Orji: Continue to engage with the SDPS offices

Joslyn Orji

Editor’s Note: All opinion section content reflects the views of the individual author only and does not represent a stance taken by The Collegian or its editorial board.

With so many things following a virtual format for the rest of the semester, Colorado State University is exhausting all possible options in ensuring that students are engaged this semester. Yet no other student service is doing it quite like the Student Diversity Programs and Services (SDPS) offices on campus.


While nobody really expected a traditional fall semester, complete with football games and freshman orientation activities, the SDPS offices have worked overtime to ensure that students have as close to a traditional experience as possible. Therefore, it is extremely important that we acknowledge the work that SDPS staff and faculty have done to make sure that students feel welcomed during these remote times.  

The SDPS offices are designed for all students at CSU. They are here to provide support, create connections and provide a space for students who might need them. The SDPS offices are a part of CSU’s efforts to promote a sense of belonging among specific segments of the student population and cater to students that may be of a minority identity.

While they cater to specific communities on campus, such as the African American community or the Latinx/Hispanic community, the SDPS offices are here to support everyone in an effort to promote and enhance diversity on campus.

This semester, most things have to be done virtually, either over Zoom or, in some cases, Instagram live. Since transitioning online, the SDPS offices have made the most of their online abilities while still allowing a certain number of students to come into the physical office following social distancing measures. However, as expected in compliance with social distancing measures, most offices are only allowing limited hours with in-person staff still available for specific student needs.

“While they cater to specific communities on campus, such as the African American community or the Latinx/Hispanic community, the SDPS offices are here to support everyone in an effort to promote and enhance diversity on campus.”

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the SDPS offices were some of the liveliest places on campus; places to chill between classes, hang out with friends, meet new people and bond over shared experiences during their academic journey. The SDPS offices are a community for students to learn from while gaining memorable experiences. 

Now that we have made the transition to an online learning environment, it is important to note the effort that the faculty and staff within those spaces are doing remotely to encourage new students to engage with them. As students, we need to promote the SDPS offices because they are still a lively space.

While it is definitely a challenge to make things engaging or to conduct bonding activities through a screen, it means a lot when students log onto the virtual program that is put together for the benefit of the community. Coming from someone that works in one of these offices, specifically the Black/African American Cultural Center (B/AACC), it really makes my day to see people tune into a weekly program or log on to have critical conversations because, let’s face it, there is really nothing more awkward than an empty zoom call or IG live.

Since the beginning of the fall semester, the SDPS offices have been in full swing with online activities. Kicking off September with Latinx Heritage Month 2020, El Centro hosted a whole months’ worth of virtual activities for new and current students to engage in. They hosted a range of hot topic conversations, cultural enlightenment segments that centered on music and food and special keynote speaker Julissa Calderon, an actress and activist known for challenging stereotypes in the film industry.



This is just a glimpse at what the SDPS offices have put together to engage with students. Since then, the Asian/Pacific American Cultural Center, the Black/African American Cultural Center, El Centro, the Native American Cultural Center, the Student Disability Center, the Pride Resource Center and the Women and Gender Advocacy Center have had many other activities and notable speakers engage with the community over a virtual platform.

The SDPS offices are open to the public and are a great place to learn more about the different communities and identities that you can find on CSU’s campus.

Despite the challenges that come with online learning and organizing, it’s very important to note the cultural significance of these spaces. These are special communities that offer a lot to the student body and exist to support us throughout our time at CSU.

Joslyn Orji can be reached at letters@collegian.com or on Twitter @lazy_svndae_.