Was anyone other than me bothered that Cal Poly was described as having a “reputation for racism”? (Tribune editorial, July 13)
I agree the egregiously offensive and decidedly racist noose incident will leave a lasting stain. Also, the handful of racially insensitive incidents that have been given so much media coverage (e.g. Colonial Bros and NavHos) and cited as evidence of institutional racism, largely emanated from fraternities advancing immature and patently stupid ideas. Other racially tinged incidents were often clearly the work of lone individuals. I don’t believe these examples comprise a record or culture of institutional racism. In fact, they resulted in teaching moments on diversity.
I went to Cal Poly and worked there for 30 years in administration and as adjunct faculty. I have seen first-hand how diligently Cal Poly has worked to increase enrollment opportunities for minority students with ever-increasing success. Faculty and staff promote a climate of inclusion for underrepresented students through innovative programs and funding opportunities. To label the institution as racist does a disservice to the thousands of non-racist employees and students who have graced its halls. Cal Poly has many proud traditions and promoting racism is not one of them.
L. Diane Ryan Ph.D., Atascadero
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