January 28, 2020

Welcome back! Many of you have seen my video in which I am completely alone on campus missing all of you (and if you haven’t, you can watch it here). Thank you for returning to CSU for our Spring 2020 semester – and for bringing your purposeful energy with you. You’ve revitalized us all!

The purpose of this email is simply to bring you up to date on a few things. It is not meant to be inclusive of everything, but if I’ve left something out that is important to you, let my office know at presofc@colostate.edu. We’ll try to include it next time.

  • Our programs for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day were amazing. More than 100 students, faculty, staff, and community members joined in a service project for the homeless. We walked from the Fort Collins town square to the Lory Student Center for a program featuring Ryan Ross, a CSU alum. He delivered a powerful speech reminding us of Dr. King’s legacy and of our responsibility to do more for equity and justice.
  • The coronavirus is affecting the lives of millions of people in China and some in other parts of the world. Be mindful that our Chinese students may have family and friends in China about whom they are worried. We always care for one another, and Rams take care of Rams. I urge you all to make a special effort to reach out to these members of our community right now, ask what they need, and show that you care.
  • CSU is recognized as a leader in research concerning the transmission of disease from animals to humans. We have researchers on campus who spend every day discovering more about coronaviruses. Our research enterprise is also directly connected to the United States Centers for Disease Control and other national and international research hubs, meaning that the progress we make can be connected to our world fast.
  • This spring, the 2020 Census will be conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau. Our U.S. Constitution mandates a count of the population every 10 years and this information is used to determine everything from the number of seats each state has in the U.S. House of Representatives to allocation of federal funding for transportation, hospitals, schools, and other resources. Census Day is April 1 – if you live off-campus, you will be receiving information from the U.S. Census Bureau about the census questionnaire. Students living in CSU residence halls will receive this information through their halls.
  • There is significant disruption in the Middle East that may be causing concern among many people on campus: our veterans; Middle Eastern students, faculty, and staff; and Jewish students, faculty, and staff. Let’s be mindful to be sensitive and show members of our community that we care about them and respect their perspectives and concerns.
  • Remember that at this moment, we have faculty, students and staff who may have issues with their immigration status. Please understand this is incredibly stressful and frightening for them and for their families, and many of them do not even feel comfortable discussing their situation. We value every single member of our community, regardless of their citizenship or immigration status, and I hope you will all join in offering our unfailing support and caring.
  • February is Black History Month and CSU will be offering a wealth of excellent programming. Please join us! This month-long exploration of the history of Black/African American members of our community may excite you, may challenge you, and may open you up to new questions and conversations. In any case, it will be a great opportunity to learn what each of us can do to foster racial equity and justice.  CSU’s Black History Month programming is led by our tremendous Black/African American Cultural Center. You can check out the schedule of events here.
  • CSU’s presence at the National Western Stock Show was impressive. CSU students, faculty, staff, and alumni were everywhere, educating elementary school children about Colorado agriculture, judging livestock, representing CSU at the annual Citizens of the West Awards presentation, and participating in the rodeo!
  • Some 40% of our student athletes were recognized for their academic achievement at the last men’s basketball game – which we won! Now that you are back, don’t forget to come cheer on our men and women’s basketball teams! You can find their schedules here. These are your fellow classmates competing on behalf of CSU. Let’s pack Moby and support all our Ram student athletes!

Finally, coming back after a break can be exciting, but also a little daunting. Work hard in your classes and engage in your community. It’s not uncommon to find yourself struggling or a bit overwhelmed. If you need, reach out to the many resources CSU offers. Our tremendous, caring faculty and staff are here to help.

I hope everyone is having a great start to your Spring semester!