A Letter to Our Community – Pride & El Centro

A Letter to Our Community 

From the Pride Resource Center and El Centro

Dear CSU community,

Can you believe the beginning of the school year is upon us already? We look forward to welcoming many of our returning community members back to CSU and especially welcoming our new students joining us for the first time, even if the Fall 2020 semester looks a little different than usual. Whether you’re living in Fort Collins or studying remotely, we aspire to continuously build those relationships, create moments of learning, but ultimately continue to strengthen our resilient Latinx, Trans, & Queer communities. 

As you plan for the Fall 2020 semester we are writing to communicate our current plans for our centers. Grounded in radical self and community care, El Centro and the Pride Resource Center are combining efforts for the Fall 2020 semester to provide collective support to our communities while maintaining the safety and wellbeing of the communities we serve at the forefront of our decision making.

Pride Resource Center’s and El Centro’s operations, programs, and services will be primarily virtual this fall while offering minimal in-person services:

  • El Centro and Pride Resource Center will be virtually open Monday-Friday 8 AM- 5 PM.
    • Both centers are committed to continuing offering their individual office hours, community building opportunities, heritage/history month keynote speakers, workshops, and mental health services through virtual platforms. 
    • You can reach staff from each center through our email, social media accounts, and live web chats. See our contact information listed below.
  • The centers will have limited in-person staffing for specific needs:  
    • One-on-one advising 
    • Resource Support (period products, condoms, referrals, etc.) 
    • Crisis Support 
    • Accessing Gender Affirming Garments 
    • Limited printing/computer capabilities 
    • Brief tours of the center (new students)
  • In-Person Drop in Hours 
    • Monday – El Centro, 9:00am-12:00pm 
    • Tuesday – Pride, 9:00am-12:00pm 
    • Wednesday – Pride, 9:00am-12:00pm 
  • When one center is open, they will provide support and access to resources for folks who typically visit the other center. 
  • Both centers are adhering to social distancing protocols and will not have access to the following services: hang out space, extended computer usage, homework, gaming, student organization meetings, naps, eating.

We are working together in this way for a few reasons:

  • Proximity & staffing. We’re next door and staff have physical access to both centers. Both centers only have 2 professional staff for the fall semester, and have staff who have expertise in intersectional conversations therefore will be able to hold space for students across race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, etc.
  • Limiting exposure for our community. Folks who identify as LGBTQ+ and Latinx are experiencing disproportionate rates of COVID-19, underlying conditions, living in multigenerational or large households, etc. This collective practice of sharing resources is a tangible way for us to practice community care and limit exposure for our communities in and out of CSU.
  • Overlap of resources. We are able to provide access to similar physical resources, and we know some students go in and out of each center to access their resources differently anyway. We’re committed to providing access to each center’s resources regardless of which center is physically open (e.g. gender-affirming garments, printing, etc).

We understand this news may come with mixed emotions. We know we won’t get everything right, but through shared accountability, we can develop alternative ways to further enhance our communities as we figure out what works and what doesn’t work. However, pending the course of the semester, we will reassess our operation plans in correspondence to institutional, local, and national guidelines that best ensure the wellbeing of our students, staff, and faculty.

During this time we ask for your grace and empathy as we all collectively navigate this hard situation. Like many of you, we’re actively trying to figure out ways in how we can continue the momentum of our communities throughout the semester. So “Like a lotus flower, we too can rise from the mud, bloom out of darkness, and blossom into the world.” We know we can get through this and excited at the opportunity to continue to think beyond barriers and reimagine the ways we build community. We look forward to doing it together.

In community,

El Centro & The Pride Resource Center