Published: June 12, 2020

CU Boulder Staff Council Resolution 2020-02: Call for Racial Justice and Institutional Change

Signatories:  Omunu Abalu – Housing-Technology Services, Chantal Baca - BOLD Center, Crystal Cyr –  Student Affairs Assessment and Planning, Jasimine Evans-Career Services, Jessica Gardner -Design and Construction, Shelby Javernick - College of Media, Communication and Information, John Kelly - NCWIT, Grace Maniscalco – School of Education, Heather Martin - School of Law, Quiana Martin – Office of Information Technology, Blake McAllister – Health and Wellness Services, Chris Muldrow - Industry & Foundation Relations, Betty Rasmussen – Office of Contracts and Grants, Hannah Simonson – Office of the Registrar, Barry Sparks - Facilities Management, Daniel Steinke – Bursar's Office, Elyse Sutton - Academic Advising Center, Dylan West - Program in Environmental Design, Danielle Young – Leeds School of Business

Guided by Regent Law 6.B.1 which states, “Staff councils exists and derives their power from the authority delegated to them by the Board of Regents”;

Staff Council stands for eliminating racism, bias and all systems and behavior that perpetuates oppression. We are currently engaged in necessary culture and policy changes through frequent and critical conversations with staff and administration, in addition to participating in the Diversity Summit, and creating a Staff Council Inclusive Excellence committee as a permanent standing entity. By offering professional development opportunities, Staff Council addresses racial, gender, class and other inequities within our own representative body. We commit to leading efforts to increase Inclusive Excellence on campus and in our community by advocating for policies and funding, supporting and promoting campus DEI initiatives, expanding Staff Council professional development opportunities to constituents, and supporting staff in the fight for equity in the CU system and beyond;

Taking into Account CU Boulder’s 2030 Strategic Goals that call upon all students, faculty, staff, and community members to “be leaders in addressing humanitarian, social, and technological challenges  in the 21st century”;

Staff Council unequivocally supports those who are fighting for racial justice at CU Boulder, in Colorado, and across the world. We do not stand with any person who supports, upholds or contributes to the systemic and individual anti-Black racism or other forms of discrimination that compounds oppression in our communities.

Citing the Inclusion, Diversity & Excellence in Academics (IDEA) Plan which states, “...maximizing the university’s positive impact on humanity requires defining humanity in the most diverse and inclusive terms possible, CU Boulder must serve the people of the state of Colorado, the nation, and the world in all their diversity and complexity.”;

Honoring the pain, frustration and courageous leadership of current student, Ruth Woldemichael and recent graduate Olivia Gardner, whose petition demands immediate action from campus leadership and we stand in solidarity with CUSG, Black Student Alliance, and United Campus Workers;

Acknowledging that systemic racial injustices exist here at the University of Colorado Boulder and recognizing the immediate need to adopt anti-racist policies and establish practices that authentically foster a culture at CU Boulder that provides safety, equity, and fair representation to all underrepresented and minoritized people in our society, but specifically Black and indigenous people of color who have suffered under genocide, slavery, and institutional discrimination that persists in our society and our criminal justice system to this day;

Noting with deep concern the university’s financial contracts and ties with Colorado Correctional Industries where prisoners who are disproportionately men, women, and non-binary people of color are paid less than $1 hour. We as a Council would recommend reconsidering all ties with Colorado Correctional Industries;

Grieving with the families, friends, and loved ones of Tony McDade, Elijah McClain, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Sandra Bland, Justin Howell, James Floyd, Philando Castile, Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, Trayvon Martin, and too many others who are brothers/sisters/siblings, sons/daughters/children and mothers/fathers/guardians. This effort and intent to enact change at CU Boulder is in their memory;

The Boulder Campus Staff Council,

  1. Believes in the importance of training and development. Staff training and development is organized and promoted such that it is used equitably by all staff on campus, regardless of identity and position.  Additionally, to produce a safe and equitable culture, staff should be required to take anti-racism and allyship training with ongoing support;
  2. Acknowledges that CU PD engages in training regarding implicit bias, non-lethal force, and conflict de-escalation; however, we ask for better transparency of these trainings (frequency, requirements, curriculum) and independent units to address blind spots and gaps in these trainings to be addressed to protect and prevent our campus community from over policing and police brutality;
  3. Supports organized, targeted opportunities for law enforcement to engage and answer questions from campus constituents in order to build community, address problematic policies, and enact change that increases trust between police, agents and those they are meant to serve and protect;
  4. Reaffirms the need for mandatory annual discrimination & harassment trainings for all individuals employed by the university, as well the need for a centralized university website with professional development opportunities (trainings, workshops, presentations, facilitated dialogues, panel sessions, recorded lectures, etc.) and all Inclusive Excellence efforts and resources for everyone in the CU Community to use and rely on;
  5. Calls upon the University of Colorado to ensure that incarcerated people are treated equitably, particularly with respect to wages, professional development and transitional opportunities. In this context, Staff Council asks that the university better support the economic stability of formerly incarcerated people by reevaluating our business (compensation and vendor policies) and hiring practices;  
  6. Further recommends that the university take action by establishing and implementing campus wide policies and initiatives to better recruit, hire,retain and promote Black and non-Black staff and faculty of color;
  7. Appeals to the administration through the mechanisms outlined in the IDEA Plan and in cooperation with the Council for Community and Inclusion (CCI), ODECE and other key units to expand opportunities for community building among staff, faculty, and students in order to break down barriers between groups thereby fostering an environment where our differences are celebrated and where understanding and acceptance are key characteristics of our campus culture;
  8. Requests leadership from CU to set an example for and work with the City of Boulder and the Boulder Police Department on how to actively eliminate systemic racism and transform the campus and broader Boulder community by establishing and implementing policies that address racial justice, the over-criminalization of members of our campus community , and the need to direct university resources and funding for permanent anti-racist programs and permanent community institutions such as personnel allocations for training to significantly increase the meaningful dialogue within our communities;
  9. Reinforces the need to evaluate both the resources allocated to and the expenditures of key campus areas such as but not limited to higher level administration, CU Police Department,  and other units in order to reallocate the funds to the services needed to address inequity in our campus and community as outlined in the IDEA plan;
  10. Invites CU Administration to engage and rely upon Boulder Staff Council as a resource. Listen to our needs as a collective body who are deeply committed to the well-being of CU Boulder. We are made up of elected representatives voted on yearly by university and classified staff who carefully decide who they want representing them in these pivotal moments. We want change in our society and we know we have the power as one of the most influential universities and research institutions in the world to set the standard of what being committed to racial justice looks like. Staff Council is prepared and determined to support, advise, and propose solutions to achieve that goal as well as other areas of injustice present on our campus and within our society.

Resolution passed by the Boulder Campus Staff Council on 12th day of June 2020.