The Facts on Diversity

Over the past 10 years the minority student population has stayed roughly the same at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Despite initiatives, plans and efforts put in place to recruit more students of color and improve the campus climate, many students are still leaving or not coming to Cal Poly because of the demographics. Cal Poly remains the whitest institution in the California State University system as well as one of the worst ranked higher institutions for Latinx and Black students.

Cal Poly administration plans on changing that and has made diversity and inclusion a top priority. Here are lived testimonials by the students and faculty at the university.

The Thoughts

Thoughts on Diversity

We asked five Cal Poly students what diversity means to them and what is the first thing that comes to mind when they think of diversity at their university. Here is what they had to say:

Diversity and inclusion means that different life experiences and perspectives can be shared freely, valued equally and celebrated by all. It creates an environment where everyone can grow as individuals, business sophomore Darian Dudley said. Black face. The noose and the red bricks. Colonial Bros and Navajos, Dudley said. It’s about making everyone, regardless of race, skin color, disabilities, etcetera, feel welcomed and like they matter, because they do. It’s important to use these differences to create a positive atmosphere rather than a negative one, business sophomore Valeria Huaco said. Multicultural Business Program, Huaco said. Diversity and inclusion means fostering an environment in which all members are treated equitably and respectfully, economics senior Arly Rivas-Lovo said. I mean there is the cross-cultural experience. They just started CORE this year, it’s creating opportunities for representative engagement. You know they got yakitutu, they're doing their best, Rivas-Lovo said. Diversity is a mix of different identities that make us, us. Inclusion is the act of making this work together. Without one another these are simply just words that carry meaning, business sophomore Francesca Ramos said. Different cultural organizations, Ramos said. Diversity just means being conscious of differences and similarities between other people and just not letting that affect your interactions with other people, business junior Michael Brazil said. I don’t want to say black face, but what I’m thinking about right now is black face. I’d like to think it’s MBP, the people in the Multicultural Business Program who are trying to bring diversity to the forefront of conversation, who are trying to shift that narrative and kind of just create more inclusive environments for people who value diversity, Brazil said.


Student Perspectives

Click on images to hear student's thoughts on diversity and President Armstrong
(Double-click to pause audio)

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Professor Expertise

Ethnic Studies professor Grace Yeh sits down to give her perspective on whether or not progress has been made when it comes to diversity during President Armstrong's tenure.

The Numbers

The Numbers