In an email to campus Wednesday, Vice President for Student Affairs Keith Humphrey and Cal Poly President Jeffrey Armstrong (above) wrote that while the party was sexist and insensitive to Native Americans, no student conduct policies were violated.
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After interviewing several students involved with a party this past month that put Cal Poly in the national spotlight, the Dean of Students Office has decided not to carry out a full investigation of the “Colonial Bros and Nava-hos” party.
“The staff talks to anybody and everybody that they believe has information about the alleged complaint,” Vice President for Student Affairs Keith Humphrey said. “They talked to the people who had reported it, to see what they observed or experienced. They talked with people in the alleged student organization about what they experienced as well, to try to determine if there were any student code of conduct charges that had been violated.”
In an email to campus Wednesday, Humphrey and Cal Poly President Jeffrey Armstrong wrote that while the party was sexist and insensitive to Native Americans, none of the student conduct policies were violated.
Unlike the initial email sent to students on Nov. 19, which called the party “a social fraternity and sorority event,” the email students received Wednesday referred to it as an “off-campus party.”
“We are not sure if it was exactly an official event of a fraternity, or members of a sorority and fraternity getting together,” Humphrey said.
The university has announced several steps it will take in the coming months to improve the campus climate so that it is, “open and welcoming to all.” There will not, however, be a penalty for the sororities and fraternities who were allegedly involved.
“We don’t want to ever assign any blame to somebody unless we’re 100 percent certain,” Humphrey said. “And that’s why you didn’t see a larger investigation.”
The California State University standards for student conduct ban actions like hazing, plagiarism and sexual assault, and are the same for every CSU. Issues with the party, Humphrey said, did not fall within one of those policies.
“If any of the prohibited activities had taken place, a full investigation would have been launched under the student code of conduct procedures,” Humphrey said. “We’re limited in the issues that we can address, so those are the ones that we were looking at to see if they were violated.”
According to Humphrey, the theme was “informally” promoted by some of the party planners, who encouraged individuals to dress up in racially offensive and sexually explicit costumes. Although there has been some debate over the party’s official title, Humphrey confirmed the university believes the theme was “Colonial Bros and Nava-hos.”