Safety is inextricably linked with equity and inclusion: working toward a safer campus means advocating for a campus that is supportive of the identities and experiences that make each person who they are. With this in mind, the University of Colorado Student Government (CUSG) is working on a number of projects that address campus climate.
This year, CUSG has teamed up with various student leaders and student groups to create Bathroom Squad. Every week, members of Bathroom Squad meet and collect data on the ADA accessibility and gender inclusivity of campus bathrooms. The goal is to publish this information online in an accessible format, and to use the data collected to advocate for gender inclusive and accessible spaces on campus. An increased number of accessible and gender-inclusive bathrooms on campus would be a big step in making CU-Boulder a more welcoming environment for a large number of people, including families, people with disabilities and many members of the LGBTQIA community.
CUSG is also re-establishing the Diversity Commission, a CUSG board that will write and approve legislation addressing the needs and concerns of underrepresented students on campus. We’re currently researching and writing a diversity plan that will help CUSG and CU-Boulder make concrete strides in ensuring that all people and communities on campus are supported. So far we’ve come up with a lot of wonderful ideas and are looking forward to implementing them.
We also want to give CU students the space to express their voice directly to us and to campus administration about campus climate. We’ve established monthly safety forums where students collaborate to come up with solutions and plans to address safety concerns on campus.
One issue that we’re working on is the Clery Act. Safety forum members from CUSG and SORCE have established a partnership and continuing dialogue with CUPD regarding the Clery act emails. Through this collaboration, we’re seeking to make sure the emails serve a positive role in promoting campus safety, and to clarify concerns and questions that people might have about the Clery act messaging.
There are also many more initiatives both within and outside of CUSG dedicated to promoting equity and safety at CU-Boulder. So many brilliant and dedicated students at CU are working hard to make our campus a home for everyone, and CUSG’s hope is that even more students will get involved in the various organizations working to make our school a better place.
Caitlin Pratt is the CUSG director of safety and inclusion.