Last Thursday, Civic Engagement, Student Association, and a panel of our peers set forth to talk about a subject that not everyone is comfortable with: Race. The objective was to open up a path of communication for people to begin to understand one another; to grasp what others think about people’s relationship with each other at SUNY Oswego.
The result was nothing short of perfect.
Students came together, asked insightful questions, and were open about making others aware of their problems and concerns, doing so with candor and respect.
Questions, asked by moderator Chris Collins-McNeil, helped to spark conversation first among panel members followed by comments and questions from the audience.
Some of the questions were tough, especially those submitted by Dr. Kenneth Marshall, professor history here at SUNY Oswego.
Dr. Marshall’s questions include,
Do you believe that racial problems exist on campus? In what context do they manifest?
What does the term diversity mean to you? Do you believe that diversity on campus is all talk and no action? How diverse do you believe SUNY Oswego’s campus is : in which areas and at what levels?
Do you believe that cultural celebrations (i.e. Black History Month and St. Patrick’s Day) serve as adequate responses to racial problems? What are the differences between “celebrating diversity” and challenging racial injustice? Which is more predominant on campus, and why?
How can diversity be tied to notions of social justice?
Again, the points made by each panel and audience member not only showed respect for others in the room, but a want to change the future of how groups of people interact on our campus.
A special thanks once again goes out to those who made the event possible starting with the panel members, Chris Collins-McNeil, Chelsea Hamlet, and, of course, to those who attended.
Leave your comments below and follow us on Twitter @SUNYOswegoCE for updates. Have event ideas? We would love to hear them. Email us at Civic@oswego.edu.