A fraternity at California Polytechnic State University has been suspended by the school for a racially insensitive photo that was taken on Sunday. The Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity has become subject to discipline from the school and the general public after a photo was taken with a student in blackface.

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In the photo which was taken during Cal Poly’s Multi-Cultural event this past weekend, the Lambda Chi Alpha students wore fake tattoos, baggy clothes and threw up gang signs. But in a separate photo, a student is seen in blackface which caused outrage throughout social media, the college campus, and eventually back to the fraternities national organization.

The Lambda Chi national chapter in Indianapolis placed the Cal Poly chapter on “limited operations” according to a statement on Facebook. “As a fraternity that prides itself on brotherhood and diversity, we do not condone any behavior that strays from our core values… and we certainly do not tolerate hate or racism of any kind,” the National chapter wrote in the statement. Lambda Chi also posted a message on its organization’s website that, in part, asks members to do what they want in the privacy of their own home, but in public remember that they represent the fraternity.


According to the New York Times report, following the immediate suspension of the fraternity, the racist photo led to on campus protests, and a standing room meeting with University leadership to discuss racism at the college. According to the most recent statistics on the University website, 58 percent of the students at Cal Poly are White while less than one percent are Black or African-American.

According to the New York Times, Cal Poly’s Black Student Union who helped organize the meeting with University leadership, are demanding more from the people in charge of the University and is asking that they “publicly state their actions towards ending these frequently occurring, offensive events and maintain public records of their progress in these endeavors.”

Although the fraternity feels that the incident is being misrepresented, they issued an apology. “Although it was not our intention to stir up racial tension, we understand the negative impact this picture had on our peers,” the statement reads.