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More Than Mere Dragons: We Are #RedDragonStrong

More Than Mere Dragons: We Are #RedDragonStrong


Dragons symbolize strength, courage and fortitude.

Red Dragons symbolize all of that … and much, much more.

As SUNY Cortland Red Dragons, all of us are part of a large, caring family filled with people who want us to succeed and are willing to help us over the rough patches.

All Cortland students have access to a wide variety of support programs, ranging from guidance and help with academics to counseling for emotional or mental stress. Beyond that, they are surrounded by a warm and understanding community.

When things are challenging for an individual, he or she may find that community difficult to navigate. That’s why the College started using the hashtag #reddragonstrong.

Posts to Twitter, Facebook or Instagram using #reddragonstrong help illustrate compassion, solidarity and friendship. They offer advice or promote helpful services. They celebrate the differences that make us stronger as a broader, more comprehensive tribe than we are as individuals.

“This is a collaborative effort to encourage students to thrive in all areas of their lives—from their academics to their personal health and well-being—and remind them that we are here to help and that they can be great supports to their peers,” said Carol Van Der Karr, associate provost for academic affairs. “A simple act of  kindness or concern can be a great help to someone who is facing a challenge and the success of any individual is a success for us as a community.”

The #reddragonstrong campaign is an effort by offices across campus to help strengthen our support of students and encourage students to support each other. The phrase appears on red and black wristbands, and was the subject of an email sent to all SUNY Cortland community members earlier this month by President Erik J. Bitterbaum:

“As the semester moves into full swing, I want to remind each of you that your success and well-being are the most important part of our mission as a campus. We are interested in hearing how you are doing and ready to support you!

“I want to be sure that you are finding your place at SUNY Cortland and taking advantage of all of the opportunities and resources available to you. Your RA, hall director, COR 101 teaching assistant, faculty and advisor are interested in your questions and ready to help. In addition, offices like ASAP, Advisement and Transition, and Counseling Services offer support on a wide range of issues. We are excited to see many of you using the Student Life Center and participating in events on campus and we encourage everyone to explore a new activity or club. For an overview of all services, visit the Guide to Student Success online.

“As a Red Dragon, never underestimate the value of your support to your peers. Offering friendship, collaboration or kindness is often the key to helping someone through a challenge. You can be the turning point in someone’s day with a thoughtful word and you can offer the advice that helps someone get the help they deserve. Our success as individuals is tied to our capacity to be a caring and supportive community where we can each thrive and together we are #reddragonstrong!

“I look forward to seeing your #reddragonstrong posts on social media to inspire each other to achieve and celebrate the everyday successes, big and small, that make us great.”