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From the Desk of Dr. Karen Haynes

Welcome Back: A Time to Celebrate

August 28, 2013
Women’s Equality Day, commemorating women’s right to vote; and today marks the 50th anniversary of the historic March on Washington, the day when more than 250,000 people gathered near the Lincoln Memorial and were inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

The speech marked a significant period in the civil rights struggle and was proclaimed as one of the greatest demonstrations of freedom ever seen in Washington D.C. People from the flat prairie lands of the Midwest to the bustling cities of the Northeast and the sun-splashed sands of the West came together in solidarity, in brotherhood. It is a moment that many of us remember for it poignancy and its purpose: Equality for all.

In many ways we are still seeking equality, respect and justice. So as we begin this new year at CSUSM and reflect on the words of Dr. King and the impact of the march, I encourage all of us to revisit the CSUSM Civility Campaign and our Diversity Strategic Plan. We created the plan and launched the campaign because we truly believe that diversity matters and that a positive campus climate will only exist if we acknowledge and respect each other’s differences. We must work together to make this a welcoming and inclusive campus.

CSUSM students are smart and inquisitive and come from a multitude of backgrounds. As you move through the year, I encourage you to learn about and from each other. Share your stories. Take a chance in meeting people not like you. Seek out new experiences. Get involved in campus activities. Check out our Pride Center, our student organizations, our athletics teams,ourcross-culturaland gender equitycenters,and our campus rec department. When the new Student Union opens in the spring, there will be numerous additional opportunities for you to participate in CSUSM’s vibrant campus community. Find your way to leave a mark.

And if, along the way, you have questions or concerns, know that there is an entire team of faculty, staff and administrators willing to help. Our new AVP of Diversity, Educational Equity and Inclusion Arturo Ocampo will be working with students and groups throughout the year to address diversity-related questions and conduct workshops. Our Student Health and Counseling Services Center is staffed with professionals trained to support your physical and emotional well-being. And though they are currently located off-campus, we broke ground in June on a new on-campus Student Health Center, which will be near the parking structure.

We are, in every way, working together to create a campus that reflects our diverse regions, to create a campus that reflects the various ideas, backgrounds and opinions of our students, staff and faculty. We are working together to create a campus that honors the spirit of the March on Washington and the words of Dr. Martin Luther King. We are creating a campus that is diverse and inclusive and that represents the best of Cal State San Marcos.

I wish you all the best for a productive and rewarding year.