Alice Antony is a freshman journalism student and opinion columnist. The views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of Mustang News.
A Cal Poly faculty member of color was allegedly pulled over by University Police due to racial profiling Nov. 14, 2019. The faculty member was allegedly placed in handcuffs, searched for weapons, and released without reason, according to an email to all members of the Cal Poly faculty union. The union has not released any further information on the incident, and Cal Poly administration did not hear about the occurrence until after the union’s email was sent.
The union should release the truth about the issue at hand. Transparency between a student body and an administration is crucial to strengthening bonds and establishing trust. Dealing with miscommunication between administration and the students only weakens equity and reliability. With no information released, the student body will only remain even more skeptical as to what happened and draw their own conclusions on the situation, potentially worsening the issue. An ongoing investigation cannot be confirmed or denied, so the measures the student body wishes the union would take don’t seem to be happening. It’s as if the story is trying to be kept on the down-low in hopes that months will pass and the rest of the school will just forget about it.
Withholding information only damages the campus climate, and while the substantiated accusation is bad, keeping it under wraps is even worse. It isn’t a matter of dusting it under the carpet, the union should be clear about what’s going on and in doing so, they can bring light to the issue and Cal Poly can take preventive measures to ensure something like this doesn’t happen in the future. Training to inform officers about the prejudices of racial profiling could take place, or even workshops to promote diversity and inclusion.
Moving on from this issue won’t take covering up information and refusing to do anything about the situation. It will take acceptance that something has happened to a faculty member and taking measures to fix these wrongdoings.
Our school is no stranger to racially charged accusations and prejudice. In a predominantly white campus, there are bound to be unfortunate incidents such as these. As a community, what we should do is create a welcoming environment to educate others on the importance of diversity and inclusion. Moving on from this issue won’t take covering up information and refusing to do anything about the situation, it will take acceptance that something has happened to a faculty member and taking measures to fix these wrongdoings.
Cal Poly should be standing by their values and taking immediate action for these situations. Letting the issue fizzle out and be forgotten is the snowflake that builds up to an avalanche of mistakes and scandals. If a student were to commit such an offense, they would get the necessary punishment; likewise, the UPD officer who made the offense should be treated equally as them.