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