California Polytechnic State University has temporarily suspended its Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity chapter after a photo of a member in blackface was posted to Instagram this weekend, according to The Tribune, a San Luis Obispo newspaper. The fraternity’s national headquarters also placed the chapter on interim suspension.
Several hundred Cal Poly students attended a town hall Monday night to condemn racism.
The chapter offered an apology and an explanation Sunday in a written statement, saying the incident occurred at an event where teams dressed in different colors. "We are extremely sorry and embarrassed for failing to recognize the racial impacts this brought forth," the fraternity said. "Although it was not our intention to stir up racial tension, we understand the negative impact this picture had on our peers."
The event was held during the university’s PolyCultural Weekend, when cultural organizations host conditionally accepted students on campus.
The university is reviewing the incident, said Kathleen MacMahon, associate vice president of student affairs and dean of students in a statement to The Tribune.
“Racism and hate are unwelcome here, in any form,” McMahon wrote. “Cal Poly is focused on enhancing the diversity of our campus and providing an environment that is welcoming to all who would study, work or visit here.”