Students and community leaders gathered for hours in packed student government meeting until early this morning to support a resolution against hate speech.
Students from as far south as Pueblo came to Fort Collins to support the protesters at the meeting after four CSU students posted to social media wearing blackface last week. Protesters filled the room to capacity wearing black and bearing protest signs.
The Associated Students of Colorado State University Senate voted to pass the Accountability for Hate Speech Against Students resolution after more than six hours of discourse and personal testimony from students.
Black Student Association Treasurer Jaleesa Robsen said she didn’t expect the resolution to pass, so she sees this as progress.
“I feel very happy; whole, you know. I feel excited that we finally got something done. It's a stepping stone,” Robsen said. “And I'm excited that we now have somewhere to start our journey,”
CSU President Joyce McConnell spoke briefly to recognize the pain students expressed as a result of the blackface incident. She encouraged those affected to share their thoughts and experiences.
I am proud of our strong and courageous students who spoke out for hours tonight against racism and other forms of discrimination. Their message was powerful and heard: We must take action. It must be now.
— Joyce McConnell (@CSUMcConnell) September 19, 2019
The meeting lasted past midnight to accommodate everyone.
Students called for the university to take initiative in addressing racism, hold people accountable, and uphold university values by educating people about bias.
The university said in a statement that they invite every member of the CSU community to communicate with President McConnell directly with constructive and actionable ideas.