The holiday season is traditionally a time of hope and optimism, when we take time to appreciate our blessings and take stock of the challenges that still lie ahead.
As president of CSUMB, I feel particularly fortunate to interact with the students, faculty and staff who make this campus special. More than two decades into its history, Cal State Monterey Bay remains a remarkable and inspiring place.
The spirit of CSUMB was on display last month at our faculty and staff retreat, during which we discussed our Founding Vision Statement and our university’s future; view the video from that day at csumb.edu/retreat.
At that event, it was clear that the people who work here feel passionate about this place, our future, and the students we serve. Our shared commitment to the basic tenets of our Founding Vision Statement remains unshakeable, as does our belief in the power of education to help people build better lives.
I thank all of you who participated in the retreat. We collected the comments offered; that feedback will be vital to us as we update our university’s Strategic Plan. We will provide information on that process at our annual Staff & Faculty Appreciation Breakfast to be held at the University Center on Jan. 18.
A collaborative culture
As we continue to seek to build a supportive and collaborative campus culture, we cannot, and should not, isolate ourselves from the world around us.
Of course, in our nation, this year has been marked by political turmoil. The resulting sense of uncertainty about what tomorrow may bring has been keenly felt by our DACA students, who continue to wait for guarantees about their futures.
At CSUMB and throughout the CSU, we stand with our DACA students. Your determined pursuit of higher education, even in the face of legal uncertainty, is an inspiration. CSU is continuing to work with legislators in an effort to achieve a just solution to protect the rights of DACA students. I urge any students with questions to consult the website with information about our support services.
Similarly, the overdue reckoning regarding sexual harassment and assault that is happening nationwide also impacts this campus. Earlier this fall, in response to Clery Act warnings regarding sexual assaults on campus, we held a forum during which administrators explained the Title IX regulations and the processes that our campus has established to combat harassment and assault.
We want to create a culture where bystanders feel empowered to step in to protect one another. And we want those who have been victimized to feel comfortable in coming forward.
The issues that affect us are much the same as the issues affecting the larger world. I believe we can continue to show how a caring and collaborative community can respond forthrightly to these concerns and promote just solutions.
As the holidays approach, I hope the season will provide you all with opportunities to celebrate with family and friends, as well as some quiet time to reflect upon the blessings that you value the most.
To our students, good luck finishing up those finals and safe travels in the days ahead.
And to everyone who works, studies and lives here at CSUMB, Holly and I would like to thank you for all of your good work and to wish you Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.
I welcome your comments on this newsletter, future subjects you would like to see addressed, or on any issues facing the university. You may direct them to email@example.com