President McConnell’s message on acts of bias and racism

Editor’s note: The following message was sent to the entire Colorado State University Community on Sept. 20, 2019.

President Joyce McConnell
President Joyce McConnell

On Wednesday night, literally while our campus community was gathered to discuss a recent incident involving a photo of students in blackface, we discovered a swastika drawn on the wall of a university apartment building.

Blackface is racist and dehumanizing.

The swastika is an abhorrent and abiding symbol of anti-Semitism.

Acts of bias and racism are widespread across the country and the globe, but they should not be happening on the CSU campus. We stand firmly behind our Principles of Community and these acts and others violate our principles. We must come together, unanimously reject acts like these, and work on accountability.

We also learned Wednesday night that a student group exercising its First Amendment right to invite speakers to campus invited Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk to speak on campus on Oct. 22 at the University Center for the Arts.

I assure you all that we are aware of this upcoming invited speaker, whose visits to campuses across the country have sparked protests, including on our campus in February 2018. We will share more information with all of you early next week about this upcoming event and our university plans for security and programming.

We know that we must denounce hateful acts swiftly and powerfully and when we do things with negative consequences — such as when permissible chalked messages on our grounds were washed off — many of you lose faith that CSU is acting on its Principles of Community.

We know you are angry, frustrated, tired and sad about these events on campus. We are taking swift action.  We ask you to join with us, not to do all this work yourselves but to help us do the work that will make this a university where hate has no place.

Support available

For any of you who need support in the aftermath of the recent incidents on our campus, we encourage you to reach out to some of the following resources for support:


Joyce McConnell