A makeshift noose was found hanging from a laundry room in the Santa Lucia residence hall last weekend, according to a a campus-wide email from President Jeffrey Armstrong sent Wednesday.
A bathrobe tie was looped and hung in a shape that resembled a noose, however the intentions for the tie remain unclear.
Armstrong used the incident to address the campus climate as well as mental health in his email.
“I find it heartbreaking and unacceptable that any member of our campus lives in fear and pain – and yet that is the reality for some of our students, faculty and staff,” Armstrong wrote. “I struggle to understand what kind of person intentionally hurts others or treats them in a way that forces them to live in fear.”
In 2008, a noose as well as a Confederate flag and racially insensitive signs, slurs and symbols, were found outside of the university-owned Crops House, where Cal Poly agriculture students lived.
Cal Poly concluded that the noose, as well as other symbols and signs found outside the crop house, were protected by free speech and therefore the university could not take any legal action, sparking campus-wide protests. The Crops House has since been demolished.
While it is unclear if the noose was intended to target members of the community, Armstrong wrote that there is still a lot of work to be done to improve campus climate.
The Office of University Diversity and Inclusion (OUDI) is continuing to partner with groups from across campus to create a supportive and uniting community and conversation, the email said.
Armstrong also mentioned the possibility that the noose could indicate an individual was struggling with mental health issues and urged the individual to seek help.
Santa Lucia Coordinator of Student Development (CSD) Rachel Smith could not be reached for immediate comment.
Students in Santa Lucia can contact Smith at rsmith81@calpoly or 805-756-5631. Around the clock counseling services are also available to all students at 805-756-2511.