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The Center for Equity & Student Achievement (CESA) is the MSU Denver area in Student Affairs explicitly focused on students’ sense of belonging and engagement with a lens of equity and understanding of how their social identities contribute to their University experience and career pathways. CESA provides student support with an emphasis on addressing inequities experienced by students and houses several centers and programs aimed at increasing college retention, persistence, and graduation rates of historically underrepresented student populations.
Departments within CESA include: Center for Multicultural Engagement & Inclusion (CMEI) and related programs, LGBTQ Student Resource Center, Veteran & Military Student Services, TRIO Student Support Services, College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP), Immigrant Services Program, Met Media, and First-Generation Initiatives.
Gender-inclusive restrooms provide a safe, private facility for transgender, genderqueer, and gender non-conforming people, families with children, and people with disabilities who may need assistance.
Lactating and/or chestfeeding/bodyfeeding students, employees, and visitors may need a private space to express milk from their body (typically using a manual or electric pump when a baby is not feeding directly from a parent’s body). While the frequency of need to do so varies, some may need to express milk every 2-3 hours. As such, having access to an appropriate space on campus to do so is important so that these students, employees, and visitors can fully participate in academic and co-curricular experiences when they need to be on campus for longer periods of time. Without adequate space to express milk, both lactating people and babies can suffer health-related consequences. Likewise, some parents may prefer a private space to feed their baby while on campus and so lactation spaces can serve this purpose too; however, it is important to note that parents have a right to feed their baby in any space that they occupy (not a requirement to feed in designated lactation spaces).
Reflection spaces are designated for prayer, reflection, and meditation for all members of the MSU Denver community. Without advocating or endorsing any particular religion or belief system, a reflection space provides a dedicated, comfortable space for individual or communal worship, or simple reflection during the day.
The Center for Multicultural Engagement and Inclusion (CMEI) supports students’ sense of belonging in college and affirms their identities by building community through participation in student organizations (currently over 120 options), First Generation Initiatives, Met Media, fraternities and sororities (currently eight), racial equity and leadership programs, student travel and professional development funding, student gathering spaces, and campus events.
CAMP, a U.S. Department of Education grant-funded scholarship program, is designed to meet the academic, financial and social needs of migrant/seasonal farmworkers and their children in pursuing higher education. While the program provides its most intensive assistance during the first year of college, the CAMP team is available to assist students throughout their college experience.
The Immigrant Services Program supports and builds community for students who weren’t born in the U.S. or come from families with immigrant backgrounds. We help our DACA, undocumented, refugee and immigrant students succeed in college through writing and language development support, assistance with financial aid options and scholarship essays, social events and resources around legal assistance or healthcare options.
This tri-institutional student service supports all genders and sexualities in the campus community using a model of CARE: Community Building, Advocacy & Support, Resources and Education. The LGBTQ Student Resource Center seeks to remove the barriers that LGBTQ students have in accessing their education on an equitable basis.
The Native American Student Support Initiatives exists to serve and support the diverse and changing needs of Native students in their time at Metropolitan State University of Denver. We strive to provide relevant, accessible, and engaging programs and resources, promote intertribal and cross-cultural approaches to community building with a social justice lens. We work to partner with both off and on-campus communities to provide students with the best experience possible in their time here, while also supporting continuing growth and understanding of their individual identities as Native people. We also work to bring the histories, experiences, and worldviews into a valued realm within the university.
TRIO Student Support Services (TRIO SSS) is a federally-funded grant program which serves students who are first-generation, differently-abled (disabled) and low-income. Our services include advising, college and life-skills workshops, graduate school visits, access to a computer lab and much more!
The Veteran & Military Student Services program is dedicated to supporting the more than 1,000 military service members, veterans and their family members who choose MSU Denver each year through assistance with the certification of VA education benefits, tuition assistance programs, an active Veteran and Military Services Center, and numerous workshops and programs designed to empower military-affiliated student to achieve their academic, career and personal goals.
MSU Denver acknowledges the indigenous people and land of Auraria and the broader Denver area and the labor of enslaved and exploited people that built the country.
We honor and acknowledge that we are on the traditional territories and ancestral homelands of the Cheyenne and Arapahoe Nations. We acknowledge the land and history of this space we are fortunate to gather in today. This area was also the site of trade, hunting, gathering, and healing for many other Native Nations: The Lakota, Ute, Kiowa, Comanche, Apache, Shoshone, and others. 48 Tribes have called this land home. We recognize the Indigenous peoples as the original stewards of the land, water, plants, and animals who called this place home.
Let us also acknowledge the painful history of genocide and forced removal from this territory. We recognize that U.S. public policy has been used to displace Indigenous communities, erode Tribal Nation sovereignty, and forcibly assimilate Native individuals into U.S. society. We respect the many diverse Indigenous peoples still connected to this land on which we gather. We pay our respect to them and give thanks to all Tribal Nations and the ancestors of this place.
We also acknowledge the labor of enslaved Africans and their descendants who worked this stolen land for the colonists, and who continue to disproportionately face economic oppression, racism, violence, and exploitation.
Lastly, we want to recognize the communities and families of Auraria displaced by the creation of this campus for MSU Denver to have a place that we now call home. We share this acknowledgment to encourage all of us here on the Auraria campus to consider how our work in this space and in our daily lives can address these historic and contemporary atrocities perpetuated against Native people and other marginalized communities.
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