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Cal Poly Greek Life organizations take steps to increase diversity and inclusion

Posted at 10:58 AM, Oct 03, 2018

Cal Poly says Greek Life organizations are working with Student Affairs and other organizations on campus to increase diversity, inclusion, and introduce more well-being education within Greek Life programs.

According to the university, Student Affairs implemented several education and training initiatives with fraternities and sororities, which are part of the university-wide effort to create a more inclusive campus.

“Fraternity and Sorority Life members make up a significant part of our Cal Poly community, and I know they can play an integral role in building this positive momentum on our campus,” said Keith Humphrey, vice president for Student Affairs. “These trainings provide an opportunity for our students to step up and be campus leaders on these important issues.”

An outside consultant was asked to audit Cal Poly’s Fraternity and Sorority programs over the summer, after several racial incidents involving campus fraternities last spring. Greek Life organizations will be required to participate in quarterly diversity and inclusion trainings conducted in collaboration with the Cross Cultural Centers and the assistant vice president for student affairs-diversity and inclusion. The trainings will focus on subjects like cultural inclusivity, micro-aggressions, and unconscious bias. To read the full audit, click here.

The university says each fraternity and sorority also submitted chapter-specific diversity and inclusion plans for the current school year. Cal Poly staff, faculty, and advisors are reviewing those plans and making sure they’re implemented.

Each fraternity and sorority chapter, as well as the InterFraternity Council and Panhellenic, elected a diversity and inclusion officer who will be in charge of implementing the plans. Those officers will also receive additional training on diversity and inclusion.

As a result of the efforts organizations are making, a temporary suspension on all IFC and Panhellenic organizations imposed last spring was lifted.

Cal Poly’s Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity, which hosted a party at which a student was photographed in blackface, is still on probation imposed by its national organization. That probation will last until April 29, 2019. The blackface incident was found to be protected by the First Amendment, but Cal Poly placed the fraternity on probation for failing to register a social event and for providing false information about the party. The chapter will be on university-imposed social probation through June 15, 2019.

On Tuesday, the state Attorney General released the results of an investigation into the incidents on campus.