Black Students Turning Away From CalPoly San Luis Obispo

This spring fraternity students at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, posted racially insensitive photographs on social media. The photos included a member of the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity dressed in blackface and other members dressed in what was referred to as “gangsta” attire.

California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo is one of the least diverse public universities in the state. The latest data supplied to the U.S. Department of Education, shows that African Americans are just 1 percent of the more than 20,000-member undergraduate student body. One reason for this is that nearly 60 percent of the applicants to the university want to enroll in either the College of Engineering or the College of Science and Mathematics, fields that tend to have low percentages of African Americans.

And university officials now say that the publicity surrounding the incidents this past spring has had a chilling effect on the number of Black students who want to attend the university. Only 0.4 percent of the nearly 55,000 applicants this year were African Americans.

Preliminary data shows that only 19 first-year Black students will enroll this fall, down from 41 a year ago.

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  1. It’s really a damn shame that a major PUBLIC university in our state should have developed such a “chromophobic” reputation that few Black students even bother to apply. Time for inquiry and intervention by chancellor of California state universities and the state legislature. No PUBLIC institution of higher education in this state should be allowed to get away with making campus life so intolerable for Black students that they end up with virtually NONE!

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