Community for Excellence Mission
The Community for Excellence (C4E) creates an asset-based approach top equitable learning experiences for students from their first semester to their last. In addition to recognizing the critical importance of educational partners in students’ home communities, C4E leverages the power of a network of campus partners to facilitate belonginess through scholar contact relationships and connections to existing programs and services, thus resulting in increased retention and graduation with an explicit focus on students of color and/or limited income and/or first-generation college students.
A COLLECTIVE LETTER IN SUPPORT OF OUR STUDENTS
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)
BLACK RAMS MATTER: A JOINT STATEMENT FROM THE KEY COMMUNITIES AND COMMUNITY FOR EXCELLENCE
June 11, 2020
On behalf of the Key Communities and Community for Excellence at Colorado State University, we want to express our anger about the violence and hate that have taken the lives of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and Ahmaud Arbery. We recognize that these are just a few of the names of individuals recently killed due to racism and anti-Blackness. We share in solidarity with those protesting nationwide demanding racial justice and ending discrimination and police brutality. We recognize that the protests are not just because another Black life was ended due to senseless violence, but because there should be no lives lost in this way and yet there have been far too many. We also recognize that more lives will be lost if we don’t begin to speak out and stand with the Black community who experience the daily pain of ongoing systemic racism, anti-Blackness, and violence. We know that racism is not just a part of our history, but is intentionally deeply embedded within our society and is now pervasive throughout our current reality. The recent racialized killings have put an important spotlight on how deeply infuriating these injustices are and the impact it has on communities of color, especially for our Black faculty, staff, students, friends and family. We also recognize that our campus community is not immune from anti-Blackness, racism, and injustice and that we have much work to do locally as well.
Key and C4E’s missions are to serve students with diverse identities, with many of our students identifying as students of color and/or first generation to attend college. We are committed to creating and nurturing inclusive environments that welcome, value and affirm the diverse identities of our students, with particular attention to those who have been historically, and in many ways still are, inequitably served by our institution and larger society. We are committed to addressing the systemic challenges that continue to impact access, retention, persistence and graduation for marginalized students. We are committed to building holistic relationships with students that honor their identities and experiences.
To fulfill these commitments, the Key Communities and Community for Excellence staff will continue to:
- Diligently work to learn, and unlearn, our own internalized biases and oppressive beliefs and attitudes.
- Center the experiences of the students least well-served by our institution in our program design and implementation.
- Hire, retain, and create the conditions to support and invest in professional and student staff whose identities represent our diverse student population.
- Allocate our resources centering principles of educational equity.
- Use our voices and positionality to challenge and disrupt anti-Blackness and systemic oppression at CSU.
As we grapple with the senseless loss of life and ongoing systemic racism, we are ultimately committed to listen, to learn, and to be in community together. We share the words of the Office of the Vice President for Diversity in Black Rams Matter: A Note of Solidarity. To our Black and African American faculty, staff, students, friends and family, we see you, we are here for you, and we stand with you.
Community for Excellence
Phone: (970) 491-7095
External Partners: (970) 491-4035
Colorado State University
1415 Meridian Ave.
Fort Collins, CO 80523-1052