I was horrified to read that Milo Yiannopoulos has been invited by the Cal Poly College Republicans to speak at the Spanos Theater on Jan. 31, 2017. This self-described “alt-right” conservative has engaged in hate speech against Muslims, minorities, immigrants, and women. Cal Poly Public Relations Director Matt Lazier stated in response to this invitation that Cal Poly is an “open environment where opinions, ideas, and thoughts are freely shared… .” Does this so-called “open environment” include hate speech? Cal Poly’s President Jeffrey D. Armstrong has repeatedly spoken out against hate and bigotry.
As recently as November Cal Poly students protested anti-Islamic and anti-gender fluidity statements written on a “Free Speech Wall” erected annually by the Cal Poly College Republicans on the Dexter Lawn to commemorate the toppling of the Berlin Wall. President Armstrong, in a letter to students, touted the university’s efforts to curb such incidents and improve the campus environment for all students.
Unless President Armstrong is all talk and no walk, I expect the president and Cal Poly’s recently established Office of University Diversity and Inclusivity to intervene and bar this bigot from speaking on-campus.
-- Allan Cooper - San Luis Obispo