Buzz Report: A student’s perspective on Convocation Day and racial injustice

SUNY Broome was founded in 1946, making it 70 years old today. However, these past two years are different from every other year before. We owe this to the construction of our very own Student Village.

As a result, the institution has received an influx of different cultures – one that many people were prepared for. However, the efforts being made to grow and cater to our wonderfully diverse campus are starting to become more apparent.

This year’s Convocation Day marked a big step in creating an inclusive environment, leaving both commuters and Student Village residents interested and satisfied with the many discussions brought up during the day’s events. Convocation Day was centered around race, with great presenters such as Sut Jhally and a memorable film by Tim Wise. The events did a good job educating everyone about the very apparent racial issues still happening in America today, while leaving space for numerous healthy discussions.

While every event was informative, my favorite was the film screening featuring Tim Wise’s White Like Me: Race, Racism & White Privilege in America, which educated students and faculty alike about the racism, white privilege and color blindness occurring in America.

The room completely filled with a mixture of faculty, teachers and students. We sat together as we watched a film that was able to touch everybody, including myself on a very personal level. A speech delivered before the film began addressed our now-diverse campus, showing that Student Village residents are as much a part of the campus as other students.

The movie was informative, entertaining and extremely thought-provoking. Although my family is of primarily Spanish descent, my grandfather was in fact African, segregated even when serving in World War II; my father and mother are no strangers to racism. As well as my peers, I watched this movie and felt a wave of sorrow — for the victims of slavery to the current victims of racism from our very own government.

I also felt grateful for our nation’s future, which included the people there in that very room, watching that film and seeing all the injustices of the world raw and uncut before our eyes; for most of us, it wasn’t the first time seeing that injustice. This day meant a lot to many people — the fact that we are being awakened, and starting to take the steps we need to stop racial injustice.

Buzz reporter Samantha Figueroa is a SUNY Broome student.

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