May 19, 2024

Dear Roadrunners, 

For the past three weeks, I’ve been updating you on our efforts to find resolution to the encampment on the Tivoli Quad, which was in violation of a campus no-camping policy and created multiple disruptions to University operations. Over the weekend, the demonstrators disassembled and abandoned the encampment, and AHEC has begun cleaning and repairing areas of campus that were damaged by the demonstrations. 

We are grateful for all the work of the facilities and custodial teams for their around-the-clock efforts to quickly restore campus and prepare us for full summer operations. 

Campus is safe, but out of an abundance of caution as cleanup proceeds, AHEC has requested that MSU Denver continue to operate remotely, including student services, on Monday, May 20. Campus leaders will meet on Monday afternoon to assess the situation and determine access arrangements for the rest of the week.
On Monday, Auraria Campus buildings will be accessible only to key personnel whose badges have been authorized through the campus’ building-access system. Those who have been pre-identified by their departments should report to work in-person. For students with scheduled appointments, please call ahead to move to a virtual option or to reschedule. 

Please consult with your supervisor if you are unsure about whether your role requires being on campus and to determine the status of any planned events.

We have all learned a great deal over the past three weeks, but our values remain. MSU Denver strongly supports civil engagement and peaceable assembly, but the right to express perspectives and convictions should not encroach upon the ability of others to learn, work or express their own beliefs. Despite our efforts to engage student protest leaders, the tone and tenor of the demonstrations had escalated significantly over the past week to levels that frightened many of our students and employees, interrupted our campus operations, forced cancellation of significant events, and thus impinged on the full execution of our academic mission. 

Although our agreed deal points were not accepted by the protest leaders on the quad following six hours of deliberation on Friday, I believe that our efforts in partnership with a handful of MSU Denver student leaders to craft a way forward were not in vain. It is my hope that these discussions will help cultivate continued dialogue and learning and that we can put our diverse community on a path of reconciliation. We look forward to finding new ways to promote learning and respectful dialogue amongst our entire Roadrunner community in the coming months. 

Immediately following my meeting with tri-institutional leaders on Monday afternoon, Larry Sampler will update the community on the way forward for the week.  Our communications team will continue to provide updates on our campus-demonstration webpage, which includes links to resources for yourself and our students.  

Respectfully and with gratitude, 

Janine Davidson, Ph.D. 
MSU Denver 

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