The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

Print Edition
Letter to the editor submissions
Have a strong opinion about something happening on campus or in Fort Collins? Want to respond to an article written on The Collegian? Write a Letter to the Editor by following the guidelines here.
Follow Us on Twitter
Five Things We Learned Delivering Over Half a Million Orders for NoCo Restaurants
Five Things We Learned Delivering Over Half a Million Orders for NoCo Restaurants
November 8, 2023

  In May 2019, Nosh began as a humble restaurant co-op with just three people. When the pandemic hit in March 2020, while many businesses...

Leibee: It’s time for CSU to say something about sexual misconduct

Colorado State Administration building
The Colorado State University Administration Building Sept. 9, 2019. (Gregory James | The Collegian)

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.

Colorado State University has had its fair share of scandal and controversy. Take the countless racial incidents that are brought to light by students themselves, handled by the CSU administration and then seemingly forgotten about as CSU attempts to recover its reputation.


Now incidents related to sexual misconduct are starting to tally up. Students and faculty read and listen as professors face accusations of harassment, are placed on University leave or are arrested. The University isn’t quick to speak up, often doing damage control after the fact rather than addressing the situation head on.

CSU could be doing more to make its students, especially its female-identifying students, feel more comfortable on this campus. Any student who has faced a situation of sexual misconduct because of someone the University hired should be provided with free resources to help the recovery process. But it starts with the acknowledgement that a pattern might be present.

It is not unreasonable to assume that students may feel afraid, and it is possible that what is going on is hindering some students’ education.” 

In April of 2019, police arrested Pamela Coke, a CSU associate English professor accused of sexually assaulting a minor. Coke ultimately plead guilty to a “second-degree assault causing bodily injury,” a “nonsexual offense.” This means Coke did not have to register as a sex offender. The court sentenced her to eight years probation, and the University never confirmed her employment status after the fact. However, students started their own petition to have her fired. 

Coke is still listed in the staff directory as an associate professor as well as on the English department’s website.

In October 2019, Ronald Holt, a construction management assistant professor, resigned from his position after an investigation regarding sexual misconduct with a student. When the student’s parents requested to meet with University President Joyce McConnell regarding the incident, they instead met with the associate dean and dean of students and were handed a pamphlet on “Discipline against University Community Members Found to be Responsible for Committing Interpersonal Violence.” The incident was not even entirely addressed until The Collegian’s story this past November.

According to The Collegian’s report, the student “said it felt like the University wanted to have the problem go away and not become a ‘big’ issue.”

Now, Boris Kondratieff, a 66-year-old entomology professor, has been arrested for allegedly possessing child pornography. The University put Kondratieff on administrative leave in October 2020 due to the matter, and he is now scheduled to go to court on Feb. 22.

That makes three cases all in the span of two years. Yet the University continues to be hush-hush about all of them. Although the president is limited on communications regarding matters like this, many details are left up to news outlets to figure out and the public to interpret.

In the case of Holt, the student and her family couldn’t even meet with McConnell privately regarding the matter. Since The Collegian’s report, the University has made no statements about how they handle situations like this or what support they are offering to students that may feel afraid. At best, an email from Diana Prieto, the vice president for Equity, Equal Opportunity and Title IX, informed students of her office, and it largely responded to the Husch Blackwell case involving CSU athletics but didn’t refer to the case reported in The Collegian just a few days earlier.


CSU is being investigated twice on Title IX violations. Photo by Bianca Torrez

It is not unreasonable to assume that students may feel afraid, and it is possible that what is going on is hindering some students’ education. 

The case against Holt was worsened by his inappropriate comments to a student during his office hours. Some students may be hesitant to make a visit to their male professor’s office hours already, but they would be especially so now, knowing that the University hasn’t responded to the issue.

It seems as though the University often feels its best option is to say nothing, not even sending out the resources offered to students that have struggled with similar situations or who live in fear of interacting with their own professors on campus. 

The University will not even address why these cases keep happening and how students should go about learning when they are in fear that they may become the next name in the paper. It also raises questions about the hiring process and if students and their families should trust the professors and staff that work here.

Why shouldn’t students be scared on this campus? That is the question the University has yet to answer. 

Katrina Leibee can be reached at or Twitter @KatrinaLeibee.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Katrina Leibee, Editor-in-Chief
Katrina Leibee is serving as The Rocky Mountain Collegian's editor in chief for the 2021-22 academic year. Leibee started at The Collegian during the fall of her freshman year writing for the opinion desk. She then moved up to assistant opinion editor and served as the opinion director for the 2020-21 academic year. Leibee is a journalism and political science double major, but her heart lies in journalism. She enjoys writing, editing and working with a team of people to create the paper more than anything. Ask anyone, Leibee loves her job at The Collegian and believes in the great privilege and opportunity that comes with holding a job like this. The biggest privilege is getting to work with a team of such smart, talented editors, writers, photographers and designers. The most important goal Leibee has for her time as editor in chief is to create change, and she hopes her and her staff will break the status quo for how The Collegian has previously done things and for what a college newspaper can be. From creating a desk dedicated entirely to cannabis coverage to transitioning the paper into an alt-weekly, Leibee hopes she can push the boundaries of The Collegian and make it a better paper for its readers and its staff. Leibee is not one to accept a broken system, sit comfortably inside the limits or repeat the words, "That's the way we've always done things." She is a forward thinker with a knack for leadership, and she has put together the best staff imaginable to bring The Collegian to new heights.

Hey, thanks for visiting!
We’d like to ask you to please disable your ad blocker when looking at our site — advertising revenue directly supports our student journalists and allows us to bring you more content like this.

Comments (0)

When commenting on The Collegian’s website, please be respectful of others and their viewpoints. The Collegian reviews all comments and reserves the right to reject comments from the website. Comments including any of the following will not be accepted. 1. No language attacking a protected group, including slurs or other profane language directed at a person’s race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, social class, age, physical or mental disability, ethnicity or nationality. 2. No factually inaccurate information, including misleading statements or incorrect data. 3. No abusive language or harassment of Collegian writers, editors or other commenters. 4. No threatening language that includes but is not limited to language inciting violence against an individual or group of people. 5. No links.
All The Rocky Mountain Collegian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *