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Diversity Week and the Work Ahead

A note to the campus community from President John Ettling:

I appreciate all who organized and participated in Diversity Week events, including last night's keynote speaker, Angel Acosta '08. A former Student Association president, commencement speaker, and chancellor's award winner, Angel stirred emotions and drew the campus together. I thank him. 

I also want to thank Plattsburgh Cares, a local community organization that stepped up to sponsor Wednesday and Thursday night receptions on campus. The group is also going to co-sponsor the bonfire, which will be rescheduled to after spring break due to weather.

As we lean into this work, we expect and will see resistance as others colleges and communities have across the country. Early this morning, for example, some pieces of paper were found outside buildings. They attributed an offensive quote to me and called me a "racist." University Police is aware of this and has removed them. They will continue vigilant patrols of campus.

As we work together on improving our campus climate, we know some may not want us to succeed.

We will succeed.

As college leadership continues to advance steps laid out to improve our campus climate, I want to share some updates:

In reviewing college bias response-and-referral processes, we've talked with SUNY Oneonta, an institution very similar to ours. A link to their approach is here. We have invited their folks to visit and help us as we move forward in a similar vein.

The composition and charge for a Social Justice Task Force, with an early step being the identification and naming of a chair or co-chairs, is developing. I hope this is solidified over the next couple weeks.

The social justice minor and a sociology course on social justice (SOC 203) have been approved and are on the books. SOC 203 will be offered in the fall.

While there is no bonfire tonight, there are ways for the campus community to come together.

The men's basketball team will take center stage as it hosts the Nichols College Bison in the first round of the NCAA Division III tournament at 7:30 p.m. in Memorial Hall. The winner of that game will face either Union College or New Jersey City University in the next round on Saturday beginning at 7 p.m.

The women's hockey team goes for the championship in its first Northeast Women's Hockey League season against SUNY Oswego on Saturday at 3 p.m. in the Ronald B. Stafford Ice Arena.

Enjoy the weekend.

John Ettling

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