Students angry, in tears during Cal Poly town hall on blackface - KSBY.com | San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Area News

Students angry, in tears during Cal Poly town hall on blackface photo

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Hundreds of upset students attended an event on Cal Poly's campus Monday night to express their feelings and opinions on a fraternity blackface scandal.

The town hall meeting came after a photo of a Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity member with a black-painted face was widely shared, sparking controversy.

It was standing room only inside the town hall organized by the Black Student Union. There were strong emotions and a push for administrative action.

Students from several multicultural groups and fraternities spoke up about the change they want to see on campus.

"It doesn't make me feel like this campus wants people like me here, or like I'm appreciated," said one aerospace engineering student, referencing the controversial photo.

"From the get-go, you should have known that this is wrong," said another student.

One student called on her white peers to take more action around campus.

"All you white people who are just sitting here, you just sitting down is doing nothing. You have the privilege to make action and make a change on this campus and none of you are doing s---."

The organizer of the meeting from 8 to 10 p.m. also sent out an online document for all students to fill out, asking them to demand change.

Cal Poly announced Monday evening that the fraternity is temporarily suspended while the school officials determine whether university policy was violated. Lambda Chi Alpha's national headquarters also has placed the Cal Poly chapter on interim suspension.

The organization sent a letter to students apologizing for the action at a brotherhood event, saying it was not racially motivated, rather a competition between teams represented by various colors. Another photo later surfaced showing fraternity members dressed as gang members.

Although the university has temporarily suspended the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity, students called on the administration to take further action by suspending the students involved from campus.

Cal Poly President Jefferey Armstrong released a statement condemning the fraternity's actions and encouraging students to create a more inclusive community.

Related content:
Cal Poly fraternity suspended after blackface, gangster photos surface
Fraternity apologizes for controversial photo taken at brotherhood event

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