An Open Letter to Our Students
A message from the program directors at CU Denver School of Public AffairsApr 6, 2020
As program directors in the School of Public Affairs, we come alongside you, our students, in this time of trauma and uncertainty. In the remaining weeks of the spring semester, together we will make mistakes and learn from them along the way. Together, we will practice grace and self-care. We believe in a time of crisis, we should focus on care more than content. Recognizing the seriousness of a global pandemic, these are our promises to you:
- We recognize and value your service to others—serving the unhoused, feeding the hungry, managing emergency response, keeping our communities safe. Many of you are on the front lines and for that, we thank you!
- We will practice as much flexibility in policy and practice as CU Denver permits to offer you every opportunity to succeed.
- We will listen first, then act with care and kindness.
- We will continue to trust in your ability and foster your potential.
- We will nurture inquiry, connection, and collaboration in new and creative ways.
- We will strive to make sound decisions, admit our shortcomings, and do what is best for you—our students.
- We will do our best to model courage and strength, and we look to you for shared inspiration and energy.
- We will speak out against the ugly racism that has emerged with this virus.
- We will try to communicate often and openly, and offer direction and hope.
- As we collectively experience considerable social grief, we will lead with empathy and understanding.
We recognize the seriousness of this situation. This is not normal. We are witness to brokenness in some of the institutions we research and study. The time will come when we collectively strive to fix the brokenness through policy, publication, and public service. For now, let us find solace in our classes and coursework, in our connections with our School of Public Affairs family, and in our shared desire to lead, solve, change. Remember your purpose and press on, and know we have your back.
Chris Weible, Jane Hansberry, Lori Hughes, Sheila Huss, Wendy Bolyard