Students demand bias reporting system before Trump takes office

Students are demanding that California Polytechnic University institute a “discrimination reporting” system to protect them once Donald Trump becomes president.

“Across the country, instances of hate, bigotry, and violent attacks against the most vulnerable communities in our country have been on the rise—and our institution is not poised to address this well,” the Cal Poly Students for a Quality Education group declares in an open letter to the Cal Poly administration.

[RELATED: Rapid growth of Bias Response Teams generates backlash]

The letter then points out that “dozens of higher educational institutions across the United States have embraced the now common practice of providing accessible avenues for reporting instances of racism, transphobia, homophobia, Islamaphobia, ect. [sic] on our campuses,” and lambasts Cal Poly for failing to provide “easy to understand online forms” for students to report such incidents.

According to the letter, Cal Poly “simply lists the contact information of existing, federally mandated reporting processes—while other institutions listed offer dedicated online reporting forms, which trigger their own respective investigations.”

The reason for the students’ urgency, they explain, is their fear that the incoming Trump administration will lead to an uptick in “actual or perceived” bias incidents.

[RELATED: Crucifix, Trump chalkings reported as ‘hate incidents’ at UW-L]

“Under Trump's administration—it is critical that students have accessible and reliable ways to report instances of bias based on perceived or actual race, gender, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, ability, immigration status, religion, etc.,” the letter asserts. “As a community, we need to stand strong and look out for each other, while holding those who subscribe to bigotry and hate accountable. A reminder: when we organize, we win.”

The letter also comes with a survey section for anyone in the Cal Poly community who is interested in signing on to the petition.

“Do you think students should have accessible reporting avenues given an instance of bias or discrimination based on race, sexual orientation, immigration status, national origin, religion, etc?” the questionnaire asks before polling respondents on whether they are aware that the campaign has been ongoing for more than a year, and asking whether readers would like to volunteer their support for the effort.

Campus Reform reached out to Cal Poly to ask whether the administration has any response to the letter, but did not receive a reply in time for publication.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @elias_atienza