At the beginning of the month, I started to think about my annual Thanksgiving message to you, my colleagues here at Cal State Los Angeles, to be sent next week before the holiday. The range of emotions on campus and the events of the last few days, though, suggests that a message of gratitude and hope cannot wait.
As recent emails from President Covino and Chancellor Tim White attest, Cal State LA and the CSU embody the principle that a diverse democracy rests upon and serve a critical function in the pursuit of educational equity. At Cal State LA our commitment to serving our students and our communities remains strong, and, if anything, has only grown stronger over the past week. Cal State LA’s spirit was evident as staff opened their offices to students and colleagues. Faculty held spontaneous sharing sessions in their offices and classrooms. Our community partners have reached out to us and we reached out to them. And our students in small and large ways rallied to support one another. In a rather poignant exchange I saw on Facebook, a student looking for an inexpensive lunch was met with quick offers from his peers to come share their lunches. Student Life staff and Ethnic Studies faculty are planning a range of activities and events to support our undocumented students. Please be sure to look for emails with information about the events and resources.
As always, we will take care of one another. This will require hard work on the part of all of us. But I have no doubt that we are up to it. I regularly converse with colleagues at universities from across the country and, while many are like ours, some are not. I remain extremely grateful to work at a university that embraces its mission to serve and educate. And I thank each one of you for your efforts to make Cal State LA a model of the democratic promise of higher education, and for the work you do for our students.