On Tuesday, California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo indefinitely suspended all fraternities and sororities after photos surfaced showing a Sigma Nu fraternity member in blackface and others dressed as gang members.
The move was announced by university President Jeffrey Armstrong, who said in a lengthy letter to the campus community that it has been gut-wrenching "to witness the hurt so many have felt and continue to feel."
Last week, the university suspended the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity after photos emerged on social media of one member wearing blackface and others posing and dressing like gang members.
The university took the broader action after learning of yet another instance of "racial profiling and cultural appropriation" at the Sigma Nu fraternity, Armstrong wrote.
Photos showing three Sigma Nu members dressed as gang members emerged on social media Tuesday.
Hundreds of students at the school protested and held an emergency town hall after the original Lambda Chi Alpha photos emerged.
But in the hours before Armstrong announced the indefinite fraternity and sorority suspension, racially inflammatory materials began showing up in buildings around campus.
Posters promoting diversity were also slashed and police were called to investigate at least one incident of a racial slur written on a bathroom wall.
In a public Facebook public post Tuesday, Cal Poly Associate Professor Neal MacDougall shared images of posters promoting educators who work with undocumented students that had been slashed outside his office.
A flyer had also been placed on his billboard, posing a question: "Are all groups of humans the same sub-species or even the same species?"
In his post, MacDougall wrote, "I know that Cal Poly President Armstrong has asserted that a racist culture does not exist at Cal Poly but it makes me wonder what kind of culture these images represent? All of this was centered around my office hallway this morning. I think we have to move beyond protecting the Cal Poly “brand” and start dealing with the Cal Poly reality."
Other flyers placed around campus showed imagery of global maps connecting skin tones to incidents of rape and homicides, as well as IQ. Other images showed images of gorillas in juxtaposition with images of a tribal African, next to an astronaut.
Commenters on MacDougall's post wrote they had seen similar materials in other campus buildings.
"The slashing of the sign disturbed me. That's fundamentally a violent act," MacDougall later told KCBX.
Cal Poly spokesman Matt Lazier said Wednesday morning that the university is seeing many postings around campus:
These are desperate acts of a few who aim to spread hate and divide our community. In no uncertain terms, the university abhors and denounces hateful and racist speech and actions — they are inconsistent with our values at Cal Poly. We must use this time to reject hate and come together as a community to foster a constructive dialogue and begin the healing process. Any actions that do violate the university’s Time, Place and Manner Policy (CAP 140) or First Amendment rights — including threats of physical violence or harm, expression that constitutes criminal or severe harassment, or defamation — will result in discipline from the university, up to and including expulsion/termination, and potentially criminal charges if criminal laws have been violated.
This post includes reporting from The Associated Press.