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Fort Collins, Colorado – Colorado State University students sat in at President Tony Frank’s office today to request a meeting with him, which has previously been denied to them. Student members of Rams Organizing for Animal Rights entered the administration building at8:00 am on Friday to demand that the administration listen to their concerns. When office staff informed students Tony Frank was out of town, students sat down on the floor to wait until their requests were heard.
Staff members were prepared with a written response when students arrived and immediately asked students to leave the office space and wait in public space.
While sitting in, students delivered the following requests to Tony Frank’s staff:
1. A public meeting with Tony Frank before the initiation of construction to discuss the following requests and receive a formal response.
2. Total transparency of records of the animals from birth to slaughter. The ability for any students to view and document the delivery and slaughter of animals. Transparency of financial records regarding the facility.
3. A visible memorial in a public space for the slaughtered animals to be remembered, where public space is defined as any main-campus outdoor space easily viewable from university sidewalks with the naked eye and memorial is defined as a permanent structure bearing a design ROAR will submit for approval.
4. A response to our Colorado Open Records Act request regarding how the partnership with JBS was reached.
Nik Olsen, Assistant Director of Administrative Communications, said Tony Frank would review these requests when he returns to the office and has time.
After the sit-in, students offered their perspectives on the situation. According to Sarah Yakubek, “If administration was initially open to acknowledging us this wouldn’t be necessary. The administration is supposed to be there to listen to students.”
“I don’t believe CSU can promote itself as a sustainable school and still invest money into the leading cause of climate change, which is animal agriculture,” Alex Leaverton added.
Senior Austin Joseph said, “We’re against the killing of animals in general, but we’re especially concerned about JBS’s involvement. JBS is a notoriously corrupt company, currently accused of bribing Brazilian officials to pass spoiled meat through inspection. We’re worried that they’re bringing that corruption to CSU. I filed a Colorado Open Records Act request with the university nineteen business days ago. The act gives records custodians three days to respond to requests, but CSU hasn’t given me any response yet. The idea that there may be information about the slaughterhouse that CSU is willing to break the law to keep secret makes me very nervous.”
Students plan to pursue the issue until demands are addressed, throughout the construction, and throughout the facility’s operation.