After a long day of work, I came back to my Poly Canyon Village apartment with the intention of getting comfy and going to bed. Little did I know, the universe would have more in store for me on the Saturday night of Oct. 23.
It started just like any other Saturday night: a friend came over and joined one of my roommates and I in watching some music videos on YouTube. This lasted for about an hour or so, until I finally decided I was going to bed.
That was when we heard commotion across the courtyard.
Looking out our window, we saw two girls in front of the elevator talking really loudly and hitting the elevator doors with a moderate amount of force. We all assumed they were just roughhousing, or something of the sort, and didn’t think much of it.
Minutes later we heard loud banging and crashing as the window screens from the first floor hallway windows plummeted into the courtyard. Startled, we all straightened in our chairs and directed our attention, yet again, to the courtyard. The two girls were on the first floor now and began kicking the elevator and yelling obscenities into the courtyard.
At this point we were more in shock than anything else and were keeping an eye on them to make sure that they weren’t physically attacking anyone. After they kicked out the screens on the second floor, we thought everything was over –– that is, until we heard one of the two yell out the most disrespectful thing possible: a racial slur.
Another roommate of mine had just walked in and heard what had happened. We both grabbed our phones and ran out into the courtyard to check if they were still there and who they directed their hate speech towards. They seemed long gone and there was no one outside, that we could see, who could have been a target.
Although we were not able to get pictures of the vandals, I took pictures of the damaged screens and immediately reported the incident to the Cal Poly Police Department. There is currently an ongoing investigation and I have spoken with them over three times now. They stressed to me that they take these matters very seriously, (and after being interviewed twice more by different officers I was glad to see that this rings true) and if anyone has additional information on this incident to contact them at (805) 756-2281, so that they can identify the culprits.
Witnessing this event firsthand has left me in absolute awe, to be quite frank. Being a hispanic man of a darker skin complexion, I have experienced instances of discrimination in the past and have zero tolerance for this sort of behavior. Using racial slurs can never be seen as acceptable or appropriate. When I used to play soccer in middle school, I would play against a wide range of kids in the city league; however, there were always quite a few that would attempt to initiate fights with other players by using curses and racial slurs. Having to put up with hearing those things was absolutely horrible and degrading, and I would never wish for anyone to experience anything similar, even in jest.
How can we ever expect to create a more equitable and safe world for everyone if we have people like these two vandals committing these acts of treachery? If we don’t openly speak out about the actions of people like this, how can we ever expect it to end?
Without doing something, we are simply enabling the kids on the soccer field to think these things are okay to say.
I spoke with a few other kids on my team who were also disturbed by the language of these players, and together we went to the coach, and then to the league. It’s not that we got the other kids into trouble, but the league did listen to us and place a statute that would ban any kids from the league who used such foul language. Even through small steps, by speaking up against abuse we can make a difference.
Whether the girls in PCV were targeting somebody specifically or not doesn’t matter. By uttering those words they made it blindingly obvious that they do intend harm to Black communities, not to mention our Cal Poly community as a whole. Progress can only occur once everyone makes a wholehearted effort to change.
The vandals are noted as being two white females of college age with blonde hair and between the heights of 5’6’’ and 5’8’’. If you have any information about this incident please contact CPPD; this type of behavior cannot be tolerated on our campus.