CSU takes any allegations of racial bias, bullying and discrimination against anyone in our campus community very seriously and we thoroughly investigate all reports. In this case, Jessica Balasuriya made the University aware of her concerns about the Ram Handlers program through a variety of reports and interactions beginning in the fall, and since that time several units on campus have been actively working to support her and address her allegations.
Departments that have been involved with reviewing and responding to Jessica’s concerns include CSU’s Student Resolution Center and its conflict resolution team, the Vice President for Diversity Office, the Vice President for Student Affairs Office, the Dean of Students, the College of Agricultural Sciences, the Department of Animal Sciences, the Alumni Association, and the Office of Equal Opportunity. She has not filed a formal complaint with OEO but has been actively engaged in seeking resolution with staff in OEO and these various units on campus, and discussions are continuing. The concerns brought forward in this case are layered and complex involving issues of culture and accountability. We are taking steps to evaluate all related issues and areas, including making changes to ensure the Ram Handlers program is welcoming to all students of any identity from any major on campus. These include:
- Changes to improve recruiting, training, onboarding, and student and staff development.
- Increased diversity and inclusion awareness training for students and staff involved with the Ram Handlers.
- Consultation with the Vice President for Diversity office to ensure recruitment materials, team guidelines, handbooks, and practices are fair and inclusive.
We are grateful to Jessica for coming forward with her concerns. CSU encourages anyone experiencing what they believe to be discrimination or bias on campus to report that behavior through any of the channels available.
Incidents of bias can be reported here (http://supportandsafety.colostate.edu/incidents-of-bias). Issues related to student conduct can be reported through our Student Resolution Center, and (https://resolutioncenter.colostate.edu/), incidents related to employees can be reported through our Office of Equal Opportunity (https://oeo.colostate.edu/).
Inclusion and respect are among CSU’s Principles of Community and our core values, and we are committed and accountable as a community to this end.