An anti-gay slur was discovered on a campus sign last week, prompting Cal Poly President Jeffrey Armstrong to email the campus community about the university’s core values yesterday.
The anti-gay epithet was written on a sign reading “Campus Access” sometime around last Wednesday on a flight of stairs between Mott Gym and the Davidson Music building (building 45) next to Tahoe Road, Cal Poly spokesperson Chip Visci said.
In his email, Armstrong expressed disapproval and appealed to the Cal Poly community to respect each other and celebrate diversity, quoting in part from the Committee on University Citizenship’s statement on commitment to community.
“Cal Poly’s ability to provide a rich learning experience depends on each of us choosing to act with integrity, to show respect and concern for one another, and to ‘promote the benefits of diversity by practicing and advocating openness, respect, and fairness,’” Armstrong wrote.
The sign was reported to the University Police Department on Thursday, and taken down on Friday in time for Parent and Family Weekend.
Currently, Cal Poly has no clue who defaced the sign, and is baffled as to its purpose, Visci said.
“It’s really just stupid, because I don’t even get the point of it,” Visci said.
Speech such as the slur on the sign is not a new phenomenon, though, Visci said.
“Unfortunately, hate-filled speech has been around humanity probably since as long as humans have been able to speak,” Visci said.
Nonetheless, Visci doesn’t see the epithet as a setback in Cal Poly’s stated goals of inclusion and acceptance, he said. Despite hateful language, humanity has always moved forward, Visci said.
This progress includes Cal Poly, Visci said.
“I don’t think one sign and one word should stand in the way of that process,” Visci said.
Victoria Billings contributed to this report.