Get to know advocacy, resource and student groups on campus

Clarissa Davies

One of the largest misconceptions about the student advocacy groups and resource centers at Colorado State University is that one must identify with them in order to visit the center, get involved or feel welcomed there — this is far from the truth.

“You don’t have to identify with the office’s name, or what they do, to go there,” said Kebrina Chirdon, a social work intern in the LGBTQQA office. “We have to have spaces on campus for those underrepresented identities, and we want to have spaces so that friends or allies feel welcome.”

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The following resource offices present students with a safe place to study, nap, socialize, access resources, print homework or even watch movies. They are available to students as a welcoming place, where they can feel a sense of belonging.

Adult Learner and Veteran Services – Not every student at CSU is under the age of 23, so these adult students can get resources tailored to their individual needs here.

“ALVS aims to support non-traditional students in their transition to Colorado State University while aiding them academically and professionally,” according to its website.

Asian/Pacific American Cultural Center – The Asian/Pacific American Cultural Center “contributes to an inclusive campus environment by providing resources for Asian/Pacific American awareness and education,” according to its mission statement. It was founded in 1984 as a way for curious students to learn more about their Asian heritage.

“We offer programs and services for student success and help with their academics and adjusting to classes while focusing on Asian culture,” said Jade Croghan, a P.A.L.S mentorship coordinator. This program, through APACC, provides mentor opportunities to children in kindergarten through third grade.

Black/African American Cultural Center – As a community-oriented center, the Black Student Services Office strives to provide a family-like environment to students. It provides an academic and professional support system, while highlighting the importance of African-American heritage and history.

El Centro – Its mission statement is simple: to serve and support Chicano and Latino students and to provide a comfortable atmosphere in which students feel appreciated and safe.

“El Centro aims to primarily serve Latino students, while having an inclusive process where we like to spread cultural awareness, while embracing the Latino culture,” said El Centro intern Destiny Story. El Centro is involved with sorority and fraternity groups, as well as leadership experiences and scholarship opportunities. National Hispanic Heritage Month is Sept. 15  to Oct. 15, and includes guest speakers and cultural events.

GLBTQQA (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Queer, Questioning and Ally) – This center seeks to “foster a campus free of prejudice, bigotry, harassment and violence.”

It offers a safe space so “those who don’t feel like they fit in the normal box can feel comfortable,” Chirdon said. “This space is important because in the Fort Collins and campus community, the GLBTQQA identities are often underrepresented.” This center is about community-building and offers events such as Queer Prom.

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Native American Cultural Center – Established in 1979, “The office embraces and encourages a supportive environment based on the traditions and cultures of Native American peoples.” It strives to serve as an advocate for Native American students by holding retreats and other programs, while educating the CSU and Fort Collins communities about Native American history and culture.

Resources for Disabled Students – Resources for Disabled Students aims to “normalize disability.”

According to the organization’s website, “The goal is to ensure students with disabilities or chronic health conditions have the opportunity to be as successful as they have the capability to be.” Notably, there is a peer mentor program, in coordination with ASCSU, that provides more support for those with chronic physical and mental health conditions.

Women and Gender Advocacy Center – Its purpose is to “provide a safe and affirming space for the students we serve at Colorado State University, while supporting systemic change to end all forms of oppression within our community.”

This center focuses on social justice, violence prevention, consent and healthy sexuality, as well as offering a safe and inclusive environment. Groups on campus involved with the WGAC include Men in the Movement and the Red Whistle Brigade, among others.

Fraternity and Sorority Life – In 1915, sororities and fraternities were enacted at CSU. There are currently 23 fraternities and 17 sororities on campus, with 2,000 Rams involved.

“Colorado State University’s Fraternity and Sorority Life community is a great way for students to become a part of the University, excel academically, develop leadership skills, participate in philanthropic and athletic events, give back to the surrounding communities and socialize,” according to its website.

Collegian Diversity Beat Reporter Clarissa Davies can be reached online at news@collegian.com or on Twitter at @DaviesClarissa.