On the Eve of Black History Month – Remembering Tyre Nichols

Dear Ram Community:

As we prepare to celebrate Black History Month at CSU with a series of events to honor the triumphs of Black Americans, explore the Black Experience and acknowledge past and present oppressions, we must pause on this eve of our annual observations to remember the tragic death of 29-year-old Tyre Nichols.

It has been four days since the Memphis Police Department released videos showing the brutal police beating of Mr. Nichols who was unarmed and screaming for his mother’s help only 80 yards from his home. Though Nichols and the five officers who showed complete disregard for his life were Black, no one should dismiss the role anti-Blackness and systemic racism played in this young man’s killing. The investigation into his death continues to evolve as other officers and first responders have been fired or placed on leave.

We acknowledge that processing these events is difficult for many in our community. We want to remind you that well-being resources are available for anyone in need: Student Support Resourcesand Faculty and Staff Resources.

As our nation collectively grieves for Mr. Nichols and his family, peaceful protests continue in Memphis and across the nation with calls to examine the root cause of the harm done to Mr. Nichols and to so many others whose deaths preceded his. As leadership of Colorado State University, we echo that call.

Black History Month events begin tomorrow at 4 p.m. at the Lory Student Center Theatre with food, music and live performances offered in community and in the spirit of Black tradition. We encourage you to attend and visit the CSU Black/African American Cultural Center’s website for the full list of more than 20 programs. There is something there for all faculty, staff and students. And even as we celebrate our community this Black History Month, we will remain mindful that there is still much work to do at CSU and around the globe.


Kauline Cipriani
Vice President for Inclusive Excellence

Blanche Hughes
Vice President for Student Affairs

Jay Callaghan
Chief of Police, CSU Police Department

Janice Nerger
Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

Amy Parsons
Incoming President

Spring Semester Student Support Resources

Good evening Rams,

As we start a second snowy week of classes, I’d like to welcome back our returning students and extend a warm welcome to our new students this semester. I wanted to share these academic, personal, health, and well-being resources here at CSU to help you navigate challenges and succeed. Many of us struggle with fitting in, anxiety, depression, stress, loneliness, and uncertainty. I also want to acknowledge that the mass shootings this past weekend, including one on Lunar New Year, may be impacting some of you. Please remember that seeking help is a sign of strength. We care about you and want you to reach out and encourage each other to seek support.   

Mental Health and Well-Being24/7 online tools, groups and workshops, multicultural resources, counseling services, substance abuse support, and self-care resources.

Basic Needs food security, including Rams Against Hunger, housing security, utilities, transportation, health insurance, and interpersonal violence resources.

Student Case Managementassistance navigating medical, mental health, and personal/family crises including instructor notifications, identifying campus resources, and family support.

Academic Assistance –  tutoring, group learning, academic success workshops, study skills, and opportunities for service learning. Resources for graduate students at https://tilt.colostate.edu/grad-students/.

Student Disability Center accommodations and support for students with both permanent and temporary disabilities including physical disabilities/injuries, chronic illness, mental health conditions, and learning disabilities.

Student Diversity Programs and Servicesprograms and services designed to support students in a variety of ways and provide opportunities to successfully participate in, and contribute to, the diverse campus environment.

Spring Involvement Expo and Student Organizations – get involved this spring to make connections, CSU has 475+ student organizations to join.

Student Employment – explore student jobs on campus as well as internship, employment, and career opportunities off campus.

SafeWalk – Campus Services Officers, students employed and trained by CSUPD, are available to walk with you from dusk until dawn anywhere on CSU property or within a three-block radius, including South Campus, Veterinary Teaching Hospital, and Foothills Campus.

Bias Response – support resources and a reporting form for students and employees who have experienced an incident of bias or are aware of an incident at CSU.

Tell Someone – online referral form and phone number (970-491-1350) for anyone concerned about safety and mental health for yourself or others at CSU.

Additional resources can be found at studentsupport.colostate.edu.

Whether this is your first semester at CSU or you are graduating this spring, I hope all of you find community and a sense of belonging at CSU. I encourage you to make connections and reach out to your support network and the resources above when you need support. I wish you a successful and fulfilling semester!


Blanche Hughes, PhD
Vice President for Student Affairs

We are Cheering You on Rams!

Dear Rams:

It’s your final sprint before you complete the semester, and we want you to know we are on the sidelines cheering you on!

Finals week is an emotional endurance test as well as an examination of all you’ve learned. We encourage you to remind yourself of your successes and accomplishments, and all you have risen above to get here. Be mindful, keep your focus, and give it all you’ve got. We believe in you.

Here are some simple tips that can make a big difference for you during finals:

  • Buddy up.
    Study with a friend or small group to quiz each other, work on study guides and test your knowledge.
  • Study smart and don’t cram for exams.
    Get plenty of sleep – research shows that pulling an all-nighter for an exam can diminish recall and performance during test-taking.
  • Get good nutrition.
    If you are experiencing food insecurity, don’t forget about the food pantry located in the General Services Building (1251 Mason Street). The Rams Against Hunger Program offers a menu of services to support students, faculty and staff including the food pantry.
  • Spend some time outside (not just going to and from exams).
    Exercise to help manage stress, even if it is a brief outing to get some of our fresh Colorado air.
  • Lean on your Ram Community.
    Reach out to your network of faculty, advisors, and friends for support.
  • Ask for help, if you feel overwhelmed.
    Seek out CSU student resources, if you feel stressed or anxious – it’s ok to ask for help, and that’s why these resources are available (www.studentsupport.colostate.edu)

For those of you graduating, congratulations! We look forward to celebrating you at commencement in a few days with your instructors and others at CSU who have supported your academic journey. We know your loved ones are as deeply proud of you as we are. For those of you returning this spring, we wish you a wonderful Winter Break, and we can’t wait to have you back in January.

Fight on stalwart Rams and crush this week. We are cheering you on!


Janice Nerger, PhD
Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

Blanche Hughes, PhD
Vice President for Student Affairs

Start the Semester Strong with First Four Weeks

Dear Rams,

We hope you are settling into campus life and discovering your routine as a Ram. You belong here!

The start of fall always is an exciting time at Colorado State University, and it’s not unusual to have some anxiety in navigating a new slate of classes, friends, and experiences. Focusing on a strong start to the semester can help you ease your academic stressors, and help you build a sense of belonging.

Did you know the First Four Weeks of every semester are especially critical to a strong start and your success as a student? How well you are doing in your classes the first four weeks is a good indication of your success for the rest of the semester. Here’s what you can do to best position yourself:

  • Complete assignments, even the low-point assignments, mini-tests, short writing assignments, reading quizzes, and practice tests offered by your instructors. These “low-stake” activities give you feedback about your progress and can improve your performance later as you have assignments and tests worth a greater number of points.
  • Read, review, and learn about Canvas and your assignment rubrics so that you know what is expected. If you are unsure, contact your instructor.
  • Attend your instructor’s office hours. Office hours are a great time to connect with faculty and build relationships, ask questions, and check your understanding of course content.
  • Ask questions in class and share your insights and listen to the insights provided by your peers. This will allow you to check your grasp of the material and it also will likely help your classmates!
  • Set a goal for each class period such as, “I will stay focused and avoid multi-tasking,” or “I will write down/highlight any concept that I need to look at again after class.” Update your goals weekly or bi-weekly.
  • Anticipate challenges that you may have (e.g., childcare, transportation, working a lot of hours, no computer at home, etc.) and ask for help when you need it.

If you need help, tell someone. Talk to your resident assistant, graduate teaching assistant, lab instructor, faculty, or peer mentor. We are all here for you and care about your student experience. See the list of campus resources below.

We hope you join us in looking forward to a great academic year!


Janice Nerger, Ph.D.
Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

Blanche Hughes, Ph.D.
Vice President for Student Affairs


We encourage you to use these campus resources to help you address challenges as they come up:

Student Support Resources: https://studentaffairs.colostate.edu/resource/students/student-support/

TILT Academic and Tutoring Support https://tilt.colostate.edu/undergrad/

Reserve a Study Room at the Library: https://lib.colostate.edu/services/reserve-a-room/group-study-rooms/

CSU Health Network Groups and Workshops: https://health.colostate.edu/groups-and-workshops/

Get Involved with a Student Organization: https://ramlink.campuslabs.com/engage/

Childcare Resources: https://alvs.colostate.edu/student-parent/rkv/

Find a Job or Internship On or Off Campus: https://career.colostate.edu/job-internship-search/

Welcome Faculty and Staff to a New Academic Year

Dear Colleagues:

The launch of the fall semester at Colorado State University is a time that brings us all back together in a shared sense of Ram pride, and renewed energy for a new academic year. The return of students creates an excitement that inspires all of us.

That excitement and our reputation as an exceptional institution of higher education are thanks to the excellence you consistently exhibit on behalf of our mission. Your commitment to our students is reflected in a potential record enrollment and incoming class this fall. We have been pulling out all the stops to get ready for students and provide our new Rams with a robust week of activities starting Monday.

Move-In Week

As you likely have heard, CSU’s strong recruitment efforts, high-quality academics, and desirable student experience as a residential campus have led to a record demand for housing for Fall 2022. Some students will be placed in temporary housing, and moved into permanent housing as soon as possible. Given the size of the incoming class, main campus will be very busy Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday as students move into residence halls.

You can support Move In by leaving the parking areas West of Meridian and around the halls open for students and their families and avoiding Hughes Way and Plum Street as they will be used as unloading zones. Utilizing alternative transportation options next week or speaking to your supervisor about teleworking options is also appreciated (if these options are feasible for you).

Thank you to all who have volunteered to support move-in efforts and shifts are still available, if you’d like to participate.

Ram Welcome

Ram Welcome kicks off next week and is returning full steam this year with several new programs and activities to help students transition to college life. From We are CSU to College Welcomes to the Carnival, Ram Welcome is a CSU tradition and signature event that engages students, faculty, staff, parents, and families. Convocation on Friday officially marks the beginning of a student’s academic journey at CSU, and we are thrilled it is returning to Moby Arena this year with all the pomp and circumstance this tradition deserves.

Fall Address – Save the Date

On a closing note, we encourage you to join the Ram community for the President’s Fall Address on the Oval followed by a picnic: Thursday, September 29, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Like the start of the fall semester, this is an important time to bring our community together. More information will be shared by the President’s Office in the coming weeks.

Thank you for your hard work in preparing to welcome returning and new students, and for supporting them throughout their CSU experience.

Go Rams!

Jan Nerger and Blanche Hughes

Janice L. Nerger, PhD
Interim Provost & Vice President for Academic Affairs

Blanche Hughes, PhD
Vice President for Student Affairs


You’ve Got this Rams!

Dear Rams:

This is a message we like to share with students each spring as you turn your focus to finals week: Remember, you’ve got this!

Think of all the challenges you’ve met and overcome to get here and give this final push all you’ve got. We know that this week creates both excitement and anxiety for you. So, take good care of yourself. These simple steps can make a big difference:

  • Get plenty of sleep and eat well – pulling an all-nighter to cram for an exam can diminish performance
  • Exercise to help manage stress (even if it’s short walks during study breaks)
  • Lean on your faculty, advisors, and friends for support (Rams Take Care of Rams)
  • Seek out CSU student resources if you feel overwhelmed or anxious – it’s ok to ask for help, and that’s why these resources are available (https://health.colostate.edu/mental-health-resources/)

For those of you graduating, congratulations! We are so very proud of you, and we know you are ready to celebrate with your families and loved ones. For those of you returning this summer or in the fall, we look forward to having you back!

Once your finals are over and your grades are in, reflect with a sense of pride for what you have achieved and be forgiving if you feel you could have done better. Life is a journey, and this semester is one step along the way.

Fight on stalwart Rams. Remember, You’ve got this!


Mary Pedersen
Provost and Executive Vice President

Blanche Hughes
Vice President for Student Affairs

University will observe Juneteenth by closing on June 20

Dear Rams,

Yesterday, a Colorado state bill was signed into law to officially establish Juneteenth—June 19—as a legal state holiday in Colorado.

Although President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, many people were still enslaved throughout the states.

On June 19, 1865, as the Civil War came to an end, Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas, to announce that all enslaved people had been freed. Enslaved Texans were the last people within the Confederacy to officially learn of their freedom – two years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863. Juneteenth – also sometimes called Freedom Day or Emancipation Day – has since commemorated that historic occasion, but until now has not been recognized as an official Colorado holiday.

Because Juneteenth falls on a Sunday this year, Colorado State University will observe the holiday by closing on Monday, June 20. All classes on June 20 will be canceled and university offices will be closed in observance of the holiday. Summer conferences, summer school housing and dining, and some summer activities will continue as scheduled.

Juneteenth provides our Colorado State University community an opportunity to mark this important date in United States history by acknowledging our country’s painful past of slavery, and reflecting upon and honoring the countless ways our students, faculty and staff bring a rich heritage and diverse perspectives to our university, our community, and our country.

We invite you to learn more about university and other regional activities celebrating Juneteenth, including Fort Collins Juneteenth, and other ways you can observe and support this historic first holiday for Colorado.


Joyce McConnell

Kauline Cipriani
Vice President for Inclusive Excellence

Blanche Hughes
Vice President for Student Affairs

Supporting the Well-Being of our University Community

Dear Ram Community,

Rams take care of Rams is a phrase that has been embraced by our community, especially during the ongoing challenges of living, learning and working in a global pandemic. It reflects our collective values and defines us as a community committed to supporting the health and well-being of ourselves and each other.

Now more than ever, we must remember that seeking help is a sign of strength. If you are in need of support, please reach out. If you know someone – a student, colleague or friend – who could benefit from support, please encourage them to connect with these resources.

Tell Someone – If you are concerned about safety or mental health – your own or someone else’s, please call (970) 491-1350 or complete the online referral form. If you believe someone is at risk of immediate harm, call 911.

Resources for students:

Resources for faculty and staff:

  • Employee Assistance Program, (970) 491-3437, offers crisis services, community health support options, confidential counseling, and assistance answering financial and legal questions.
  • CSU Human Resources, (970) 491-MyHR (6947), can answer questions about benefits, child and dependent care, and leave policies and resources.
  • CARE Program connects and refers employees to both university and community health and social resources.
  • Commitment to Campus (C2C) provides a broad range of programs, discounts, and special benefits available to employees, including wellness benefits.
  • CSU Center for Mindfulness offers resources, a reflection space, and mindfulness events and exercises.
  • CSU Talent Development offers well-being trainings.
  • SilverCloud online modules are self-guided and available online 24/7 for issues like stress, anxiety, sleep, depression, and more.
  • Well-Being in Academic Environments Toolkit helps faculty and staff infuse well-being practices into teaching and other work with students.

Thank you for all you do to support yourselves and each other. Rams take care of Rams.


Office of Provost and Executive Vice President
Office of Vice President for Student Affairs
Office of Vice President of Human Resources
CSU Health Network

Best of Luck for a Strong Fall Finish!

Dear Rams:

As you prepare to turn your focus to finals week, we want you to know we are thinking of you and wishing you success with the end of the semester. You are an important part of this Ram Family, and we respect all you have navigated academically and personally to get to this point in the semester. You have played an important role in CSU’s return to a full in-person experience this Fall. We are proud of you and grateful you are part of CSU, you make us better and stronger.

This Fall reunited our Ram community in a way we have not experienced since pre-pandemic times, and it has been both rewarding and challenging. We appreciate all you have done to follow health protocols to keep us open. As you prepare for final exams, we want you to know faculty, staff and the CSU leadership team are in your corner, rooting for you to finish strong. In this final stretch, make sure you take care of yourself:

  • Get plenty of sleep and eat well
  • Exercise your body and mind to help manage stress
  • Lean on your faculty, advisors, trusted staff members and friends for support (Rams take care of Rams)
  • Reach out if you feel overwhelmed –seeking help is a sign of strength (https://health.colostate.edu/mental-health-resources/)

For those of you graduating this December, congratulations! We know you are ready to celebrate with your families and loved ones. Ceremonies will be in-person this semester, with public health protocols in place for everyone’s safety. For information on commencement and commissionings, schedules of ceremonies and health protocols, visit: https://commencement.colostate.edu/.

For those of you returning in the spring, we will see you after winter break! If you have not yet registered, talk with your advisor and confirm your schedule to increase your ability to get the classes you want and need. We hope winter break provides an opportunity for you to rest and recharge.

Best of luck to all of you for a strong Fall Finish.

Mary Pedersen
Provost and Executive Vice President

Blanche Hughes
Vice President for Student Affairs