May 6, 2024

Dear Roadrunners,

In the spirit of dialogue and transparency, I want to update our community on the latest with the ongoing protest and encampment on the Tivoli Quad.

On Friday, executive leaders of Auraria Campus institutions met yet again with student leaders of the ongoing protest and encampment. During that conversation, MSU Denver agreed to protestors’ requests to provide information related to the University’s finances and industry relationships. I also agreed to broker a meeting between student protest leaders and the University’s Board of Trustees.

Over the weekend, we approached an MSU Denver student-protest representative and offered to meet this afternoon. However, the student declined to meet with University trustees unless outside protestors are present. We will continue to remain open to this meeting but feel it’s important that it be limited to the specific concerns of our students and not outside interests.

Additionally, over the weekend, protestors escalated the situation – forcing law enforcement to respond as they blocked traffic on Auraria Parkway and Speer Boulevard for approximately 45 minutes. While it was seemingly otherwise peaceful, I received reports of protestors pounding on cars and frightening surprised drivers.

It is important to note that those organizing the encampment efforts are not students or employees of any Auraria Campus-related institution. While MSU Denver students and others with ties to the Auraria Campus are taking part in the demonstration, the orchestration includes protesters who are part of a national campaign that is organizing on college campuses across the country.

Of the people who were arrested for violating trespassing and other laws, nearly half have no direct affiliation with the Auraria Campus. Of those arrested, five were MSU Denver students and three were our faculty members. This raises questions in my mind about who actually organized the action on our quad.

We continue to balance the legal right to free speech with the need to keep our community safe and our University focused on teaching and learning. And as this dialogue continues, know that normal operations are continuing at MSU Denver.

We will continue to provide updates on our campus-demonstration webpage, where you’ll find situational updates, frequently asked questions, links to resources and more.


Janine Davidson, Ph.D.

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