History of the Colorado State University Advocacy Programs
The CSU Advocacy Group Advocacy offices comprised of the following offices: Asian Pacific American Student Services; Office of Black Student Services; El Centro Student Services; Native American Student Services; Office of Women’s Programs and Studies; office of Resources for Disabled Students; and Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Student Services. In the spring of 2009, as a result of research and campus surveys, B/AACC officially changed its name to Black/African American Cultural Center (B/AACC). The new name reflected recommendations from campus surveys with final approval by the Office of General Council. The CSU model is unique and strong in concept as the Student Diversity Programs and Services (SDPS) group includes the four ethnic offices (Asian/Pacific American Cultural Center; Black/African American Cultural Center, El Centro, and Native American Cultural Center) but also the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Resource Center, the Office of Women’s Programs (later renamed to Women and Gender Advocacy Center) and the Resources for Disabled Students offices. The team functions as a mutually supportive agency to promote diversity at Colorado State University and to engage in joint programmatic efforts centered on issue of diversity. Before specific advocacy offices were established, support existed for Black and Hispanic students through a program called “Project GO”. The word “GO” was an acronym for Generating Opportunities.
Project GO, implemented during the 1968-1969 academic year was developed in an effort to incorporate the needs of all diverse students in an academic setting. The project put major emphasis on recruitment and retention and was basically an end result of the protest that were going on at the time. Project GO targeted students from ethnically diverse backgrounds/low-income households. Its overall purpose was to identify and encourage Black and Hispanic economically disadvantaged students to continue their education beyond high school and to provide these students with financial aid and academic support.
The first Director of Project GO was Claude Gallegos. He served in this capacity from July 1969 to July 1971. In September of 1971, Don Lucero became Director and soon thereafter, Mr. Lucero hired John Trainor, an African American mail, as his Assistant Director. The office made great strides under Lucero and was eventually recognized by the University community. The first mention of Project GO in a CSU catalog was the 1973-1974 academic year. In 1976, Abel Amaya took over the project and led the office through a major transition. From 1976-1979, three individual ethnic group advocacy offices were created. Black Student Services and El Centro Chicano were established during the academic year 1976-77. Native American Student Services opened its doors in August of 1979, thought the first Director position was designed for a graduate student.
A group advocacy program was established in the fall of 1979 to enhance the University’s commitment to diversity (Appendix A). The offices that already existed—Black Student Services, El Centro Student Services, Native American Student Services, the Office of women’s Programs (so named in 1974) and Resources for Disabled Students (established in 1977), were the catalysts of this newly created team. Asian/Pacific American Student Services first emerged on campus in the fall of 1984, and began as a 10 hour/week department. GLBT Student Services was the last of the Group Advocacy Offices to be established in 1998 and officially became part of the advocacy team in the fall of 2002.
As is stated in the Context for Planning: “Colorado State University is committed to enhancing its diversity in all its forms: through different ideas and perspectives, age, ability, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, and socioeconomic and geographic composition of its faculty, staff, and students. The university is committed to institution-wide participation of al in an environment supportive of the mutual benefits to be gained and unique needs to be addressed. This environment produces a diverse campus where differences are celebrated within a community where shared beliefs and values exist.”
The ethnic advocacy offices serve all students with their personal, academic, career, cultural, and educational development. The offices provide support for all students at all levels in successfully matriculating through the university system. The offices are committed to enriching the cultural experience of all students, faculty and staff at CSU. The original “Proposal of Group Advocacy Team” can be found as Appendix B. Since its original inception, offices have evolved and changes have been made in both the composition of the Advocacy Team, and its place in the university’s organizational structure. Each of the seven advocacy offices now has its own budget, staff and office space.
The general objectives of the offices consist of the following:
- To assist incoming students in making the transition and adjustment to University life at Colorado State University, by serving as a resource, referral agency, and providing direct counseling, advising, and programming to meet the needs of all new students.
- To increase the likelihood of persistence, success, and positive experience for all students at Colorado State University.
- To develop an appreciation and acceptance throughout the campus for the potential contributions students of color can make/have made to the growth and development of the University.
- To continue to serve as positive role models to students of color and the total University community to developing strong liaison with the total campus community.
- To take an active role in the recruitment and retention of students of color at CSU and assist the Office of Admissions, Graduate School and the Office of Undergraduate Student Retention in increasing the enrollment/retention of students of color.
- To serve as a base for cohesiveness for students, staff, faculty, administrators, and Fort Collins community members that are people of color.
- To serve as advocates for issues concerning all students of color and to work in conjunction with representatives of the Students Affairs Advocacy Team.
- To act as a change agent regarding environmental, educational and social issues at the University level.
- To identify and establish a research bank of pertinent data related to the problems/issues and factors of success for students of color at CSU.
The external demand for the ethnic advocacy offices as they relate to the land grant mission is that they function as the key resource, referral and consulting offices to community agencies. The internal demand is that these offices ervc3 as the key contact for information concerning issues of people of color, culture, educational and job opportunities. These offices disseminate information specific to these areas from other agencies and departments to students of color. The offices also provide cultural and educational opportunities for all people of the University and the Fort Collins community (e.g. workshops, programs, speakers, class lectures).
In support of the University’s Diversity plan, the ethnic advocacy offices constitute the fundamental basis for these efforts as they relate to students of color, staff, faculty, administrators and the overall Fort Collins and University community. The Student Diversity Program and Services offices are viable resources which serve as examples of the University’s commitment to diversity.
Colorado State University Mission
According to the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS Standards) for Multicultural Student Programs and Services (MSPS), the mission must be consistent with the mission of the university.
“Inspired by its land-grant heritage, CSU is committed to excellence, setting the standard for public research universities in teaching, research, service and extension for the benefit of the citizens of Colorado, the United States and the world.”