Muslim Student Association starts petition for Cal Poly to reimburse organization

Muslim students pray in January 2016 at Cal Poly as part of the 18th annual MSA West conference.
Muslim students pray in January 2016 at Cal Poly as part of the 18th annual MSA West conference.

A petition calling for Cal Poly to reimburse the university’s Muslim Student Association began circulating over the weekend.

The petition was started after it came to light that the university did not charge the Cal Poly College Republicans for providing police security during the appearance of controversial right-wing speaker Milo Yiannopoulos last week, but that the Muslim Student Association was charged $4,888 for security during a three-day conference it hosted on campus last year.

Stephen Lloyd-Moffett, the Muslim Student Association’s adviser and an associate professor of religious studies, created the petition Saturday after speaking with students.

“As we talked, we came up with the idea of this petition to encourage the university to reimburse for fees dedicated to protection the university decided Muslims needed,” Lloyd-Moffett said.

The goal of the petition is to get the university to reimburse the student group and use those funds to create an event that would educate the community about Islam and promote unity, Lloyd-Moffett said.

“The MSA is one of those groups Cal Poly should be really proud of, with all the work they do, and they really represent what’s best about Cal Poly,” Lloyd-Moffett said. “The hope is that Cal Poly will say, ‘Hey, here’s a chance for us to do something concrete, not just put out a statement that we support vulnerable groups, but to show in a demonstrable way we’re willing to financially support those groups that are the victims of the kind of speech the Cal Poly Republicans introduced.’ 

As of 4:30 p.m. Sunday, the petition had received 334 signatures.

Gabby Ferreira: 805-781-7858, @Its_GabbyF