Move-In 2016: Diversity programs enrich student experience

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Joining a university of thousands of students can sometimes feel daunting. Connecting with others on campus in a smaller environment, while still feeling a part of a larger community, helps students to feel more at home. Along with strong student support, CSU’s Student Diversity Programs and Services  provides a setting where students are able to grow and expand their horizons by participating in, and contributing to, the university’s diverse environment.

The diversity offices at CSU provide services and programs that emphasize a specific segment of the student body  but are available to all students. Through SDPS, students may receive support services, expand their knowledge, learn about different cultures — and many find their home away from home.

Asian Pacific American Cultural Center

The Asian Pacific American Cultural Center is committed to inclusion and interculturalism, and creates and supports opportunities for interaction among university and community constituencies to provide a learning environment that supports all students.

The APACC office runs several educational and volunteer programs for students to help spread awareness of Asian American culture and connect students with each other. These programs include a peer mentoring program for incoming CSU students as well as a program for local elementary and middle school students called P.A.L.S. (Participation, Awareness, Learning and Sharing) and Explore.

“APACC provides educational and fun opportunities to learn and laugh together — a place to socialize, to build community, and relax,” said Joann Cornell, director of APACC. “We share and honor generations of stories and histories, learning from the past as we transform our futures together.”

APACC is located in Lory Student Center Room 333.

Black/African American Cultural Center

The Black/African American Cultural Center promotes a diverse, inclusive campus environment and serves as a resource to campus  as well as surrounding communities, through academic, professional, cultural and personal development programs that embrace Black and African American experiences.

One of its foremost goals of the office is to enhance students’ knowledge of the culture, history, heritage and traditions that are unique to the African American experience. B/AACC promotes programs that offer cross-cultural perspectives and by creating mutual opportunities for exchange through cooperative planning and support for all university services.

“As soon as you walk through the door, our office evokes a sense of community,” said Bridgette Johnson, director of tB/AACC. “This space provides educational programs, as well as opportunities to network with the campus community which increases the development of our students.

Some of the highlighted events for B/AACC this year include:

  • Welcome B/AACC BBQ, 4-7:30 p.m. Aug. 25 at Rolland Moore Park
  • Ice Cream Social Resource Fair,  2-4 p.m. Sept. 1  in LSC 335
  • Homecoming Pageant, Oct. 2 at the LSC Theater
  • 40th year Anniversary during Homecoming weekend Oct. 7 – 9

The Black/African American Cultural Center is located in Lory Student Center Room 335.

El Centro

El Centro provides an inclusive learning environment that welcomes all students. El Centro supports and strengthens the academic and cultural experience of students by providing workshops, leadership opportunities and Latina/o cultural awareness programs that promote student success and retention.

El Centro offers a mentoring program called La Conexión that assists first-year, first-generation, Latino/a students by developing meaningful relationships with staff members through small and large group activities, service, leadership and weekly meetings. The purpose of this program is to foster a strong sense of community, cultural pride, student engagement and academic confidence. Another program available to first-year students is the SOMOS Rams retreat where 25 students are selected to participate in a weekend getaway in Estes Park, where they engage in leadership, team building and cultural activities that help strengthen their experiences at CSU.

A number of other programs and volunteer opportunities can be found at the El Centro website.

“Throughout the year our office offers many events that foster a sense of community and exposes students to the Latino culture,” said Lupe Salazar, director of El Centro. “These include National Latino Heritage Month (HLHM), César Chávez Celebration, Welcome Back BBQ, Cinco De Mayo and many more. If any of these opportunities sparked an interest or you would like to learn more about the Latino culture, history and community please feel free to stop in our office. We welcome all students regardless of how they identify, the best way to get involved with El Centro is simply to visit our space.”

El Centro is located in Lory Student Center Room 225.

Native American Cultural Center

The Native American Cultural Center was established in 1979. The four primary advocacy and service areas include recruitment, retention, graduation and community outreach. The office embraces and encourages a supportive environment based on the traditions and cultures of Native American peoples.

“The Native American Cultural Center welcomes new and returning students to campus this fall,” said Ty Smith, director of NACC. “NACC provides a variety of programs and services focused on our core values of recruitment, retention, graduation and community outreach. The office embraces and encourages a supportive environment based on the traditions and cultures of Native American peoples. You can check out our website for more details about upcoming events, programs, and services at”

One of the most popular programs at the Native American Cultural Center is the Eagle Feather Tutoring, which provides free tutoring for all students on campus. The schedule will be available the first week of classes. Students are encouraged to stop by and learn more about the office and ways to get involved.

The Native American Cultural Center is located in Lory Student Center Room 327.

Pride Resource Center

The Pride Resource Center (formally GLBTQQA) seeks to foster a campus free of prejudice, bigotry, harassment and violence by providing a space for all members of CSU communities to explore and increase their understanding of aspects related to sexual orientation, gender identity and expression in an open and non-judgmental environment.

The mission of the Pride Resource Center filters through its programs, resources and services. The Center offers educational, support, leadership and social programs and resources. For more information about the Center’s programs, visit the Center’s Programs and Services website. For upcoming events, visit the Center’s main website.

“The Pride Resource Center is a place to connect and find support with focus on diverse sexual orientations and gender identities,” said Aaric Guerriero, director of the Pride Resource Center. “Come meet new people, utilize our resources, or just find a place to study.  You can also join us at our programs and start building your home at CSU with people who support your identities!”

The Pride Resource Center is located in Lory Student Center Room 232.

Resources for Disabled Students

Resources for Disabled Students collaborates with students, instructors, staff and community members to create useable, equitable, inclusive and sustainable learning environments. RDS is also committed to supporting Colorado State University as a non-discriminating environment for qualified students with disabilities.

RDS provides accommodations, awareness and advocacy related to students with disabilities. Disabilities encompass physical and learning impairments as well as chronic mental or other health conditions. Accommodations include extra time/quiet location for exams, print in alternative formats (electronic), sign language interpreters, and note taking assistance.

Students who need an accommodation due to their disability should call the office at 970-491-6385 to make an appointment with one of the accommodations/advocacy specialists or stop in either the main office (100 General Services) or the RDS satellite (RDS Express, Lory Student Center Room 223) to make the appointment. Accommodations cannot start until a student connects with the office.

One highlight of the year will be Disability Dialogues, offering the opportunity to discuss the intersection of disability with other aspects of diversity.

“The support provided by RDS is based in civil rights and social justice principals,” said Rose Kreston, director of RDS. “RDS is here to ensure students with disabilities are afforded an equitable opportunity in an environment that was not originally designed for them.  Physical and learning impairments and chronic mental or other health conditions are part of the human condition and it is understood they contribute to the diversity of the human race.”

Resources for Disabled Students is located in the General Services Building Room 100 or the satellite office at the Lory Student Center Room 223.

Women and Gender Advocacy Center

Women and Gender Advocacy Center provides programs and resources focusing on all genders, social justice and interpersonal violence prevention. WGAC provides advocacy and support for victims of sexual violence, stalking, harassment and relationship violence. The purpose is to provide a safe and affirming space for the students at Colorado State University, while supporting systemic change to end all forms of oppression within the community.

WGAC provides educational programs, training and workshops throughout campus facilitated by the office’s professional staff and peer educators.

“Some of the events we have during the year include Sexual Assault Awareness Month, CTMO (Consent Turns Me On) Carnival, Relationship Violence Awareness Month, and the Women’s Conference,” said Monica Rivera, director of WGAC. “Our programming includes Men in the Movement, a group for men who want to learn more about masculinity, its relationship to violence, and how all men can work to prevent gender violence, as well as the Red Whistle Brigade, a troupe of students who are responsible for providing educational programming on campus.”

The Women and Gender Advocacy Center is located in the Student Services Building Room 112 or the satellite office in the Lory Student Center, Room 234.

Adult Learner & Veteran Services

Adult Learner & Veteran Services supports the academic success of adult learners and student veterans by educating those students about the value of using resources available at Colorado State University and in the Fort Collins community. Adult Learner & Veteran Services also provides many services that support student parents.

ALVS aims to support non-traditional students in their transition to CSU. ALVS provides a broad range of resources to aid in the advancement of adult and veteran students, both academically and professionally. For more information about adult learner resources, veterans services and more, visit the website.

“We are ready to welcome the largest class of student-veterans in the post-9/11 era,” said Marc Barker, director ALVS and Veteran Education Benefits Office. “ALVS is committed to the diversity and inclusion mission of CSU and are proud to announce several new initiatives, including programming for women veterans, student-parents, and adult learners. Additionally, we will offer financial literacy workshops, new scholarships, and leadership and career exploration workshops.”

ALVS is located in Lory Student Center Room 228.