Ryan Chartrand

We acknowledge that the recent anti-choice display on Dexter Lawn is fully protected under campus policies for free expression. We do, however, take issue with numerous factual errors that made the display misleading, as well as its disrespectful approach. It may be protected speech, but it is also inaccurate and sensationalist speech.

The women’s and gender studies department offers many classes that address the complex issues that intersect at the flashpoint of reproductive rights – including topics such as sex education, contraception, child care, reproductive technologies, and gender-related health issues. Women’s Programs regularly runs programs on sexual assault prevention, body image, wellness and sexuality. Throughout the campus and in many ways, reproductive rights are addressed in all their intricacy and difficulty. We don’t promise easy answers nor do we expect that everyone will come to the same conclusions. But we do work to create a context that enables intelligent and courteous conversation.

We urge the Cal Poly community to take advantage of the many resources available inside and outside of classroom opportunities to address these difficult issues in a manner that is fact-driven, civil, and productive. There is no lack of spaces to engage in exchange that is adult and respectful, and there is no reason why our community conversations should be distorted by manipulative and inflammatory propaganda of the most destructive kind.

Mary A. Armstrong
Women’s and gender studies department

Mariana Lightman
Women’s Programs coordinator

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