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Brockport Night Out unifies community

by Zach Wagner - Copy Editor
Tue, Sep 24th 2019 10:00 pm

Organizations and clubs from around The College at Brockport gathered on the campus mall, Wednesday, Sept. 19 for the third annual Brockport Night Out. Hosted by Men of Color (MOC), a culture based club on campus, University Police and Brockport Village Police, the groups came together in an effort to strengthen the bond between students and law enforcement officers.

“This [event] is University Police and Men of Color coming together working as one to have a successful event,” MOC Events Coordinator Egypt Page said. 

The University Police and minority groups on campus decided an event like Brockport Night Out would help ease the conflicts as each group had a chance to mingle and connect on a personal level.  

“Recently there’s been a lot of tension with University Police and we are using this [event] to bring us together, not just Men Of Color just everyone around the whole campus,” Page said.

Brockport Night Out is just as important for the members of the University Police Department. It gives them the opportunity to hang up the uniform and badge for a night, in order to personally connect with students on campus.

UP Chief David Vasile believes Brockport Night Out is a very prominent night on campus. Collaborating with MOC is a golden opportunity for the members of the department to show appreciation to all students on campus, forming relationships in the process.  

“It’s something we purposely do here in the fall semester trying to work a partnership with the Men of Color and really just try to get officers here, students of color, underrepresented students,” Vasile said. “Start building relationships and trust.” 

Vasile’s goal is to give students a different perspective on UP and show students UP can be there to help students. Vasile and other officers want to remove the image that college students have of them.

“Break down those walls that a lot of people come with, not being comfortable around the Police, or just being raised not to talk to Police. Just let the students know University Police can be here as a resource, not just us going to calls and getting people in trouble” Vasile said.

Chief Mark Cuzzupoli of the Brockport Village Police, Vasile and MOC have watched this event grow over the last few years. Starting as a small gathering in the Union lounge, the event has migrated to the campus mall, gaining attention from other organizations around Brockport like 89.1 the Point and Jimmy Z’s Plates & Shakes to liven up the event with music and refreshments.  

“We started a couple years ago with the Office of Diversity, it’s a tradition we would like to keep going,” Vasile said. “Every year you can tell there is more excitement around it, we seem to be getting more partners every year.” 

Along with 89.1 the Point and Jimmy Z’s, other organizations around campus joined the event, informing students on how to reach out to for help on campus. Residential Life, the Counseling Center and Prevention Outreach Services joined the festivities providing arts and crafts along with information students in need of these services.

With the night underway, attendees participated in games and activities flooding the Campus Mall, eventually pushing their way onto the grass. Corn hole, tug of war, dodgeball and wheel barrel races kept kids, students and officers busy through the evening. The turnout was immense, making it hard to maneuver through the packed area. With efforts from all the groups and organizations involved, the event was a major success and looks to be for future years. 

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