Colorado State University has a long and rich history of student activism and involvement in equity, diversity, and inclusion. Over the years, students have helped move the university forward through the organization of student recommendations and demands. These demands, in addition to the proactive work of administration, faculty, and staff, have shaped a vision of CSU that is truly an inclusive university community for all. 

While there is much more work to be done, we aim to be transparent and open about the progress that CSU is making in regards to this vision and the past demands that have been presented. While much of this work has already been underway, due to the passion and commitment of countless faculty and staff to equity and inclusion, we recognize that we need to do a better job communicating what is being done, what we plan to do, and what obstacles we are working to overcome.

Channels for Change

If you have an idea or suggestion for one of the many groups leading inclusion and equity efforts, such as the Office of the Vice President for Diversity, the Race, Bias, and Equity Initiative, or the Commission on Diversity and Inclusion, please email it to rbei@colostate.edu and we will work to evaluate the idea and share it with the appropriate group. While creation of a list of demands has been used as a mechanism for impacting equity and inclusion shifts at CSU, it is not the only avenue available or the only successful method used. There are countless individuals taking proactive steps towards inclusive and equitable policies and practices and this work is shifting the institution in ways that are enduring and transformational.

The following section includes information about the three periods of equity and inclusion-related student demands, including major themes and links to read the demands in their entirety. 

2020 Student Demands

...the implication that there is nothing that can be done is a repugnant avoidance of accepting responsibility. We are not asking if something can be done. We are asking what will be done.

Themes:

Revise Student Conduct Code

Diversity & Equity Training

Student Mental Health & Well-Being

Enhance Bias-Incident Response & Support

Security & Safety for Students of Color

2015 Student Demands

[We recommend] increased funding resources for mental health issues specifically dealing with racial oppression and racial battle fatigue.

Themes:

University Diversity-Related Strategic Plans

Increase Diverse Employee and Student Populations

Changes to Core Curriculum

Student Mental Health & Well-Being

ASCSU Changes

Student Athlete-Specific Needs

2010 Student Demands

As people of color... who have historically experienced oppression and continue to do so, we have often been silenced or asked to water down our language. In effect, this has taken away our voice.

Themes:

Created by the Native Student Community

Focus on Campus Climate & Report Out

Maintain & Enhance Student Diversity Offices

Increase support for Native Students & Students of Color

Fund a Full-Time Vice President of Diversity

The following section shares overall progress and next steps as they relate to specific themes from each of the three student demands lists. CSU is focused on a holistic approach to equity, inclusion, and justice work at the university in order to not only address the demands, but to be proactive and implement programs and initiatives that will support diverse employees and students in the long-term. While there is much more work to be done, we are excited about our progress as an institution.

Changes to Core Curriculum

2020, 2015, 2010 Demands
  • Progress: After a lengthy process to obtain approval and input from all eight colleges’ curricular committees, Faculty Council voted in May 2020 to approve changes to core curriculum to require diversity and dialogue courses, on par with mandatory coursework on math and composition
  • Next steps: A faculty group is now working on developing a template for the coursework that will be added to the new curricular requirement

Diversity Training Module for Students

2020 Demands
  • Progress: The Everfi Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) module was piloted with a group of student employees beginning in Summer 2019, with additional student employee groups added each semester afterwards. In FY21, the module will continue to be a foundation course in the Elevate Student Supervision certificate program
  • Next steps: CSU is preparing to administer the DEI module to first year students starting in FY22. There is a committee working to determine the mechanism and timing for delivery, along with the sequence for reinforcement of the module’s learning objectives
  • Read more

Mental Health & Well-Being

2015, 2020 Demands
  • Progress: A full-time counselor specializing in racial battle fatigue was hired to directly serve the Student Diversity Programs and Services offices in 2016. This counselor’s position has since been expanded to serve students in other areas of campus in addition to those engaging with the SDPS offices. The Health Network has continued to hire additional counselors that bring skills and expertise in working with individuals who hold one or more marginalized identities
  • Next steps: The Health Network recognizes that much more work needs to be done to shift the traditional diagnosis-specific approach of mental health counseling to a more holistic, community-based model. Work is being done now to explore new methods for future implementation
  • Read more

Recruitment & Retention of Diverse Populations

2020, 2015, 2010 Demands
  • Progress: OEO produces and publishes yearly affirmative action data that informs search committees of applicant pool availability percentages and goals. All search trainings now include information on unconscious assumptions and implicit bias and a new presentation titled “Diversity in the Search Process” was developed and is offered annually. Training for HR staff has also expanded to include information on diversity and inclusion
  • Next steps: Discussions have begun across the university on how to better acclimate incoming employees to the greater community and initiatives focused on sense of belonging and community building are underway
  • Read more

ASCSU Changes

2020, 2015 Demands
  • Progress: ASCSU passed a bill in spring 2016 which allocated nine senator seats and nine associate senator seats to representatives for the SDPS offices, International Programs and Services, the Adult Learner and Veterans Services Office, and the Multi-Faith and Belief Council. ASCSU is also working to update the Senate Legislation Tracker
  • Next steps: Work is being done now to provide educational resources through videos and workshops on the how systems of ASCSU work, what the processes look like, and how students can get involved. These will include live streaming of Senate meetings, outlines for recruitment, informational sessions for incoming students, and videos on the various processes of ASCSU

Housing & Dining Policies

2020 Demands
  • Progress: For University Housing student staff, HDS incorporated the EverFi Diversity, Equity and Inclusion module into training in Fall 2019. Training for all levels of HDS staff focus on the CSU Principles of Community and intentional expectations related to diversity and inclusion for supervisors has been foundational
  • Next steps: A student advisory group focused on climate in the residence hall and apartments is being created and will be implemented in Fall 2020. This student advisory group, led by the HDS Executive Leadership, will offer suggestions, provide input and share experiences of minoritized students who live on campus
  • Read more

Bias Incident Changes

2020, 2010 Demands
  • Progress: A Bias Reporting System was launched in 2011, following the 2010 student demands. The Bias Assessment Team has created protocols for receiving bias reports via an online form and respond to each report that comes in
  • Next steps: A new website is being developed to host the Bias Reporting System in order to provide further context and clarity around the bias incident reporting process and will be launched by fall 2020 along with an educational campaign to inform campus about the new site

Student Conduct Code Changes

2020 Demands
  • Progress: Language has been drafted to clarify abusive behavior and discriminatory harassment within the Student Conduct Code and is anticipated to be reviewed by the Board of Governors prior to the start of the fall 2020 semester
  • Next steps: If implemented, the proposed changes would clarify the behavior that students could be held accountable for under the Student Conduct Code
  • Limitations: It is important to note that free speech protections under the First Amendment limit what changes can be made to the Student Conduct Code. As CSU is a public institution, the Student Conduct Code cannot supersede the U.S. Constitution

Increased Campus Security

2020 Demands
  • Progress: 335 additional cameras were installed throughout the common areas of residence halls since fall 2017 and 1,600 cameras are in place throughout campus. Cameras are for safety purposes only and footage is only accessed in the event of an incident or crime in order to protect student’s privacy rights
  • Next steps: CSUPD is working together with Facilities and Campus Recreation to install cameras across the Intramural Fields and in the recreational buildings located around the fields. CSUPD is also currently looking for students to serve on the University’s Security Technology Committee (STC) and more information is available here

Diversity Staff Changes

2010 Demands
  • Progress: A full-time Vice President of Diversity was hired in 2010 following the 2010 student demands. The Office of the Vice President for Diversity now employs 10 full-time staff members focused on trainings, assessment, community-building, and advocacy for diversity, equity, and inclusion on campus
  • Next steps: Demand was met as requested and the VPD continues to expand its programs and offerings to meet the changing needs of the university community

Diversity Strategic Plan

2015, 2010 Demands
  • Progress: A university-wide Diversity Strategic Plan was implemented in 2016 and individual Diversity Strategic Plans have been implemented for every college/division
  • Next steps: Per the proactive approach as led by the Office of the Vice President for Diversity, information is gathered at the end of each academic year to report out on the progress made by each college/division on their strategic plans. Work is also underway to weave together diversity and inclusion strategic planning with the RBEI

Native Student Support

2010 Demands
  • Progress: The 2010 student demands were created by Native American and Indigenous students and included a variety of recommendations to increase support for Native student communities. Progress on the 2010 demands, as well as proactive work by CSU staff and faculty, include the establishment of a Native American Advisory Committee, the introduction of the Land Acknowledgment statement and video, the creation of Native-specific scholarship opportunities, and more
  • Next steps: Proactive work continues beyond the student demands to enhance programs and services to support Native American and Indigenous students on campus

Overcoming Limitations

While progress may feel slow at times, CSU is committed to meeting the demands of our students in ways that are comprehensive and proactive and which align with the laws and policies that we must abide by as a public institution of higher education. While some demands are not fully achievable due to this important delineation, such as disciplinary actions for students that engage in biased speech protected under the First Amendment, it does not mean that the university is forgoing the demand altogether. There are countless individuals working towards creative solutions to address the underlying needs of these demands. We aim to continue being transparent about both the opportunities and challenges along the way.

Additional Information