Updates About the Colgate For All Sit-in and Initiative Skip Navigation

Colgate For All Updates and Messages

A collection of university communications regarding the student demonstration and subsequent Colgate For All initiative to create an inclusive campus climate.


Assignments in the Office of Equity and Diversity

August 8, 2016 — Originally e-mailed to faculty and staff

Dear Colgate Faculty and Staff,

I am pleased to announce the duties within the Office of Equity and Diversity that two faculty colleagues have agreed to undertake for 2016-17.

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LGBTQ Initiatives Updates

April 4, 2016 — Originally e-mailed to campus

Dear members of the Colgate community:

Over the last several weeks, many have been working hard to expand the access, visibility, and resources available to individuals of all gender identities. I am grateful for these efforts and write to share an update.

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Colgate for All Update

October 4, 2015 — Originally e-mailed to campus

Dear members of the Colgate community:

Friday, September 25, marked the one-year anniversary of a peaceful protest that lasted for 100 hours. It is not for us to commemorate this day, for we do not own it; however, we write today to remember the significance of the sit-in as an important juncture in Colgate’s history and to restate our commitment to build a Colgate for All consistent with the belief, expressed in our mission statement, that residential education “encourages exploration, expands mutual understanding, and supports a broadened perspective within a caring, humane community.”

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Video Cameras to Be Installed on Colgate Cruisers

February 26, 2015 — Originally e-mailed to campus

To the campus community,

The Colgate Cruisers provide a valuable service for the campus community, intended to make it easy for students to get around campus and to safely travel back and forth from downtown.

We want to let you know about an important service enhancement that will provide a safer experience for all riders.

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Updates on Colgate for All and our campus climate

November 7, 2014 — Originally e-mailed to campus

Dear members of the Colgate community,

In keeping with our promise to provide timely updates related to building a more inclusive campus climate at Colgate, we invite you to visit the Colgate for All website. There, you will find a status report on action steps, along with all recent communications to the campus and the wider public. We will continue to update our progress on this site throughout the weeks and months ahead.

Together with the students of the Colgate University Association for Critical Collegians (ACC), we created a 21-point plan outlining opportunities to effect lasting change on campus. The plan was adopted at the conclusion of the September demonstration at James B. Colgate Hall, and Colgate for All is the place we will continually share progress and welcome important feedback from members of our community.

While we are happy to report our initial progress, we all know that the 21-point plan is not the ultimate end; instead, it is a critical starting point for a sustained, cross-campus effort to ensure that Colgate becomes and remains an inclusive place for all to live and learn.

Please do let us know what you think, at our open office hours or using the feedback button at the top of the Colgate for All site.

Regards,

Jeffrey Herbst
President

Douglas Hicks
Provost and Dean of the Faculty

Suzy Nelson
Vice President and Dean of the College


Joint Message from Colgate University and the Association of Critical Collegians

September 26, 2014 — Originally e-mailed to campus

The peaceful demonstration in support of inclusivity on Colgate’s campus has come to a mutually agreeable resolution, as members of the administration and the Colgate University Association for Critical Collegians (ACC) released a 21-point road map for the future, which can be viewed below.

The sit-in began at 8 a.m. Monday, September 22, and concluded at 12:15 p.m., Friday, September 26.

The road map is a result of constructive conversations between student representatives of ACC, and President Herbst, Provost and Dean of the Faculty Douglas Hicks, and Dean of the College Suzy Nelson. This website will be expanded in the weeks and months ahead to guide meaningful change and share progress and updates.

“As a liberal arts institution, we must do everything we can, together, to create an environment that is welcoming to all students, so that all can freely explore diverse perspectives and worldviews,” said Herbst. 

ACC founders said, “Colgate must fulfill its promise of being an inclusive institution for students of all backgrounds. Our hope moving forward is that this new action plan will create lasting change in our campus community.”


University message to campus

September 26, 2014 — Originally e-mailed to campus

Dear Students,

Thank you for speaking out about the importance of creating an environment of full inclusivity for every member of our community. We have taken seriously your petition of September 22, 2014. After spending many hours with you, listening to students share how they have endured incidents of racism, classism, homophobia, sexism, or other forms of marginalization on our campus, we too are outraged by these acts of prejudice and bigotry. Bias incidents and racism, while not unique to Colgate, are unacceptable and will not be tolerated. They have no place on a college campus, and they have no place at Colgate. We have heard you, and we will join you in the common goal of creating a campus environment that is welcoming and supportive of all of our students.

Colgate is proud to be a community comprised of diverse individuals from a great many backgrounds 1. We value the social and intellectual vibrancy that occurs when students, faculty and staff with different life experiences, viewpoints, and belief systems come together. Our student Code of Conduct makes clear that “the integrity of the Colgate community depends upon each member’s acceptance of individual responsibility and respect for the rights of others.” Colgate’s mission — to be “an inclusive institution that respects the complexity of human understanding, supports a broadened perspective within a caring, humane community, and that is committed to educate students to … respond openly and sensitively to others who are different from themselves” — holds us all to rightfully high standards.

As stated in your petition, creating a culture of inclusivity is difficult and ongoing. A large number of the issues raised are ones we at Colgate are already confronting; we understand that more progress is needed. Others, also listed below, can be achieved in the relatively short term. We commit to working on all of the issues and action items you have raised--indeed even others that are not formally mentioned in your document--so that we can promote an inclusive and welcoming campus climate.

In this vein, we hope to sponsor communitywide discussions on the issues of inclusivity, civility, and mutual respect and will work with members of the campus community 2 to arrange fora to continue the productive discussions we have had in the last few days.

Below, we respond to each of your action items. We have structured our reply in this point-by-point way in order to give full attention to the various important issues you have raised. More broadly, we mean to communicate our commitment to work with students, faculty, staff, alumni, parents, and friends of Colgate on a comprehensive approach to these critical concerns. Together we must do everything possible to make our campus the most inclusive educational community that it can be.


Notes:

1. A commitment to diversity means understanding that each individual is unique and appreciating our differences in an environment that supports individual and collective achievement. These differences can include, but are not limited to: race; ethnicity; gender and gender expression; sexual orientation; socio-economic status; geographic background; national origin; culture; age; mental, cognitive and physical abilities; religious beliefs; and political beliefs, from Colgate's Office of Equity and Diversity website

2. “Members of the campus community” includes students, faculty, staff, and administrators.


Chapel bell tolls 13 times to mark end of 100-hour-long demonstration

September 26, 2014View original


“Can you hear us now” gave way to “We love Colgate, Go ‘Gate, No Hate” as about 400 students, faculty, and staff marched together from the Hurwitz Admission Center at James B. Colgate Hall to Memorial Chapel on the Academic Quad.

The euphoric and historic ceremony marked the end of a peaceful, 100-hour-long demonstration that was initiated by students on Monday, Sept. 22, in order to create a culture of greater inclusivity on campus.

Amidst the chanting came a fitting sound: the Chapel bell tolled a ceremonial 13 times.

“We ring the bells to mark a passage, a victory, or a celebratory moment,” said Deacon Mark Shiner, university chaplain, who invited Cyierra Roldan ’16 to do the honors. “Hopefully today is all three.”

Hope is apropos and so will be hard work, as the process of creating a culture of inclusivity is difficult and ongoing. “Colgate for All,” a new website dedicated to the cause, features a 21-point road map that will be followed closely for months and years to come. The document was developed over many hours of conversation between students representing the Colgate University Association of Critical Collegians (ACC), and Colgate President Jeffrey Herbst, Suzy Nelson, dean of the college, and Douglas Hicks, provost and dean of the faculty.

“We all have learned and grown over the past week,” said President Herbst, “and moving forward we are committed to working on all of the issues and action items that have been raised, as well as others that were not formally articulated.”

Nelson, who has experienced other student demonstrations during her career, said, “Today is an important day. I’m grateful to our students for raising up their voices and challenging us in all the right ways.”

Kori Strother ’15 spoke today on the steps of James B. Colgate Hall. “I am so proud of everyone,” she said. We walk up the hill with our heads held high. I will never forget this.”

The student movement offered a teaching and learning moment. “Our students have been remarkable in their thoughtfulness and organization,” said Hicks. “It was clear they were putting into practice lessons learned from coursework. Colgate will be stronger for it.”

Susan Thomson, assistant professor of peace and conflict studies, brought her International Human Rights, Law and Advocacy students to meet on the patio of the James B. Colgate building.

Thomson said, “A key theme of our course is the formal (government imposed) and informal (happening in society) policies and practices of exclusion that make mass political violence part of the Rwandan landscape. We then talked about the informal practices and micro-aggressions of racism and privilege that are currently happening on campus.”

Thomson said the conversation opened many students’ eyes to the extent to which some members of the Colgate community are being shunned or excluded. “Now that they know, some said they will stand up and speak out (i.e., be an ally) when they see injustice on campus.”


Accountability, Public Communication, and Open Meetings

September 26, 2014

We are committed to being energetic, transparent, and accountable through a sustained effort in our implementation of these steps. Overall coordination and responsibility for completion of the action items will be undertaken by the president’s staff, a group that includes all senior administrators on campus. Successful completion of many of the action items will require engagement of faculty and the student government association, and other student groups, according to university governance structures. Broad engagement by the entire campus community will be essential for real change to occur.

This new website (associated with President Herbst’s site) will allow the community to track our progress on each of the commitments that we make. This site, similar to what was used during the creation of the strategic plan, will also allow the community to submit queries on specific issues and comment on progress to date. Further, throughout this academic year and beginning in October, President Herbst, Dean Hicks, and Dean Nelson will host regular open meetings at which we will report progress to date and discuss with members of the community ways to move forward on our shared efforts to make Colgate a more inclusive campus. Finally, President Herbst and senior administrators will ensure that the necessary resources are available for implementation of these actions.

We are grateful to the dedication of so many who have brought these important issues forward. Students’ stories and reflections have been emotional and difficult for many to hear, especially as students shared bias-related incidents that caused them emotional stress and compromised their ability to learn. We commit to taking immediate steps on this comprehensive action plan. We call on all members of the community to join us in creating a better Colgate that is more affirming of every student and that helps all to thrive academically and personally.   

Sincerely,

Jeffrey Herbst, President
Douglas Hicks, Provost and Dean of the Faculty
Suzy Nelson, Vice President and Dean of the College


Peaceful demonstration concludes with release of 21-point road map

September 26, 2014View original

The peaceful demonstration in support of inclusivity on Colgate’s campus has come to a mutually agreeable resolution, as members of the administration and the Colgate University Association for Critical Collegians (ACC) released a 21-point road map for the future. The document can be found at a new website Colgate for All.

The sit-in began at 8 a.m. Monday, September 22, and concluded at 12:15 p.m., Friday, September 26.

The road map is a result of constructive conversations between student representatives of ACC, and President Herbst, Provost and Dean of the Faculty Douglas Hicks, and Dean of the College Suzy Nelson. This website will be expanded in the weeks and months ahead to guide meaningful change and share progress and updates.

“As a liberal arts institution, we must do everything we can, together, to create an environment that is welcoming to all students, so that all can freely explore diverse perspectives and worldviews,” said Herbst.

ACC founders said, “Colgate must fulfill its promise of being an inclusive institution for students of all backgrounds. Our hope moving forward is that this new action plan will create lasting change in our campus community.”


September 25 update on campus-climate demonstration

September 25, 2014View original

Students with signs asking can you hear us now demonstrate outside James B. Colgate Hall
Constructive talks between Colgate administrators and student representatives of Colgate University Association of Critical Collegians (ACC) are continuing into the evening on day four of a peaceful demonstration at James B. Colgate Hall.

Both groups continue to collaborate on the fine details of what can become an action plan that is consistent with the university’s mission, and that is a continuation of the hard work put into the strategic plan.

As the document is a work in progress, both groups have mutually agreed to keep the work private until it is finalized and agreed upon.

“We recognize with all these achievements that further work needs to be done to realize our ambition of a campus where every student is fully supported,” said Colgate University President Jeffrey Herbst.

This fall, consistent with the university’s strategic plan, Colgate welcomed the most diverse first-year class in its history and offered the most financial aid to students ever; promoted internationalization, especially of regions outside of our traditional areas of study; and embarked on a residential learning communities program that seeks to enrich student life.

The campus leadership believes the discussions with the students advances the university’s efforts to-date and makes our future action steps stronger.

“We are proud of how our talks are moving toward a positive resolution, and we are proud of our students, who have taken a stand for what they believe,” said Dean of the College Suzy Nelson. “The students’ initiative reflects the best of a Colgate education.”


Colgate supports students' calls for a welcoming and supportive campus environment

September 24, 2014View original

Students use signs to ask can you hear us now during demonstration outside James B. Colgate Hall
A peaceful demonstration supporting inclusion and diversity, which began on Monday, Sept. 22, continued at Colgate today. Progress has been made toward mutual understanding regarding the 21-point list of “concerns and action plans” that were submitted to the administration by the Colgate University Association of Critical Collegians (ACC).

President Jeffrey Herbst — along with Suzy Nelson, dean of the college, and Douglas Hicks, provost and dean of the faculty — met for many hours over the past two days with ACC representatives to discuss their concerns. Herbst, Nelson, and Hicks also joined the sit-in for several hours to listen to the students’ stories of having endured incidents of racism, classism, homophobia, and sexism on campus.

Herbst, Hicks, and Nelson responded today in a written, point-by-point manner to the ACC’s suggestions, in a way that Herbst characterized as comprehensive and intentional. “We believe our response will be the basis for further discussion,” Herbst said.

Herbst reiterated, “Bias incidents and racism, while not unique to Colgate, are unacceptable and will not be tolerated. They have no place on a college campus, and they have no place at Colgate. We have heard you, and we will join you in the common goal of creating a campus environment that is welcoming and supportive of all of our students.”

Prior updates to the community can be found here and here.


September 23 update on campus-climate demonstration

September 23, 2014View original

As students continue their sit-in in James B. Colgate Hall, we’ve been in dialogue with representatives from the group. We have found the conversations to be very valuable and constructive.

We are eager to work with all members of our community to fulfill our mission to be an inclusive institution, and to move the campus forward in a purposeful manner. We are working on a comprehensive response to the student petition, which we expect to share with them tomorrow.

In the meantime, we emphasize the importance of reporting bias-related incidents so they can be investigated and handled appropriately through our Equity Grievance Process.

Sincerely,
Jeffrey Herbst, President
Douglas Hicks, Provost and Dean of the Faculty
Suzy Nelson, Dean of the College


Update on campus-climate demonstration in James B. Colgate Hall

September 22, 2014View original

Dear members of the Colgate community:

We are writing to publicly state our solidarity with members of our community who are concerned about acts of racism and bias that have happened on Colgate’s campus.

More than 100 students have been peacefully demonstrating at James B. Colgate Hall since early this morning. We have been with them, hearing stories that disturb and deeply sadden us. As recently as this weekend, a community member witnessed Colgate students yelling racial and homophobic slurs. We are also aware of appalling anonymous social media posts from members of our community that disparage persons of color, and students have reported having to endure offensive remarks. We are outraged that not all students feel fully included or welcomed on our campus.

Acts of racism and homophobia have no place at Colgate and will not be tolerated. Prejudice can devastate our community: it chills the campus climate, making members of our community feel unwelcome, shackles the mind with stereotypical thinking and bigotry, and keeps us from reaching our true potential as caring, intelligent people who are prepared to live in an increasingly global and diverse society. While we understand that many of our peer institutions face these challenges, we can do better. Together as a community, we can and must hold ourselves and each other to a higher standard.

We encourage reporting of all bias-related incidents. Each will be taken seriously, with the Equity Grievance Process used for review.

We pledge to join with the whole community to create positive change on our campus.

Sincerely,
Jeffrey Herbst, President
Douglas Hicks, Provost and Dean of the Faculty
Suzy Nelson, Dean of the College