On Monday night, Aaron Schwartz, Staff Assistant of the Center for Diversity, Pluralism and Inclusion (CDPI) presented to the Executive Council the proposal for the creation of a Multi-Cultural Alliance. The proposal contained preliminary outlines regarding the purpose the Multi-Cultural Alliance would serve the student body.

In response to Executive Vice President Richardson’s inquiry into the role the Mulit-Cultural Alliance would play on campus, Schwartz emphasized that his role in presenting the proposal was to offer, “hypotheses and suggestions” maintaining that the Mulit-Cultural Alliance would be organized and maintained by students and organizations.

Keeping this in mind, the function of the Multi-Cultural Alliance as Schwartz envisioned it would be, “a collaborative effort among the clubs and organizations on campus. . . The goal of this group would be to ensure that these students who feel that way have somewhere to go to feel heard – an organization or subcommittee that dedicates itself to being, not reactive, but preventative.”

The Multi-Cultural Alliance could potentially act as an intermediary organization that would encompass the various clubs and organizations on campus whose intentions all include expanding the awareness of diverse perspectives.

These clubs and organizations would be provided with the forum to collectively meet and share in the exchange of ideas. As Schwartz describes, “ [the Multi-Cultural Alliance] would coordinate the efforts of the multiple groups to make sure they are most effectively using the resources available to them.”

The creation of the Mulit-Cultural Alliance would be the next step toward the realization of the goals that the CDPI have put forward within their comprehensive diversity plan. Specifically, the goal outlined under section 2.2, it reads; “. . .the organization of multicultural organization student leaders with representatives from: The Student Association, Athletics, the recognized fraternities and sororities, honors societies, as well as various clubs and organizations (including under-represented student affinity groups) of SUNY Plattsburgh. This organization will meet monthly to: collaborate on events, pool resources, and be a proactive force for diversity & social justice on the SUNY Plattsburgh campus.”

The comprehensive diversity plan outlines a series of objectives to be occupied over three year periods between 2016 and 2019.

If the Student Association chooses to pursue the creation of the Multi-Cultural Alliance, the creation of legislation outlining in greater detail the mission statement, and functionalities would be the next step in the process.

The creation of the Multi-Cultural Alliance, if successful, would not be a first for SUNY Plattsburgh.

During the presentation, Student Association Advisor Cori Jackson requested Schwartz to provide the Executive Council an historical perspective of the Multi-Cultural Alliance’s first incarnation. Schwartz, who observed the organization during his time as an undergraduate, had the following insight, “The goals were very lofty, similar to the ones I just proposed. . . Because it was predominantly a programming board, as time went on people became less enthusiastic about it.”

He concluded frankly, “It fell apart.”

Schwartz replied in response a the hypothetic scenario where in the Student Association chooses not to pursue the creation of the proposed organization, “We would go back to the drawing board.”

Email Kyle Welling at news@cardinalpointsonline.com

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