Through the semester, many class discussions centered around ideas about the hardships minorities face in today’s society, as well as throughout history. But when faced with these issues, how does one react? How does our school provide the tools to encounter hate crimes and oppression?
D.I.C.E., or a Diversity and Exclusivity Community Educator, is one way SUNY Geneseo aids in the response to hate against minority groups within our community. DICE comes from the Office of Diversity and Equity and describes their mission as “broadening understanding, heighten awareness, awaken empathy, and foster empowerment of all individuals”. Workshops are taught by DICE facilitators in efforts to produce progressive conversations about events happening on our campus. Current events occurring in Geneseo surrounding minority groups, show why this department is necessary.
Another program our university offers is AOP, or Access Opportunity Programs. Established as a way to allow students reflecting the ethnic and cultural diversity in NY to obtain access to a college education. Accepted students come to Geneseo early in the summer to earn three credits while being mentored in campus involvement with faculty assistance. By providing mentorship and tutoring, the students within this program often perform well once the school year begins. AOP is a way a college education is obtainable for minority students, first-generation college students, and students from identified low-income and/or rural areas.
Sadly, Geneseo is not the only college facing issues against minorities. The Anti-Defamation League documented 107 incidents of hate or bias during the 2016-17 academic year. With incidents occurring at an increasing rate, many wonder how universities can react productively. Programs like DICE and AOP often alleviate situations by providing a safe area to discuss concerns. Geneseo recognizes that not everyone has equal opportunities towards academics, and programs provide a more level playing field for incoming students. This is why Geneseo’s organizations are so vital in their mission to continuously assist minorities in their access to education.