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Friday, Oct. 23, 2020

Dear Campus Community,

On Wednesday, the student group the Collective for Anti-Racism and Liberation, CAL,  hosted a virtual conversation about policing to explore the benefits and risks of the college continuing to have a Colorado Springs Police Department campus resource officer. 
Just two months ago, a CSPD officer was suspended for a week for stating on social media that Black Lives Matter demonstrators should be killed. During the virtual forum, a former CC campus resource officer with CSPD shared Blue Lives Matter symbology and ideas that are at odds with the college’s commitment to antiracism, causing hurt and pain for many in attendance, and for many who have since viewed or heard the comments. 
We support our students and their thoughtful work in prompting this conversation. We stand in opposition to police violence against communities and people of color. Through our antiracism initiative, we are working to rectify and reshape our community to one of equity and access for all oppressed and marginalized peoples. We are actively listening to and engaging the concerns of our students and community members, and we are committed to their ability to have safe interactions both on and off campus.
This is not the first discussion we’ve had about the college’s antiracism work intersecting with our community’s law enforcement officers. In May, when we offered support and solidarity to the campus community following racialized violence taking place across the country, we acknowledged that CC is not immune to anti-Black racism. While this week’s events are hurtful and discouraging, they are also evidence that we must continue this critical work, undeterred. 
We have charged Michael Sawyer, assistant professor of race, ethnicity, and migration studies, and Maggie Santos, director of campus safety, to work in partnership with our students, including CAL, to examine the college’s relationship with CSPD. They will share their findings with Dean Rochelle Dickey, and with us as co-presidents, for consideration, including how they align with our antiracism framework. 
We unequivocally support our students in their efforts to bring forward discussion on this issue. We invite you to provide your thoughts on this issue to Michael and Maggie, and to take this survey from CAL, to gauge campus opinions on Colorado College's relationship with CSPD.
Our campus does not exist separately from the Colorado Springs community. Our relationship with city services must be mutually beneficial and one that does not create further harm. We will pursue a meeting to discuss these concerning issues further with CSPD leadership, as well as opportunities to bring scholars on diversity, equity, inclusion, policing, and police violence to campus to deepen understanding and continue our work on these important challenges.

Mike Edmonds

Acting Co-President

Robert G. Moore

Acting Co-President

Our mailing address is:
Colorado College
14 Cache La Poudre St.
Colorado Springs, CO 80903

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