December 18, 2020
The Student Diversity Programs and Services (SDPS), Academic Advancement Center (AAC), Key Communities (Key), and the Community for Excellence (C4E) unequivocally back and support students who are speaking out about their oppression. Additionally, we collectively support the Women and Gender Advocacy Center’s (WGAC) concerns outlined in their open letter to the campus community.
Our centers, offices, and programs were birthed as a result of student activism and an expressed institutional commitment to social justice. Our missions remain deeply grounded in centering and uplifting the needs, voices and experiences of marginalized students at Colorado State University. For over 50 years, we have aimed to collectively lead student support programs and work with colleagues across campus to hold CSU accountable to you, our students. As WGAC has named, we need to be honest in holding ourselves and the University accountable, acknowledging that we are not perfect, and continuing in our steadfast commitment to providing spaces for you to feel validated in your struggles against oppression here at CSU and more broadly. We remain true to our roots and continue advocacy efforts at CSU while centering your experiences.
To our students – You once again are demonstrating your power by advocating and holding us, as an institution, accountable to upholding our values. We see the organizing you have been doing around #NotProudToBe, #ExposeThemCSU, and Abolish CSUPD. A spotlight is currently on student-athletes who are expressing concerns about the interpersonal violence and the silencing they are experiencing at our institution. Current and past students are also testifying about the racism they are experiencing and reporting concerns about COVID-19 protocols. We know and understand the disproportionate impacts these issues have on you, the students we serve. While efforts are being put in place to address some of these concerns, we know it is unfair to continuously ask you to show up to spaces that cause you harm, are dismissive, and repeatedly silence you. We also know that trainings alone do not help shift your overall sense of safety, do not reduce your anxiety and do not completely change cultures that ignore and silence you. We recognize and have directly witnessed how these repeated experiences impact your ability to be successful and thrive at CSU. That is antithetical to our collective missions.
As part of this institution, we were hired and are responsible for helping to create more just and equitable environments while being accountable to the students we serve. We recognize that you do not exist outside of larger societal contexts that contribute to your experiences. We are committed to working collaboratively with colleagues across campus to create sustainable, systemic change in accordance with CSU’s Principles of Community. We strongly believe that you should be centered and included in University policy changes related to your experiences with oppression on this campus. We know you have repeatedly put lists of demands and needs forward, we commit to continuing to honor and push for the direct things you ask for. We are committed to continuing to use our role in the university to improve the procedures that exist and to address the barriers you may face while attempting to navigate them. We will continue to request the inclusion of diverse voices and experts from our campus community in any strategic conversations related to race, gender, LGBTQ+, limited income and disability to co-construct solutions that honor you, students.
To students, faculty, staff, and our entire CSU community who have been impacted, we believe your experiences and will continue working alongside you. We invite and encourage all of us to commit and recommit to advocating and speaking truth to power, seeking liberation and justice for the collective.
Academic Advancement Center (AAC)
Community for Excellence (C4E)
Key Communities (Key)
Student Diversity Programs and Services (APACC, B/AACC, El Centro, NACC, Pride, SDC & WGAC)