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Black Studies: Building on a Proud Tradition

Admission Dean meets Black Studies Student Org

Dean of Admission meets with Black Studies Student Organization

SUNY New Paltz Dean of Admission Lisa Jones met with student representatives of the Black Studies Student Organization (BSSO) on Dec. 15. The students presented Jones with a list of proposals they believe will help recruit more students of color to New Paltz, strengthen the Black Studies Department, and enhance the experience, in and out of the classroom, of all New Paltz students.

A complete list of the BSSO representatives’ proposals is below. In meeting with the students, Jones advised them that some of the ideas they brought to the table have already been approved and are in progress. For example, the Office of Admission is building a strategy for more recruitment in the five boroughs of New York City. Jones vowed to bring other proposals to the attention of the appropriate administrators, faculty and staff for further consideration.

  • The students expressed an interest in the recruitment and admission process. They would like to create a student taskforce that can assist in the recruitment of students of color, primarily Black students. The students asked that the members of this taskforce be invited to accompany Admission representatives on visits to the high schools.
  • The students expressed interest in establishing ways for the BSSO and other student groups to sponsor more groups of high school students to visit SUNY New Paltz.
  • The students proposed the establishment of a “Men of Color” group of students who will serve as exemplars to their peers and help in recruiting students of color by sponsoring group visits to and from high schools.
  • The students asked that a workshop on “Diversity and Race” be added to the Orientation agenda, to expose all incoming students to diversity issues and the challenges faced on college campuses by traditionally underrepresented groups.
  • The students proposed the following changes to the New Paltz website: that the College produce more videos or articles on Facebook and other social media dealing with the Black Studies Department; that the website for the Black Studies Department be featured more prominently online; that alumni of the Department and alumni of color across all majors be listed online; and that a list of academic majors and departments contributing to campus diversity be created.
  • The students asked that faculty encourage student participation in Black Solidarity Day by not scheduling exams or assignments on that day.
  • The students asked about the possibility of the College establishing scholarships for students of color.