Dear Roadrunners, 

On Friday, we celebrate Commencement Day and the 2,144 new Roadrunner graduates who will receive their degrees. It’s one of the most exciting days of the year here at Metropolitan State University of Denver and a reflection of the hard work you do every day to support our students and help them succeed.  

As you know, this year’s celebration comes amid an ongoing protest on the Tivoli Quad, and the University has been working hard to balance demonstrators’ right to free speech with our duty to keep the campus safe, which is our top priority. As a result, campus continues to operate normally, and I am as excited as ever to celebrate our graduates Friday. 

While Commencement is proceeding as planned at the Denver Coliseum, we are doing everything we can to ensure a celebratory environment, including implementing additional security measures and personnel. We also have de-escalation strategies in place and have designated public-forum spaces outside of the Coliseum for those who would like to exercise free-speech rights. As always, we are committed to providing our graduates with the hard-earned celebration they deserve. 

You may also notice some additional security measures on campus, including requiring a campus ID badge to enter the Jordan Student Success, Aerospace and Engineering Sciences, Hospitality Learning Center and Seventh Street Classroom buildings. Other campus buildings also have access restrictions. You can learn more about building hours and access information here. 

As President Davidson stated in campus messages this week, we’ve seen an escalation in recent days in disruptive behavior, including Tuesday evening, when protesters entered the AES Building, blocked doors and disrupted campus operations as students attempted to access classrooms for their final exams. Similar incidents have happened in the Tivoli Student Union, and we’ve also seen vandalism on campus, including antisemitic language appearing on campus property.  

We won’t tolerate acts of discrimination or those who threaten the safety and well-being of our community. MSU Denver’s leadership team, along with our Auraria Campus partners and law enforcement, is doing everything we can to ensure a safe campus environment and the continuity of our academic mission. We will enforce our student code of conduct and applicable laws. And we will continue to maintain open dialogue with students and employees, as we’re doing this week in a series of campus discussion sessions intended to provide a safe space for our community members to talk about and process what’s happening on campus. 

We’ve set up a demonstration webpage, where you can find the latest information on the protest. Meanwhile, I hope you’ll join me Friday in celebrating our students and their families as they celebrate a momentous milestone that you’ve helped them achieve. 

Larry Sampler, chief operating officer and vice president for Administration