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To some 'No Hate' march at Cal Poly brings issues to forefront

Aidan Mathews

Cal Poly estimates Thursday's march, focused on expanding acceptance for diversity, saw as many as 800 people in attendance-- a big crowd for a university that has historically seen few large-scale social protests. 

Students and faculty chanted as they made their way across campus with President Jeffery Armstrong walking in support. 

Dr. Jane Lehr, Chair of the Women's & Gender Studies Department and Associate Professor of Ethnic Studies at Cal Poly, has been with the university for nearly a decade. She said the phrase "Cal Poly is not a marching campus" became a common narrative when discussing social issues on campus. But, she said some things are changing. 

"The campus is making a claim that we have the right to be at an institution in which all students, faculty and staff...feel safe, but also that we have the right and want to be at an institution in which the experiences of people from underserved and underrepresented groups are centralized as part of the learning and the work that we're doing here at Cal Poly," said Dr. Lehr.

Erica Hudson is with the Vice President of Outreach for the Queer Student Union on campus and said she's not sure whether the march made a difference, but she said it raised awareness.

"The campus attention is really aware of this no matter what part of campus you're on. And that really is great because it holds the campus accountable for changing this climate. I would just love to see people, like the students, hold themselves more accountable, too," said Hudson. 

The administration said there are campus programming changes being discussed to address diversity concerns that will be announced before the end of the quarter. 

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