By: Samoya Peters
Canalside Chronicles Staff
Diversity can be defined as a mixture and blending of cultures, and groups in a community. It is important in the small village of Brockport that everyone gets a taste of experiences and the unique mixture that each diverse group has to offer. Many organizational leaders on the College of Brockport’s campus are opening more diverse groups and religious affiliates to educate this campus on the topic of diversity.
The growth that this historic public institution has had over the village of Brockport has created more popularly known affiliates that encouraged more diversity and inclusion in the 77.7 percent predominately white ethnic group village. Groups such as the Pagan Club educate and spread positive ideas and break the stereotypical norms of Paganism.
Mars Lee, freshman founder and president of the Pagan club at The college of Brockport strolled in with background as a Pagan and international student determined to educate and break the norm on her well known club on campus.
Lee founded the club last semester at Brockport after feeling like the village of Brockport and the college community lacked diverse religious groups and education on controversial topics such as religion.
“I founded Pagan club because I felt like there was not enough religious diversity representation in Brockport or on campus. I felt like we needed to formally establish a club and space on this campus along with clearing misconceptions and prejudices against Pagans,” said Lee. She recently organized and rallied events that help bring forth and educate students, faculty and Brockport residents about the stereotypes, misconceptions and true values of Paganism.
“We recently set up a room to tunnel oppression, we set up a room with hurtful words people said about us and in the center what we actually do and the last side actions we can take to make the community better and more diverse,” Lee said.
With more groups on the Brockport campus creating events and pitching ideas for the sake of inclusion, the college of is transforming into a place that welcomes people of every background.
Jermaine Meadows, for example, is another organization leader on campus and believes that educating and creating more diverse clubs will further impact the village for more inclusion.
Meadows, senior and president of Men of Color at the College of Brockport, said he believes his organization provides a wide spectrum of diversity by working alongside with different organizations and the Diversity Office here at the College of Brockport.
“Our club is promoting more a diverse Brockport by working with chief of diversity P.H.D. Archie and working with Brockport Student Government to get the community and students to be more involved in clubs outside their comfort zone,” Meadows said.
Meadows also organized an event called “Brockport Night Out,” which helped the community of Brockport come together with University Police to educate students on campus about safe choices. It also strove to grow a bond between University Police and students to break tension barriers.
“When we did Brockport Night Out for example, which bridged the gap between police officers and the students of color on campus, it welcomed to the whole community of Brockport and even Rochester,” Meadows also said.
The lack of diversity in Greek culture also serves as another barrier at the College at Brockport. Sophomore Chris Suarez who is the president of Lambda Sigma Upsilon Latino Fraternity Incorporated was inspired to educate and bring forth a Greek Fraternity at the college to bring the lack of representation of minority Greek life on campus.
“I started this club because I wanted to make a difference on campus… I became passionate about it,” Suarez said.
“We want to bring more diversity into Greek life there is not that much diversity in geek life by bringing a Latino fraternity we will get more people involved in Greek life who otherwise would never thought of joining it,” Suarez said.
Suarez believes his fraternity will open up new doors and provides chances to break barriers between different demographics here at the College of Brockport.
These diverse and unique clubs spread awareness and educate the college students, staff and faculty about the unique cultures and backgrounds at the College at Brockport.