Friday, May 6, 2016

CHARGE: End Of The Year Reflection

I first got hired to Residential Life as a CHARGE Assistant, almost three years ago. I worked with amazing ladies who always used to say "once a CHARGE, always a CHARGE." I didnt grasp the meaning of that statement till I came back as a CHARGE Peer Educator the past year after being a Resident Assistant for a year. Dont get me wrong, I loved being a RA; I met so many people through this almost 3 year course in Residential Life. But once I came back as a CPE, it felt like home. Even though everything was different this time, from protocols to coworkers to supervisor, it still felt like the place I belonged.
Being a CPE this past year, I was able to engage with my peers in a more personal level by hosting dialogues and programs. This past semester especially, I have hosted three dialogues and programs that was so important. My favorite was the dialogue that I hosted with CPE Kadeija, on Microaggression. It was a very raw dialogue where our peers expressed the amount of microaggressions they continue to face. It was successful not only because we were providing our audience with the educational information but the fact that everyone in the room was educating each other by sharing their stories.
Dialogue: Above Microaggression

The past semesters, I was also invited to collaborate in programs with the HM's of the University Apartment staff. This semester, I took part in their program of "Behind Closed Doors" where I hosted "Paint for Hope" portion of the program. The event was hosted in hopes of bringing awareness of domestic violence.

Last but not least, the last program that I hosted was " Pay what you get paid" bakesale. It is very different to host a bakesale as a program. But this bakesale in collaboration of CPE Vanessa and I was hosted to bring awareness of the large wage gap that continues to exists, based on gender and race.

Paint for Hope
This sale was hosted in Alumni Quad (thank you CPE Carmel). The bakesale started a lot of conversation about the wage gap; some for and against it. Some peers refused to pay us their $1 for a cupcake because they saw that other races and genders were paying much less. They were definitely shocked when we explained the reasoning behind the prices.
Pay what you get bakesale

To end the year off, CHARGE in collaboration with MSRC hosted our
banquet style event "We are
CHARGE." This event celebrated what CHARGE is and what we do! It was an amazing collaboration with lots of audience, performances and good food. I think this event truly reflected what our small but mighty group can accomplish!

End of the Year Program
Being a CPE is all about educating others through bringing awareness to issues that are much easier to avoid. I have truly enjoyed my time as a CPE! Though I will be graduating this upcoming week, I do believe that the CHARGE Peer Educator program is in great hands and I know it will achieve many more success in the future. I will miss my CPE's and our supervisor!

With much love,
CPE Faerie Akhter

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

CHARGE End of the Year Reflection

Although I just started working for the CHARGE program, this initiative is something that already holds a special place in my heart. The first dialogue that I hosted with CPE Vanessa was called #After911 and this was an insightful experience because of how I was able to walk away knowing that when students are engaged, its amazing how different ideas flow and really build a conversation. The end of the year CHARGE event was also a program that I really enjoyed because of how all the CPE's were able to collaborate and create a truly meaningful event. Everyone who was present, definitely walked away with greater knowledge on what CHARGE really is and why our mission is so imperative for the campus community.
I look forward to being a CPE next year and making the end of the year CHARGE event bigger and better than it already was! There is so much potential that CHARGE has and with the right outreach I can't wait to see what next semester will bring!

Until next time,
CPE Subha, Colonial Quad

CHARGE comes to an end

The CHARGE program for the 2015-2016 is coming to a close and it is bittersweet. It is bitter because some of the CPE are graduating and leaving the CHARGE programs. It is sweet because they are graduating and moving to the next step of their lives. But this year had more ups than downs. There was a chance taken on me and I took full advantage of it. If I had to give advice to anyone coming into CHARGE or anyone that gets a 2nd or even 3rd chance: Take advantage of it. Prove people wrong. Prove it to yourself. I came in with my reputation slandered because of a semester of work or non work. But I was able to come into my own under the CHARGE program and I thank Leiry for taking a chance on ya boy.

My favorite program is the program that myself and Kadeija hosted called "The real Negus". It was about the history and usage of the N word whether it is with ER or A or GUS. The reason why it is my favorite program because my fraternal brother came and spoke about the history with citations and receipts that he brought to his professors at Stony Brook university. Just hearing the breakdown of the word and history enlightened me. It wasn't he said or she said. It was facts and that caused me to stop my usage of the N-word. CHARGE is known for programs like this and that is why I love being CHARGE. We were able to bring that to the school and those who attended. When you come to a CHARGE program you know will learn something.

-Simba Ravilus

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

CHARGE End of 2016 for Alumni

Spring 2016 has been a very C.H.A.R.G.E semester on Alumni Quad!!!! We have done so many initiatives on all topics C.H.A.R.G.E to educate the Alumni Quad community on the culture and life around them. C.H.A.R.G.E CHATS was a great success and a great way to familiarize myself with all of the residents in the different buildings of Alumni. It was amazing to see residents repeatedly show up to the programs on the different nights. The first program, Chinese New Year, was educational and fun for all of the students that attended. Working with Resident Assistant Hui Lin is always a great time because of her cultural background and exciting personality. Although I did many programs, including two large scale committee programs, my favorite program was Vagina Dialogues in conjunction with the Pay What You Get Paid program done by CPE Vanessa and CPE Faerie. It was highly responsive and approximately 60 residents participated in the dialogue. I enjoyed collaborating with both CPEs to put together a great dialogue. You know students really enjoy a program when they stay after for another hour to continue discussing what we were talking about in the program. Engaging students make CHARGE programs successful. Shout out to all of those dedicated students. This semester in CHARGE was very successful. We were organized, put together, and strong. We really had each others' backs and helped one another complete programs. No semester is ever easy and this one was one for the books. With our lack of funding, we were still able to get students to come out and enjoy our programs. That's impressive. I am so proud of our first ever end of the year WE ARE C.H.A.R.G.E program. There were hiccups, but it was smooth and enjoyable. Probably one of the best C.H.A.R.G.E experiences ever. If I had to leave anything behind for the peer educators, it would be to stay receptive and open. This position works best when someone can be like that and focus on teamwork. WE ARE C.H.A.R.G.E AND WE ARE A FAMILY.


CPE Carmel Joseph of Alumni Quad

Monday, May 2, 2016

End of year Spring 2016

This Semester has been pretty Charge'D up . With countless amounts of different programs as well as supporting other programs there was plenty to do. This semester ended with a bang as we successfully pulled off our first large end of the year program centered all around awareness and giving people a night in CHARGE. The experience of this semester was honestly unlike any other the programs we honested, dialogues that made a large impact and truly starting to make a footprint on this campus. My favorite program this Semester was the end of the year program "Charge'D for change" I truly enjoyed this program because of the perseverance and the way it all came together. This program was thoughtfully assembled and truly embodied every piece that makes us charge and that supports what we do. In future years, I do know that with more time and truly more resources available to us this will continue to be one of the most memorable nights for charge and for those who get impacted by our events. Being a peer educator myself seeing the program come to light was moving for myself  is the least I can say. Keep being #CHARGE'Dforchange!

- CPE Vanessa

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Diversity Conference

The Diversity conference was hosted on February 27th in SUNY Oneonta. It was a conference where there was different workshops and speakers. One speaker was an actor that acted out different characters such as "in the closet" football player or a girl that was visiting a therapist. Then it was broken up into workshop as mentioned before. I went to a Beyonce and Yik Yak seminar where I learned about different experiences of Yik Yak on their campuses and it was very insightful. Also There was a workshop about mentorship that was really for the students at that university. Then we had another speaker, then a play on different events in life, and the conference ended. If the conference was brought to the university at Albany, I would suggest that all the programs are universal. Universal meaning that if someone from an outside school chooses to go to that workshop. But other than that the workshop was great and I hope that it is brought to the university with invitation from different schools.

CPE Simba Ravilus

Friday, March 25, 2016

Introducing CPE Subha Tasnim

Hi everyone! My name is Subha Tasnim and I am the CPE for Colonial Quad! I am a first year student majoring in Political Science and Criminal Justice with minors in Sociology and Homeland Security. I also serve as senator at large for the Student Association and am a brother of Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity International. As a Charge Peer Educator I am extremely excited to raise awareness to issues that are prevalent in today's society but overlooked due to societal norms and stigmas. I look forward to helping the students here at UAlbany realize the importance of diversity and inclusion of every type of person regardless of their gender, sexual, cultural, or religious differences.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Rise with Refugees


Last Week CHARGE was invited to table in LC's by Peace Action to raise awareness regarding refugees, the event was able to educate me on the issue at hand and how impactful this truly is. The most present issue is the matter of syrian refugees and whether or not America should allow these refugees into the country. Even though I am not well versed on the topic one conclusion I was able to settle on is that If people need help, then we should help. I know the matter may not be as black and white as I would love to make it but, if you see someone who was injured on the floor I would hope the inate reaction would be to help. If someone was being threatened, I would hope the first reaction would be get them some help, or call the cops. I see the same thought processes on the matter of refugees they are living in a dangerous place where even their lives are at risk. If calling the cops is offering them selter in the United States I would love to urge this country to open those doors, offer them selter. Even though there may be challenges posed in this, I believe if we set a goal we can all find a way to make it work.

Thinking Optimistically,
CPE Vanessa

Rise With Refugees

Couple of days ago, CHARGE Peer Educators were invited to table alongside with Peace Action for Refugee Visibility Day, an initiative that is part of the Rise With Refugees Campaign. The invitation to this program really got me into thinking about all the events that has been happening surrounding refugees. Refugees are a group of people who had to leave their own land due to difficult circumstances (ie, wars/attacks) and move to another country for a better shot at life.

Lately, there has been a lot of talk about whether or not United States should be letting Syrian refugees in to the states and provide them with homes. I have read many comments, articles and blogs that provide the pros and cons of having refugee in the states. The balance for whether or not to have the refugees in the states tended to tilt more towards the negative.

I think one of the many fears this country faces is the fear of letting someone from the terrorist groups into our land, by mistake. They are to house the terrorist in our native land and destroying our country from within. Due to this frightful thought, many of us forget about all the children and families that are in dire need of a shelter. So many innocent children and families are getting attacked on a daily basis because of the conflicting political party of their countries. It is important for us to see both sides of the argument before choosing a side. It is important that we rise with the refugees who have already resided in the states instead of isolating them. It is important that we show kindness and compassion and provide a helping hand to those  who is in need of one. It is important that we educate ourselves, our children, our friends and family before we jump into any conclusions.

Thank you Peace Action for allowing us be part of such a great event, for allowing us to go that extra mile and think about what it means to be refugee and how we can help make lives better for other humans.

CPE Faerie Akhter, University Apartments

Monday, March 7, 2016


Dear Black Girls of UAlbany,

I hope that you feel the equality that is perpetuated on this campus. Even though some intrinsically embedded racism still lies in the hearts of individuals, I pray that like our ancestors in the past we can overcome this as well. With the incident that occurred on campus, I know many felt hurt, scared, and even upset.  As light has begun to shed on the incident I  can understand many still feel hurt, scared and upset. I write this letter to let you know that any feelings that you have felt are valid and true. I believe the true underlying issue here is the pain and discrimination that we may have all felt at one point or another for the color of your skin. Potentially being mocked that "she got a weave, that ain't her hair" or "black girls always ready to fight". These are legitimate stereotypes and stigmas that are taken upon our society that we live in. I do not sit here permeating support for those who may or may not have spoken untrue stories, but I do sit here supporting black girls all over as we are looked at as violent, lowest on totem pole, and constantly held back from achieving more. My one word of advice is Rise above and keep rising. Those who wish us to fail will only ever be silenced by success. So, to my beautiful Black Girls do not fear to love yourself, do not fear your own potential, and do not fear imagination that is beyond this world. Be Simply Amazing.

Your Truly,
C.P.E Vanessa

#RISEwithREFUGEES Alumni Quad Edition

A refugee is defined as a person who has been forced to leave their country to escape war, persecution, or natural disaster. This picture resonates with me in many ways because refugees never get a choice. Their only options are remain and risk death or flee to some type of safety. Many of them have families and loved ones that they want to protect, so leaving becomes the only option. 

Alumni Quad is made up of transfer and international students of many different backgrounds, experiences, and cultures. The diversity on Alumni Quad opens my eyes to the different types of lifestyles and experiences of these students. Their personal stories about how their parents or family members were refugees truly touch my heart. They flee from genocide, discrimination, or indiscriminate attacks in their country of origin.  

In this day and age, more and more people are being uprooted from their homes, lives, and countries of origin due to the mass violence and terror. Refugees come from all around the globe. It is not a problem for one section of the world. We have refugees from Africa, Asia, Europe, and South America. It is a global issue that plagues the lives of these refugees and their families. Even after they come to a new country, like the United States, refugees still find difficulties that they must overcome. For example, there is a language barrier and they must adjust to Western culture. In addition to the physical adjustment to a new country, the refugees battle mental afflictions from the horrors and injustices they have witnessed. 

Refugee centers around the country, and those especially in Albany, NY, try their best help them assimilate and adjust to this new kind of lifestyle. 

CPE Carmel Joseph of Alumni Quad 


My experience of the rise with refugee was different experience because I did some community service with refugees before in the Albany area. I was able to learn new things about why the Syrians are refugees in the first place. Another thing that was important was knocking down the negative stereotype of being a refugee. They aren’t dangerous and that they go through an intense screening process in order to be allowed into the country. These are the type of information that was passed on to the students. Overall it was a good event and I thank the Michelle for inviting us.

-CPE Karl Simba Ravilus


"The most disrespected woman in America, is the black woman. The most un-protected person in America is the black woman. The most neglected person in America, is the black woman"  Our black shining black prince El Hajj Malik El Shabazz said this quote. This part of the speech was said over 50 years ago and unfortunately it is extremely relevant today. The rally was definitely needed on campus to seen across the nation. Even with all the uncertainty surrounding this current incident and the video not yet being released, it is a well needed conversation. In some instances women are taken seriously and then when it gets analyzed black women are truly not taken seriously. When they take a stand they are stigmatized as angry black woman or the B- Word but in reality they just want to be respected. They want equity. Black women are always to defend black men when in some situations the action is not mutual. During the rally I was there to be an ally, I was there to show that I could be there without having to speak to provide some sort of validation.
-CPE Karl Simba Ravilus

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Reflection on Fall '15

Having this be my third Semester being a Peer Educator at UAlbany in looking back on the Semester at a glance it was an amazing Semester of educating others. By having the Lave Hate Behind take place on Indian Quad brought out an array of varying emotions and realization. Students were at times in awe with the realization that some terms that were written on the door were considered hate to another individual. Going further into the Semester we celebrated our CHARGE open house which was titled Charge'D Up and it truly was. Performance by Phenomenal Voices was held in which powerful poems and songs were spoken and sang that impacted others. Comments from attendees were "this is really amazing" and "Please invite us to your next program" and so on and so forth.

Leading into our 3 amazing dialogues, I co-facilitated the dialogue with my colleague Kadeija Brown named "It's my Little Secret" which was a conversation on STD disclosure focusing in on the legal and moral aspects of disclosure and even walking through scenarios in which individuals had to walk through disclosing a "disease" they were diagnosed with. The dialogue began with background information of true stories depicting events in which this occurred. Guest were asked to share personal opinions and reasoning behind their thoughts. After the information was given the guest were handed random envelopes containing slips of paper then asked to randomly swap 3 of the slips in their envelope with another individual. Following this they were asked to look into the envelope and see if they had "caught" a disease and then were asked to walk the crowd through the conversation with another partner. The program shed light on maybe the minority in this conversation were everyone was ready to judge those for keeping a secret it allowed other some insight as to what it was like to walk in the shoes of that individual and the hard decisions that need to be made.

I believe the past semester made an impact and its one that i truly believe needs to continue into further semesters to come.
C.P.E Vanessa Jean

CHARGE semester

My semester in review with CHARGE, it was CHARGE'd up. This past semester was one of my favorite semester on residential life. One of the major reasons is because of my CHARGE team. From getting to know them on a personal level at the MSAC retreat to now. The next event that memorable for me as a peer educator is the check your privilege program with CPE Michelle. It was eye opening to hear other people experiences, especially the black women. Another program that I had and I thought was different was CHARGE Talk. That was a smaller version of Ted talk. It was a powerful moment because the people that was there was under-privileged people: women. More specifically white and black women. It showed me who cares and it also showed me how I could improve as a CPE. The last thing I want to mention is that as a CPE you could truly help people learn about what they are saying is wrong. What I mean by that is on my quad if someone says something that is inappropriate the caption that is said is that's not charge. Love the position and you will never want to leave.

"Sticks in a bundle are unbreakable" - Bondei Proverb

A big welcome back to the Spring 2016 semester! A lot has happened in the last couple of weeks that has already put our University in the light of the media in a national level. Three African American girls have claimed to being attacked by 10-12 White students in the bus just the past weekend. The investigation is still going on and we have yet to find more in depth about this issue. However, the focus right now should be on ways we can make a difference to end this injustice from this point on. The question we should asking ourselves is, how can we as peers of this University help create a better, more safer environment for everyone around us? How can we take charge of our actions and words and contribute to our university in a more positive way? How can we help towards ending injustice?

The first step to this would be for us peers to start having dialogues about the issues close to us. Many of us shy away from expressing ourselves because we fear judgement. However, you just never know who might be having the exact thoughts as you. As a CHARGE Peer Educator and a part of this community, I invite you to our office, our safe place to come and have a dialogue with us. Tell us how you feel and what you think can help create a better environment for our University! Yesterday (2/1) I saw our community come in an unison to support the girls that were attacked. It was refreshing and empowering to see people of different walks of life come together and defend our black women. I know that the only way to end injustice is to empower and rise as a group, a whole for a common cause. I think that if we stand up for causes as a group, take the time to educate and inform others, we can accomplish (as well as prevent) many things! So my peers, I invite you to come together with us and make a change on campus for in a way that will shine a better and brighter light on our campus but this time, more positively!

                                                           Sincerely, CPE Faerie

#DefendBlackGirlsUAlbany Movement on Alumni Quad


It is no surprise that racism is still alive and well in 2016. The behavior of the few have constituted a revival of the old. Movements based on race emerged throughout 2015, the most common being the Black Lives Matter Movement. Anyone that identified as African American or Black, was touched by the events that occurred beginning with police brutalities. The tragedy that struck UAlbany on January 30th shook the university. Three African American girls claimed that they were attacked by a group on 10-12 White students on the 11 bus, heading towards campus. As the CHARGE Peer Educator of a highly diverse quad, a sense of panic seemed to fill the air with whispers at every table in the Dining Hall. Everyone was fearful of speaking of the events that had occurred, no less at the eve of Black History Month. Questions left and right are brought up in hushed conversations and assumptions were made. 

Clear facts of the whole situation were not entirely brought to light. The fear for Alumni was in the diversity of the quad. If this tragedy has taught us anything, it is that diversity does not equal inclusion. I can understand the need for safety because a female that identifies as Black, it was a little nerve-racking stepping onto an 11 bus to head uptown. You just never know. Any information that has come to light in recent days should not negate the fact that at the end of the day, 3 girls were beaten so bad that they had to go to the hospital to get checked out. Racially motivated or just an act of violence, does not stop the idea that this environment became unsafe. I did not attend the rally because I personally felt that it was premature and too hasty of a tactic without enough information on the table to present. Black women carry the double jeopardy of life by having race and gender against them in this society. This circumstance should not be taken lightly given the current state of nation on a racial level.

Signed, C.P.E Carmel Joseph of Alumni Quad