April 20, 2021

Dear CSU Community,

Today a jury found Derek Chauvin guilty on all charges for the murder of George Floyd. There are many people across our country and at CSU feeling the tension of this moment. We recognize that hundreds of years of racism, violence and trauma weigh on our Black community in particular.

One person being held accountable for his unspeakable actions certainly does not alleviate the pain felt by our community stemming from systemic racism and racial injustice. This tragedy drew support from all corners of the United States and among international nations and became symbolic of the need for immediate change. With this decision, I do hold hope for a future where we are able to collectively break down the barriers that divide us, rather than unite us, as human beings.

Colorado State University remains deeply, fundamentally committed to diversity, equity, inclusion and justice. We have built these values into our Principles of Community. I urge our community members of all races and backgrounds to courageously come together as allies and supporters to address changes needed at CSU and in our nation.

Today the trial is over, but tomorrow, I urge our community to continue to remember Daunte Wright, Adam Toledo, Rayshard Brooks, Daniel Prude, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Atatiana Jefferson, Aura Rosser, Stephon Clark, Botham Jean, Philando Castile, Alton Sterling, Freddie Gray, Janisha Fonville, Eric Garner, Michelle Cusseaux, Akai Gurley, Gabriella Nevarez, Tamir Rice, Michael Brown, Tanisha Anderson and the countless other Black and Brown Americans who have been killed.

As we near the end of this challenging academic year, and upon the end of this trial, we hope you take the space you need to reflect along with the people and practices that support your mental health. Students, whether you are still on campus, in Fort Collins, or home with family, please reach out if you need support resources. Faculty and staff members, we offer support to you through our Employee Assistance Program.