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09/01/2014

Bias on Campus Roundtable Planned

All members of the SUNY Cortland community are invited to join College President Erik J. Bitterbaum on Wednesday, Sept. 3, for a second conversation about the campus climate, biased and hurtful language and strategies for improvement.

Faculty, staff, students and alumni are encouraged to attend the roundtable discussion from 4 to 6 p.m. in Sperry Center, Room 205. Please RSVP to either Lori Porter or Ann Cutler by Friday, Aug. 29. Classes are welcome and encouraged to attend. Faculty should indicate if they plan to bring a class.

The event will include small group discussions. Individuals who are interested in facilitating a group should contact Noelle Chaddock Paley, director of diversity, equity and inclusion.

“It is important that we create the kind of community that each of us would like to live in on our worst day,” Chaddock Paley said. “We are all responsible for how people experience SUNY Cortland.”

campus scene
The campus community works to foster diversity and inclusiveness in and outside the classroom.

Last academic year, campus members met April 21 in Sperry Center for the first conversation with Bitterbaum about the multiple bias-related incidents that had occurred on campus. Participants discussed the responses to those incidents and strategies to make the community safe, inclusive and welcoming to all current and future campus members. The gathering also presented an opportunity for individuals to voice concerns and experiences with biased and hurtful language at SUNY Cortland and to work together with administrators to prevent future incidents, educate the College community and create expectations for future cultural climate and behavior in our community.

“Respect for diversity is an essential component of academic excellence that prepares our graduates to become citizens of the greater global community,” Bitterbaum said. “As a reminder, SUNY Cortland adheres to a zero tolerance policy for use of biased and hurtful language.

“Last semester, we began a productive dialogue on ways to address this on our campus. Our gathering on Sept. 3 will be a continuation of this very important discussion.

“Please consider attending and contributing to help make SUNY Cortland a welcoming, safe and inclusive community,” Bitterbaum said.