“When I was a first year, we had this space called the Connections of Academic Success,” Webber said. “We changed the name to the Black Academic Excellence Center, which was a positive.”
However, according to Webber, the retention rate of black faculty has only increased, leaving black students underrepresented when it comes to obtaining resources.
“Different resources that would be available for us wouldn’t be as available as they used to be because we didn’t have a black faculty or staff member looking out for us,” Webber said.
According to Hubain, Cal Poly is not alone in this struggle for equity.
“I can honestly say that every institution that I have worked at struggles with diversity so I think it’s really all of us are literally finding our way and trying to solve this issue that has really been created from a historic sense, a privileged sense, wealth, and I could go on,” Hubain said, “All of this, we are in this together.”
Cal Poly Lead Coordinator for LGBTQ Initiatives Samuel Byrd said his top priority this year is making students feel included at Cal Poly.
“We are here welcoming all of our new Mustangs on campus, especially our queer and trans Mustangs, and helping them get connected to all of our resources.”