Cal Poly Student Not Optimistic of New Inclusive Excellence Plan

By: Kyle Har

San Luis Obispo, Calif.- Despite Cal Poly’s $243,000 partnership with Dr. Damon Williams, Cal Poly freshman Demetrius Ly does not believe the Inclusive Excellence Action Plan implemented by Williams and the university will improve campus diversity.  

“I think spending about $250,000 on the program itself to help [diversity] is good for [incoming students] looking at the demographics,” Ly said. “However, I do not think it is completely necessary.” 

According to Mustang News, Cal Poly partnered with diversity expert Dr. Williams on Thursday, Jan. 24. 

As part of the action plan, Williams and his team have conducted listening sessions where various groups of students and faculty were able to share their experience on campus. In addition, Williams sent a CPX (Cal Poly Experience) survey to all Cal Poly students and faculty. According to Cal Poly’s CPX website, the survey will ask respondents to address questions about the university’s overall climate.  

Cal Poly, one of the whitest California institutions, is implementing this inclusiveness action plan in hopes to improve diversity.  

Source: SLO Tribune

“Honestly, that is pretty wild how Cal Poly’s student body is [over] 50 percent white when all of the CSU’s is less than 25 percent,” Ly said. “This shows how Cal Poly suffers from diversity all together and how it is now caught up.”

Source: Cal Poly

“In the decade span, it shows that not much of a push has been made by Cal Poly to introduce a more diverse student body,” Ly said. 

Despite the university’s efforts, Ly, a minority student and member of the Filipino club, does not think this campus “cares too much about minorities.”  

He feels this way because of the lack of the administration’s attempt to act upon the notorious blackface incident that occurred last year.  

He admits that he does not know how to improve diversity. However, he only believes that students can only be more conscious if “they are exposed to it.” 

“People will get [diversity], but they won’t take it in,” Ly said. 

For example, this school year, incoming students were forced to participate in an online course called Building Bridges Diversity which covered topics about microaggressions and stereotypes.  

“Everyone understands [microaggressions] and people get it, but in practice, it is not very applicable,” Ly said.  

The lack of diversity on campus has made Ly initially feel “culture-shocked.” He recognizes the university’s efforts of improving campus diversity but is only “angered” that it is not happening at an accelerated pace.  

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