2020 Election: Our Campus, Our Voice

A joint message from the chancellor and governance leaders

Oct. 29, 2020

Dear CU Denver Community, 

Chancellor Marks emailed us a few weeks ago about the importance of making your voice heard through voting (and if you haven’t already voted, it’s not too late!). Today we’re writing to let you know how we’re ready to support you with campus resources and information as we move through the election period and the next few weeks.

Peaceful Assembly and Protest

Around the country and right here on our campus, people are preparing for the possibility of widespread post-election protests that could potentially extend through the inauguration in January.

As a university, CU Denver is committed to the well-being of our community and to protecting everyone’s freedom of expression and right to peaceful assembly as guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and the Colorado Bill of Rights. Particularly for students, engaging in rallies and peaceful protests can be an important way to participate in our democracy.

If you choose to exercise your right to peacefully assemble or protest, it is important that you understand the rules that apply to your location of assembly and your rights during that assembly, and that you are prepared to preserve your safety and that of others.

Students, if you’re planning to use the Auraria Campus as a site for expressive activity, we encourage you to reach out to the CU Denver Division of Student Life so we can assist in making your event successful and safe. (Student Life can be reached via their virtual front desk.) This is particularly important if you believe the event might draw controversy. Student Life staff can talk through with you what you want to achieve or communicate and the best way to do so; they can also help you ensure that you’re adhering to CU policies that guide political activities on campus. Here are two potentially helpful resources: First Amendment Rights for Student Protesters and FAQs for Student Protests on Campus.

Campus Safety

As noted in an email yesterday, the Auraria Campus leadership anticipates that any protests on campus will remain peaceful and productive, and we fully expect that to be the case if they are being held by members of our campus community. However, given our location in the heart of the city and our proximity to the capitol, the campus on occasion has been used by groups not associated with us for assembly and demonstration, sometimes with little or no notice. In addition, we’ve seen protests across the country and in Denver (though not on campus) that have turned violent. We are working with our campus partners to step up efforts to ensure public safety and security during this time.

The three CU Denver buildings on the downtown side of Speer (Lawrence Street Center, CU Denver building, and Business School) will be badge-access only Monday – Friday, Nov. 2 – 6, in preparation for possible increased activity in the vicinity related to the election. For questions about your CU Denver ID badge access permissions, contact  dc_facilities_dispatch@ucdenver.edu.

We will provide you with essential information, including any changes in campus operation, in several ways, including RAVE text alerts, emails, social media, and website updates. Check the CU Denver website and the Auraria Higher Education Center’s website for pertinent updates.

Support Resources

We know that the turbulence of this political season—added to the economic, health, and social challenges of the pandemic, issues of racial justice, and an altered way of working and learning—could add additional stress in an already demanding year.

On the Election 2020 website, we’ve compiled resources and events to support faculty, staff, and students during the pre- and post-election period. We invite you to make use of this information. You might find it helpful to address questions, engage, and learn from one another.

Our profoundly divided nation is at a crossroads. However, we believe CU Denver can use this moment as an opportunity to narrow the gaps that divide us, through respectful dialogue and the exchange of ideas and information. Whatever the outcomes of this year’s election or the next one, we remain a community that is at its best when it comes together to listen and learn as we strive to solve challenges and develop solutions.

Michelle Marks

Daniel Casillas
President, Student Government Association

Michelle Larson-Krieg
Chair, CU Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus Staff Council

Michael Zinser
Chair, Faculty Assembly

Chancellor’s Office

CU Denver

Lawrence Street Center

1380 Lawrence Street

Suite 1400

Denver, CO 80204


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