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Move to make the Diversity Conference more accessible

by Brianna Bush - Executive Editor and Margaret Stewart - Managing Editor
Tue, Oct 22nd 2019 08:10 pm
The College at Brockport hosted it's 19th annual Diversity Conference on Thursday, Oct. 17. The conference featured over 30 panels throughout the day closing out with a cultural food expose before the Keynote speaker.
The College at Brockport hosted it's 19th annual Diversity Conference on Thursday, Oct. 17. The conference featured over 30 panels throughout the day closing out with a cultural food expose before the Keynote speaker.

The 19th annual Diversity Conference hosted on the campus at The College at Brockport boasts of drawing a wide audience from around the Greater Rochester Area. However, there are many students attending college who miss out on this experience. 

Brockport Student Government (BSG) Senator Junior Auguste notes the importance of some faculty members providing their students with the opportunity to attend this event in order to get more involved.

“A lot of professors made it a point to inform their students and cancel their classes [so students could] get volunteer hours or even get extra credit,” Auguste said. “That’s great because it shows that they [the faculty] respect the initiative and that they understand the importance of it.”

As a minority, female student of color, Chitsatt Myothant says it is important to see diversity being recognized by campus.

“It’s just nice to see the college taking initiative to bring about diversity,” Myothant said. “It’s nice to see different people coming under the same event so as to recognize their similarities or their differences.”

Auguste also explained that while some Brockport faculty understand the significance of the conference, not all seem to.

“If the provost says classes are excused, professors should understand that because even though we have made great improvement, there are still some [professors] who believe ‘my class is the be all end all,’” Auguste said. 

Auguste also argues the Diversity Conference should be made more of a priority by both Brockport students and faculty. 

“You’re denying your students the opportunity to experience this,” Auguste said. “I mean, if we have students coming from high schools, Greece Arcadia and other places out there, then it kind of seems like we’re skipping out on them [Brockport students] at that moment by not giving them that chance.”

While Myothant agrees student accessibility to the conference should be improved in future iterations, she is speaking in regards to transportation for Brockport’s downtown students.

“As a grad student, all of my classes are in Rochester Educational Opportunity Center (REOC) which is in Downtown Rochester,” Myothant explained. “We did have a whole lot of sessions which were live-streamed, but next year, in terms of having all the sessions here [on Brockport’s campus], but having transportation options so if people were to be commuting from Rochester just to facilitate students a little bit more.”

Like Auguste says, “college is really what you make out of it” and while the attendance of the Diversity Conference has increased from past years, there is still some work to be done.

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