Students discuss campus inclusion at CASSL: Student Conversations

The Center for the Advancement of Staff and Student Learning at Cosumnes River College hosted its first student discussion about campus inclusion on Oct. 26.

The event was part of a discussion series lead by CASSL to promote engaging dialogue within the CRC community on various topics and issues that might be present on campus.

“This student conversation is part of the CASSL conversation series, which is intended to provide an opportunity for people across the campus to get together and have important conversations we otherwise don’t get a chance to have,” said Richard Schubert, CASSL Coordinator.

“People on campus are often so occupied by their studies, their work, class schedules, etcetera, that the conversations that might be really healthy for us to have don’t take place except in really small rooms; couple people having lunch here, having coffee there, or walking across campus,” he said.

The event, which was hosted in the Recital Hall, was filled adequately with a diverse group of students and faculty. It began with an opening from Schubert, followed by two short “Ted Talk” clips on inclusion that helped set the tone for the discussion.

When the floor was opened for dialogue, the room fell dead silent. After the first student volunteered to talk, the silence was broken and students began to engage with one another in a friendly and respectable manner.

A major topic circulating among the conversation was the disconnect between students and the campus. Students said they feel that the campus is not inclusive and is designed in a way that doesn’t allow them to congregate.

“I think it would help a lot if you could find that communal area, where you can talk to other people and make this more of a sit and stay campus rather than a just leave right away campus,” said 18-year-old English major, Marylou Alcantara.

Tedy Yohanes, a 19-year-old history major, said that he does not feel the campus is inclusive because students stick to themselves and do not engage with the campus or other students.

“I think the school’s really clicky and I don’t really think it’s super inclusive,” Yohanes said. “It isn’t a mixture of things, I feel like it’s just kind of like bubbles.”

Some students expressed their contentment with the event and thought that it was a great opportunity for students to express themselves on topics pertaining to the campus while hearing what others had to say.

“I thought the [event] was really interesting. It opened up a lot of conversation and it kind of got people out of the box of what they would normally think and how they would normally address certain situations,” said Alcantara. “I think it was a good way to meet other people and broaden your perspective.”

CASSL hopes that the open dialogue between students will bring awareness to any concerns facing CRC, while establishing ways to address them. With these talks taking place in an open forum, CASSL believes that the campus can continue to improve and progress for the betterment of the students.

“The hope is that the dialogue will make CRC a healthier place,” said Schubert.

“Participants will be able to benefit from the intellectual capital that members of our campus community have available, exchange ideas, exchange opinions and do that in an safe environment that we hope will establish a culture of constructive conflict. Hopefully, also share understanding and transparency.”

CASSL will not be hosting any more student discussions for the remainder of the quarter, but Schubert said that he hopes these events will continue on in the future.