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Cal Poly "Campus Climate Survey"

Cal Poly has always been known for it's top-notch Engineering programs, dedicated staff, and hardworking students. However, the reputation as far as diversity goes has always been a little suspect.

Just last week, the Office of the President sent out a message to the Cal Poly community asking them to participate in a campus-wide survey about their views of the diversity on campus. While the answers will remain anonymous, the results could have a massive impact on the mainly straight, Caucasian campus.

In past years when Cal Poly has released its "Student Body" stats, the numbers have included such areas as the percentage of people per location in California (LA, SF, SD, Central Coast, etc.), lacking specific information about how many Mexican-America, African-American, Asian-American, or Native American students actually make up the population. And for students who are concerned with how well they will fit in ethnically, this is a big concern.

Based on a post on "College Confidential", the stats may surprise or even be just a reminder of how little density the "minority groups" hold on campus. the poster wrote that the 2011 incoming freshman class was as follows:

13.8% Hispanic/ Latino
0.7% African American
0.2% Native American
0.2% Hawaiian/Pacific Islander
12.7% Asian
6.5% Multiracial
60.9% White
0.9% Non-Resident Alien
4.1% Unknown
100% Total

Total student ethnic profile was:

12.9% Hispanic/ Latino
0.8% African American
0.4% Native American
0.3% Hawaiian/Pacific Islander
10.8% Asian
4.8% Multiracial
62.7% White
1.3% Non-Resident Alien
6% Unknown
100% Total

While the source of these stats is unknown, talk among administrators about the numbers has been similar. However, it is not just the racial aspect of Cal Poly's diversity that was discussed and questioned in the survey. Because there are many types of people that make up a "diverse community", the survey also asked about the LGBT community. Questions revolving around the idea of how LGBT students are treated, represented, and included on campus were asked. (The same went for the questions about students of various races.)

We are interested in understanding how well we do as a university in providing an environment that is open, fair, and welcoming to all regardless of differences in gender, ethnicity, or political or religious views. And we need to know where we can improve.

A welcoming and inclusive campus climate - one that is grounded in mutual respect, nurtured by dialogue, and evidenced by a pattern of civil interaction - is one of the foundations of our educational model.

Creating and maintaining a community environment that respects individual needs, abilities, and potential is critically important.

As the survey continues to make its rounds around the school, it is hopeful that the school will see positive changes in the ways of diversity as it is the worry of many current students, future students, and parents. For updated news, subscribe to the Cal Poly Examiner page.

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