At annual Fall Address, President Tony Frank covers sexual assault, student debt

Tatiana Parafiniuk-Talesnick

At the annual Fall Address and Picnic, Colorado State University President Tony Frank focused on University pride, including how well he believes the University’s Reframe program tackles the issue of sexual assault.

CSU President Tony Frank during the annual Fall Address directed to students, faculty, staff and community leaders. (Photo by: Caio Pereira).
CSU President Tony Frank during the annual Fall Address directed to students, faculty, staff and community leaders. (Photo by: Caio Pereira).

In his seventh annual Fall Address as CSU President, Tony Frank addresses a crowd of students, faculty and community members.

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The president told the crowd that sexual violence is a male issue and that men can end it.

“Sexual violence is about tearing down, and it has no place at CSU,” Frank said.

His speech turned to a call to action when he told his audience to end sexual violence — not in years to come, not tomorrow, but today.

“One of the reasons I think it’s so great that Dr. Frank is talking about Reframe at this event in particular is because there’s so many staff and faculty that come to this event,” said Monica Rivera, an assistant director at the Women and Gender Advocacy Center. “Sometimes we can put a lot of pressure on students and the student body to shift culture, but there’s a lot of things that we can do as staff, faculty, advisers, mentors to help create a less victim-blaming culture on campus.”

Rivera went on to describe that a lack of support for survivors can lead to a retention problem — when students are not given the help they need, they leave the school. Retention rates are something that Frank wants to keep up.

Members of the CSU Marching Band performing for the annual President's Fall Address.
Members of the CSU Marching Band performing for the annual President’s Fall Address. (Photo by: Caio Pereira).

In addition to praising the Reframe program, Frank praised the accomplishments of the University: this year’s incoming class is the biggest in the school’s history, with students who represent every county in Colorado, every state in the country and 100 countries worldwide. One-third of this class is made up of first-generation students.

Because of generous donors and various scholarships, 42 percent of last year’s graduates were able to leave CSU without student debt, according to Frank, despite the constant cut to programs and funding on both a federal and state level.

He told the audience that CSU proudly maintains its 16-to-1 faculty ratio and 81 percent of sports wins — makes it the highest of division 1 schools in the country.

Frank ended the speech by referring back to how he began the speech — discussing the importance of laying down a foundation for future CSU students and the future of the university at large as the school approaches its 150th birthday. He said there is much to be proud of.

“The work we do together is a privilege,” Frank said.

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President Tony Frank minutes before his annual Fall Address directed to students, faculty, staff and community leaders.
President Tony Frank minutes before his annual Fall Address directed to students, faculty, staff and community leaders. (Photo by: Caio Pereira).

The Fall Address and Picnic is a tradition as old as most of CSU’s freshmen class. It began as a way to thank the community following the devastating floods of 1997. It now serves as a sort of state of the union address for the community of CSU and was Frank’s seventh address as president.

“I come every year,” said Fort Collins Mayor Wade Troxell. “I’m on the faculty but I’m also the mayor, I love to come out and see what Tony Frank has to say – and it’s also usually a beautiful day.”

Some students, such as freshman political science major Jose Lopez, noticed that the speech strategically skirted around the campus issue of parking.

“I was expecting him to talk about the lack of parking, or the price for students,” Lopez said.

Another freshman, equine science major Kyla Markell, came because she had to.

“Well all the dining halls were closed,” Markell said, before before adding that it was actually interesting and fun.

Collegian Reporter Tatiana Parafiniuk-Talesnick can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @tatianasophiapt.