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Cal Poly SLO hosts Black Student Unions Conference months after blackface incident

Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo hosted ‘The United Black Student Unions of California Conference’ just months after the blackface controversy on campus.

The University opened it’s doors to more than 100 African-American high school students preparing for college.

This conference comes just months after a Cal Poly fraternity brother dressed up as his version of a gang member and painted his face black. The incident sparked outrage, protests on campus, and the student was immediately suspended.

The NAACP Lompoc chapter joined the conference focusing on diversity, inclusion, and discussed how students could prepare themselves if they are going to be part of the minority on campus.

Environments such as Cal Poly where the Black Student Union Vice President says she has not felt any change in the racial divide on campus, since the blackface incident.

“Since this incoming year in fall, I haven’t noticed any physical or tangible changes that we can actually see, I haven’t talked to anyone else who has felt it either, ” said VP of Cal Poly Black Student Union Martina Odusanya.

Some Cal Poly students say they have seen a change at the university.

“Coming into SLO Days, our orientation, they had multiple diversity talks, ” said first-year Cal Poly student Cade Liberty.

Spencer Alonge, also a first-year Cal Poly student said he has seen tangible diversity inclusion in his dorm room.

“We have gender-inclusive bathrooms for men and women, for boys and girls, ” said Alonge.

The President of The United Black Student Unions, Debbie Moore Washington, hopes holding the conference at Cal Poly will help the minority students feel included and seen. She says the organization looks at culture and how students can expand their horizons.

“In addition to getting people ready for college, and their careers we are getting people ready to be responsible adults and leaders in this society and world, ” said Washington.

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