Poly Places: UU Plaza Stand in Solidarity Display

On Tuesday November 10, 2015, the Cal Poly College Republicans Club displayed a free speech wall on Dexter Lawn for anyone in passing to write a message. This opportunity of being able to practice free speech quickly escalated into a demonstration of hate towards other cultures, races, ethnicities, sexualities, gender identities and ideas. It is appalling that students at Cal Poly wrote such discriminatory words towards their peers when the opportunity of free speech was presented.

In response to this event, over 100 students, faculty, staff and community members gathered on Wednesday night to discuss what should be done in consequence. The event that night was an open discussion amongst all of the people present to decide what steps Cal Poly must take to become a more inclusive and accepting community. Marginalized groups on campus raised their voices together and decided that it is time to change the climate of the school.

The next day during University Union (UU) hour from 11 to 12 pm, all of those inclined to make change protested in public on the UU plaza and inside of the building. The students carried signs that displayed their hope for the future and their disgust with the incident that occurred two days earlier. They also exclaimed slogans such as “love not hate” and “free speech not hate speech!”

When the chanting students entered the UU and made their way up the stairs, the facial expressions of their peers sitting in the building were just as unsympathetic as the words written on the “free speech” wall earlier that week. That alone showed how much work needs to be done on this campus to make it accepting and comfortable to all.

To show your support with the movement in making Cal Poly a more inclusive environment #slosolidarity on social media. And remember, Learn by Doing also applies in everyday life. Do the right thing and show respect.