PMSAC empowers students to speak up for change

Joe Tiner and Lucy Delgado of PMSAC

Joe Tiner, chair, and Lucy Delgado, adviser to the President’s Multicultural Student Advisory Committee.

Like many undergraduates, Joe Tiner came to Colorado State University after a campus visit where he found CSU to be a warm and welcoming place.

Now, as president of the President’s Multicultural Student Advisory Committee, he has helped organize CSUnite: No Place 4 H8, a solidarity walk to stand against incidents of bias and hate that have taken place on campus this year.

“We want this event to send the message that CSU should be a warm and welcoming place for all students,” said Tiner, who is now studying for his master’s in Adult Education and Training. “In general, from my perspective as a white male, I think it is, but students of color might not share that perspective.”

Lucy Delgado, a graduate assistant in Student Affairs who acts as adviser to PMSAC, said that the several documented incidents on campus have unfortunately reflected the current national climate.

“This year has been especially hard for marginalized students,” Delgado said. “What has been going on in the country and in the world has been mirrored on campus. This event is our way of standing not only against the incidents of hate, but also for the people who may be experiencing such things on a daily basis, on campus or more widely.”

Started with a conversation

CSUnite: No Place 4 H8

All members of the CSU and Fort Collins community are invited to gather at Newton’s Corner (the sculpture next to the Behavioral Sciences Building at the corner of Pitkin and Center) at 3 p.m., March 29, for a solidarity walk to the Lory Student Center and a short program. There will be tables with information about how to take action against bias and hate on campus, as well as an opportunity to provide your feedback on the current climate on campus and what changes you would like to see.

The event will also be live on all the University’s social media channels – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat – #CSUnite.

The idea for the solidarity walk originated with PMSAC back in December, during a conversation with CSU President Tony Frank. With support from the administration and every division across campus, that conversation blossomed into CSUnite, which incorporates the “No Place 4 H8” campaign launched earlier this year by Residence Life as a way to reinforce the CSU Principles of Community.

PMSAC is an advisory committee to the CSU University president that was first created by President Emeritus Al Yates in the early 1990s. The committee is appointed by President Frank and includes student representatives from all seven Student Diversity Programs and Services cultural and resource centers – Asian/Pacific Islander Cultural Center, Black/African American Cultural Center, El Centro, Native American Cultural Center, Pride Resource Center, Resources for Disabled Students, and Women and Gender Advocacy Center – as well as Adult and Veteran Learner Services, the Department of Athletics, the Center for Public Deliberation, and International Programs. Tiner, who represents RDS, has been on the committee for four years, the last two as chair.

“PMSAC gives students a voice to speak for the populations they represent – and the administration listens,” he said. “That ongoing engagement, with students and administrators working together, is how we will bring about change on campus, even if it happens slowly.”

Delgado, whose work is to create student-centered programs, said that while some students would like to see more action than conversation, she is proud of the work PMSAC has done in empowering students to use their voice.

“PMSAC has elevated what students want by giving them a voice that the administration listens to, and lets them know that they can do something to make change happen,” she said.

The PMSAC members worked hard to ensure that CSUnite was not just a march but also an opportunity to share resources, education, and information that can help the campus community combat acts of hate when they occur.

Both Tiner and Delgado see the CSUnite walk not as an end but a beginning, a spark that inspires everyone to help make campus that a more inclusive place for all, and to do something to support their fellow Rams.

“After the walk is over, I hope everyone will continue to use their voice to take action in any way they see fit to stand against hate and for our community principles,” Delgado added. “Everyone has pockets of influence, and together we can make real change.”

More information a CSU’s First Amendment webpage.