I know this is a busy time as we prepare for our students to arrive. However, the recent events in communities around the country and at other universities have upset many of us and made us pause, including myself.
In times like these I want us all to remember who we are and what we stand for, as reflected by our Colorado Creed, and to welcome back our students with that in mind when you are helping them find a residence hall, unload their cars as they move in or make their way to classes.
Our student government leaders are living the Creed by signing onto a statement in support of the University of Virginia and its community. I fully support them in this and am proud of their leadership. As faculty and staff, we must let our students know we are committed to respectful dialogue and that racism, intolerance and hateful speech are not welcome here.
It is a reality that more and more public universities are being used as a backdrop by external groups for protests that have nothing to do with the universities' mission and values as institutions of higher education. It is also a reality that as a public institution we are required to provide a forum for free speech, and we have a long history of doing so, but this is our home. We are a place of learning, and we need to stand strong and work to provide a safe environment for all of our CU Boulder students, faculty and staff. Students are and should always be at the heart of our decision making as we navigate these increasingly volatile times.
So, next week, as students arrive, please let them know they will find a welcoming, inclusive environment in all corners of the campus irrespective of their background or beliefs - and that we expect them to show the same level of care for one other. No matter where they come from, who they are or what they believe, we are glad they are here and part of our Buffs community.
Philip P. DiStefano