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