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UAlbany Students Take Lead for Critical Conversation, April 18

The critical conversations series encourages dialogue on important issues impacting the University community. (Photo Mark Schmidt)

ALBANY, N.Y. (April 15, 2016) -- Building on the foundation of President Robert J. Jones’ Critical Conversations series, the University at Albany Student Association Inc. is taking the lead on the next dialogue on issues of diversity and engagement. The event will be similar in structure to President Jones’ March 9 forum, in which students met with faculty and staff in smaller, informal discussion groups.

On Monday, April 18, SA President Jarius Jemmott and Chief of Staff Beny Poy will host a panel of student group leaders for a conversation on the role of students in community building on campus through a thoughtful, inclusive process. The event is called ‘Inclusion through Our Eyes: A Discussion about Social Justice Amongst Students and Faculty’. It will be held in the Campus Center Ballroom beginning at 5:45 p.m.

In addition to students, the Student Association is inviting faculty and staff, including the University Police Department (UPD) and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, along with University leadership to take part in the discussion. Faculty members are urged to participate in this very important dialogue.

"Our goal with this program is to get students to take on a more active role, and engage in a dialogue about diversity with faculty, UPD and staff rather the other way around," said Jemmott.

The Student Association critical conversation event will have student group leaders facilitating at each table with key questions about diversity. There will also be a panel very similar to the first critical conversation, but composed of student leaders.

"What we want to gain from this is the awareness of how important diversity is from the student perspective," said Poy. "It’s great that the University has shown it supports this important dialogue, but it’s up to the students to take the lead and share their ideas."

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A comprehensive public research university, the University at Albany offers more than 120 undergraduate majors and minors and 125 master's, doctoral, and graduate certificate programs. UAlbany is a leader among all New York State colleges and universities in such diverse fields as atmospheric and environmental sciences, business, criminal justice, emergency preparedness, engineering and applied sciences, informatics, public administration, social welfare, and sociology taught by an extensive roster of faculty experts. It also offers expanded academic and research opportunities for students through an affiliation with Albany Law School. With a curriculum enhanced by 600 study-abroad opportunities, UAlbany launches great careers.