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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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.


Jeffrey Herbst

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 backgrounds1. 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 community2 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.


  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

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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.   


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

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September 25 update on campus-climate demonstration

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

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September 23 update on campus-climate demonstration

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

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