A student demonstrator expresses her displeasure with Cal Poly's lack of action regarding Lambda Chi's blackface incident. Lauren Pluim | Mustang News
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Lauren Pluim | Mustang News

Controversy from the Lambda Chi Alpha incident carried into Farmers’ Market April 12, the start of this year’s Open House weekend. Various organizations on campus put up a booth in solidarity against controversial issues at Cal Poly.

“We just want everyone to be aware of what’s really happening and have that conversation. It’s up to them to decide whether they want to come here.”

A booth is set up at Farmer’s Market. Organizations are talking to prospective students about about “the real student experience.” pic.twitter.com/jfkAVfhZTF

— Mustang News (@CPMustangNews) April 13, 2018

A demonstrator of this movement, economics senior Lauren Quinta, said the group at Farmers’ was a collective of student organizations and they were not identifying with any single one.

“We’re all from all over campus … this is something we’re all in together,” she said.

The purpose of their booth was simply to inform students about the current issues that Cal Poly has faced and is currently facing.

“We’re just trying to have honest conversations with all of the prospective students that may attend here,” Quinta said. “We’re just making sure that they understand what it is that happens at Cal Poly and giving them the truth and not trying to put on any sort of show, just letting them know what’s really going on here.”

The booth was made up with a collection of pictures documenting controversial instances on Cal Poly’s campus, including the Lambda Chi blackface incident, the “colonial bros and Nava-hos” incident and the free speech wall. There were also written statements from various groups declaring their solidarity stance.

“The first thing that they see are the different pictures from different instances throughout the years and we’re just letting them know that it’s not just those isolated instances, it’s a hostile environment on campus for students of color and just kind of explaining what it really means to be here,” Quinta said

Both prospective parents and students attending the Open House weekend to narrow down their college decision were unsure about how to react to this demonstration.

“We have been so excited,” said the parent of a recently accepted student. “In every group we have talked to, the kids have been phenomenal and I was so excited for him to go here. This took me aback and was a little concerning.” pic.twitter.com/MJHaXi1gVE

— Mustang News (@CPMustangNews) April 13, 2018

“This took me aback and it was a little concerning because that’s nothing that I heard from anybody and it just sounds like such a wonderful place for him to go to school and this, I’m not really understanding,” prospective parent Gaylynn Shea-Piechaczek said.

Her son, Olek Piechaczek, was accepted to the university and is looking to commit. This movement, however, did not seem to be affect his view on the school.

“I’m honestly not surprised because this kind of stuff always happens on college campuses and the fact that you only see one of these protests instead of multiple shows that Cal Poly’s probably do[ing] a little bit better than other schools are,” he said.

During Farmers’ Market, President Jeffrey Armstrong held a forum with the Office of University Diversity & Inclusion (OUDI) and Student Affairs in Harmon Hall at the Performing Arts Center.

The purpose was to address the recent incidents that have affected campus climate.

Quinta said that because they did not attend this open forum, they did not comment on the steps that need to be taken and the change they would like to see.

Members from this demonstration will continue to have a presence throughout Open House weekend.

“We love Cal Poly,” said a demonstrator to prospective students. “We are just trying to make it better.” pic.twitter.com/9eRYQF5Eo8

— Mustang News (@CPMustangNews) April 13, 2018

“We just want everyone to be aware of what’s really happening and have that conversation, it’s up to them to decide whether they want to come here or not,” Quinta said.

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