The following message was written by Chancellor Joe Garcia and Dr. Ryan Ross of the Colorado Community College System, of which FRCC is a member.
The Colorado Community College System (CCCS) is committed to the ability of our students and alumni to learn, grow, and thrive locally, nationally, and internationally through education. Any conflict that disrupts their ability to do so can have a long-term and irreparable impact on their lives and their future and the recent aggression and invasion by Russian forces directed at the people of Ukraine is a particularly dramatic example of such a disruption.
We want our students and employees to know that, during these most challenging times, CCCS stands with our students and their right to pursue an education and improve their lives in an environment free from violence, aggression, and conflict, and we believe that Ukraine, like all countries, has a right to democracy, freedom, and self-determination.
Global leaders have expressed their strong concerns and are working through diplomatic channels to urge a withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine. We express both our deepest concerns about this situation and our fervent hope that international efforts may prevent this crisis from worsening further.
While we recognize our very limited ability to shape the actions of foreign governments or the outcome of conflicts taking place thousands of miles from our communities, we know we have the ability and the obligation to support students who have placed their trust in us in pursuit of their education. Many of them have ties to Ukraine—or Russia—and many have families and loved ones who may be personally impacted by the current conflict.
In the spirit of our open access mission, we stand with all who aspire to enrich their lives, regardless of where they were born, where they consider home, or where they hold citizenship. In a time already fraught with challenges such as the ongoing uncertainty amidst the pandemic and global movements fighting against racial and social injustice, the actions being pursued against Ukraine may elicit difficult feelings for students, faculty, instructors, and staff.
Please know that you are not alone and that you have our full support. Resources, services, and supports are available. Please do not hesitate to reach out to our available network of advisors, counselors or any institutional staff member.
Joe Garcia, Chancellor, Colorado Community College System
Dr. Ryan Ross, Associate Vice-Chancellor for Student Affairs, Equity and Inclusion