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Inside the Margins
Inside the Margins

Episode 8 · 2 years ago

Diversity Dilemma at The College at Brockport

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

On This episode Patti Singer from the Minority Reporter delivers today's headline news plus Patti and Matt dive in to the diversity dilemma at the College At Brockport.

Marginalized groups can be the target of negative beliefs, behaviors or judgments from others. On this show we seek out marginalized voices and perspectives and tackle some of the conflicts and issues these groups face. Now is the time to have your voice heard. This is inside the margins with your host Matt Wilson. Hello and welcome to this edition of inside the margins. I'm your host, Matt Wilson. Well, Brockport has certainly been in the news a lot recently. Almost all the major networks you can see reports of what's happening and also the protests that these students are doing there, and we're going to dive into that a little deeper today. You know, I am a person who has been at brought port for a while, student there, my brother was a student there, I have a lot of relatives we've been there, so it's it's kind of a close story to me. So I kind of want to touch on some of that with good person here to talk about that with. Who's also going to bring us the headline news today. It's patty singer for the minority report of Patty. Hey, matt, thanks appreciate it. So the city of Rochester has honored one of Rochester's finest athletes by renaming a recreation center in his his name and the name of his wife. The Clinton Baden our center was renamed the Trenton and Pamela Jackson Clinton didn't Clinton Bay in our center and a ceremony on February thirteen. Trent Jackson is a former Olympian. He returned home, he worked with Youth in the Rochester City School district. A coached and he mentored thousands of young people and the name of Trent Jackson and his wife is now on a very popular and very busy our center in Rochester. The Women's Council of the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce will be honoring young women of Distinction. A two five hundred scholarship is on the line for for finalists and the twenty annual young women of Distinction Award. This is for young women who are high school seniors throughout the Rochester area and for people who are interested in applying to that, I'll go slow on this one for you. It is rock women's Council, ROC WOMENS COUNCIL DOT ORG. W E shows me why wod application form and you can get that in this week's minority reporter. Again. High School Seniors are eligible. Female High School Seniors are eligible for that. After what she called a painful two months, Monroe County Republican legislator Carlo Boyce is leading a repeal of the anti harassment bill. Boys, who had led the effort to pass the bill on February a thirteen, announced...

...a bipartisan effort to wipe it from the books. Democratic minority leader Vince felder is the CO sponsor. Boy said at a news conference that sometimes you don't know what you don't know until you look through somebody else's Lens. You have to look at your heart and do what you believe is right. The bill, which would have made it a crime to harass or annoy a police officer or first responder, was criticized the moment that it was signed. It was called vague and unconstitutional. It will have to go through a committee process and will be voted on in March by the full legislature to delete that bill. And now there are five candidates for the one hundred and thirty seven assembly seat which had been held by David Gant for decades. The demand meeks from ninety nine. Siu announced his candidacy recently and he joins other declared candidates Ernest flaggler and Lewis, Sylvano or see and Natalie Shepherd. Other candidates still may emerge and the time for beginning to collect signatures to be on the ballot starts on February twenty five and the primary is in June. Or report that was commissioned in the fall at the college at Brockport has found, quote, some serious, rather troubling developments regarding diversity at the college at just makes the situation at the college at Brockpart Brockport more complex. Recently the police chief called a former colleague of housted diversity officer Siface Archie, and the police chief, once that was out, was told to stop that inquiry by the president, Heidi McPherson. The report commissioned in the fall came before archie was let go and it found what the author called troubling developments. President Heidie McPherson is beginning her response to that report by announcing to students that she is committed to change and she is listting some actions, steps that she will be taking in the coming weeks and months in the opinions and editorials of minority reporter, Rebecca Johnson, calls for leaving the bail reform law as it is. She is quoting the Center for governmental research in saying that bail reform is can be an effective alternative to in concert incarceration programs and it affects policies that are aimed at those who would otherwise have been detained in jail while awaiting adjudication of their cases. Bill reform is part of a more comprehensive criminal justice reform that also changes the rules for when law enforcement and district attorneys need to turn over, what's called discovery, all the evidence that will be for a trial. Dr E F a Williams, who was president of the National Congress of Black Women, is talking about the parallel using effect of fear and she is saying that we should not become...

...paralyzed and do nothing in the current political climate because somebody thinks we're going to stay home and don't believe that the black vote can get a new occupant in the White House. She is calling for black voters to go forward courageously doing all the things that we can do, she says, to win an election that brings about justice. And those are the headlines and key stories from this week's minority reporter. I'm patty singer. Matt. Thank you, Patty, and just real quick before we get into what we want to talk and talk about today. If people want to submit suggestions or questions to the minority reporter or if they want to subscribe to the minority reporter, how would they go about doing that? To subscribe, just go to our website, minority reporter Dotnet, and you will get the pop up that will help you subscribe to our weekly updates and also on that home page they'll be ways for you, place for you to subscribe to the publication and also, if you want to contact us, you can send an email to editor at minority reporter DOTNET. As always, we appreciate your support. Thank you so much, patty singer. Coming up, patty is not going anywhere. We are going to dive in to this topic of diversity at Brockport. So there's a lot going on. If you haven't seen the news, it's been all over it. When we're going to just kind of jump into that after this break. This is Matt Wilson and this is inside the merchants will be right back. Do you have a topic that you would like to discussed on inside the margins? We would love to hear from you. Please send your thoughts, comments or questions to inside margins at gmailcom. All right, welcome back to inside the margins. I am your host, Matt Wilson. So, as I was discussing earlier, I did get my bachelor's from the College at Brockport. I'm also currently a student there for my master's. My brother's gone there, I have cousins and uncle's. That college has a lot of history in my family history. So news like this is always a little troubling and disturbing if this is an actual issue. Again, we don't really know what really is going on, but it's a lot of news about this and patty singer from the minority reporter and I are going to kind of discuss this and kind of try to wrap our heads around what's going on. So, Patty I we were talking offline and you've seen that the president of brick port has sent out a lot of different emails kind of talking about the steps are going to take moving forward to ensure that everyone gets heard and feels welcome and included into the college. Do you think that that is what the actual problem is, or does it more stem around the actual release of Dr Archie? Well, this two things going on that the world's have collided here. Let me let me back up. First, full, full disclosure. Sure, I also have a masters from brockport in the late s and I was an adjunct instructor there from from...

...two thousand and four to two thousand and fourteen. I no longer have any ties with the college but again, in the interest of full disclosure, I was. I got an education there and I taught there. So, that being said, here we go. Now put the minority reporter, reporter hat on. We go. So there's two things going on here. There was a report commissioned in the fall this the report came was done in the fall. I don't know that a lot of people knew about it being done at that time. According to the report, was done by Curtis Lloyd Associates and what he did, and give you a little bit of background on this, over a threeday period he his company associates, whether it was him or somebody else, talked with twenty seven members of the campus community, including the president, five Vice Presidents, twelve directors of program leaders, seven faculty members, including you, up professional staff union and you up and to support staffers. So again the hierarchy, the president to support staff. It didn't appear that, at least from this report, students were talked to or student representatives were were spoken to. It does not appear to be that way. Anyway. This is done on the fall. I don't know that anybody he really hears about this report until a week or so ago. Now the report is released. Now we have chief is archie having been dismissed in January. I think I think people may be putting these two things together and they appear at this point to be separate. We have a report, it's done, it's turned in, nobody hears about this. Dr Archie is released. Now we have a report released, boom right. Is Is this adding more confusion, more complexity to this? So I'm not a Labor lawyer but in my experience when someone is released from employment, I think there are legal protections around that. So, Matt, you or I are let go from our jobs. It really I don't know that there's an obligation or the maybe legal protections that say we think nobody can say why? Right, that's, in my opinion, not helping right now, because people are very upset about this, doctor, aren't you? Obviously was a respected person on the brockport campus. You appears to have been a respected person at Houston community college because a colleague who was contacted by the brockport police chief there said, hey, he was respected. If you're looking for something on my I can't help you. We were collegial there. Nothing is coming up, and yet a person was released seemingly out of the blue. All that does in a the social media age is fuel wild speculation which, again, in my opinion, is not fair to any...

...of the people involved. It is not a Dr Archie, it is not fair to the college, it is not fair to who his bosses were. But if there are legal impediments comes to mine, I don't think that's the right word. Legal constraints is to what can be said. We Are we are left to our imagination. As we know, in a social media age that is not a healthy thing. Right, right, it's very dangerous and I totally agree with that. I've I have in the past few careers before this one. I was released. Also wasn't really a behavioral issue anything. But I was released and I was also told, though, if you know, you can still use this for reference, because all we're going to do is tell you, tell them what you did. You know that you worked here for it's just verification of employment. Again, I wasn't let go for any bad reason you like that. It was just companies was making budget cuts. But still they don't go into detail about why or what happened. They just say that, yes, from this from this time frame to this time frame, this person was employed here. And I think you're right, there are legal ramifications to them that can be felt, you know, by the person will release may take action if that kind of information is divulged, you don't put out to other people. That being said, you're absolutely right. The problem is that seemingly a person who was well beloved in the College, was well beloved at the job prior to this job and was well respected by the students and staff that he worked at, was all the sudden just let go. And when people can't see or grasp or see any trend, sometimes you can see when someone's not good at what they do. So, even if they don't really say what happened, you can kind of you kind of can tell why that person was released. Yeah, this guy was kind of a bad apple. You could you could just sense something was going on, but it just seems like this person wasn't a bad person or wasn't doing anything bad. So because you don't actually know why he was let go, I think everyone's imaginations run rampant and everyone's having their own ideas of why he was releasing. That is what is causing this problem. I yes, and also when someone hires a lawyer, with someone seeks, you know, an attorney, there's this perception in the public that they're going to sue. So I had a conversation with with Dr Archie's attorney and I and I that's what I that's what I said. That's what I said to my said, you know, this is perception from outsiders, from people like me, the things if you, if you, if you have a lawyer, you're going to sue. And this person said, no, we do a lot of employment law, of both for employers and employees. We get a lot of questions about employment law, things like that, and he said, at this point, there's I said, so when will the lawsuit be filed? He said there would. That's not discussed. There, there's there isn't one right right now it's not so so there's so again. That is the public is left with a lot of questions. Doubt, Matt when you're Lego from your job, it's a private employer. It's unfortunnate you're Lego from your job. But they're...

...no, they're not taxpayer dollars involved in that necessarily right, exactly. So the fact that this is a public institution, how does that? What ingredient does that add to the soup that then get stirred up? Yeah, no, that's a that's a very good point. So I guess. I guess I would ask you a question as someone held like like legal off it's not legal office, like a mayor or a governor or a senator or a clerk. Usually we are told why they are released. Am I correct on that? Usually get your kind of given an indication of for example, I this is a probably a terrible example, but some of the people who were released and in the White House who are being prosecuted, you know why they were released. That was put out there saying this person, it was meddling in the election and we was using Russians, blah, blah, blah. So there. So now this person has been fired and now they're being, you know, maybe even arrested or going to trial. So you kind of know why they're being released. Now here's the thing. I don't know if the government office actually said why they release or we just know because you see them being let out in handcuffs or there was a criminal investigation and in charges. We're fight. So we don't we and then again, if you just tuning into this, we're not saying any of that is happening at but which is? But we're not. We're not equating that. But the issue becomes nature abhors a vacuum. All right, so there's a vacuum of information. Nature abhores as vacuum and we all know that vacuum like a vacuum cleaner, right, it sucks dirt into that, into that area. So when you have this vacuum, something's going to fill that, right and absent information and facts, people will put their own information and and facts into that to fill that vacuum, to fill that void. And it I don't I don't think it helps. Anybody doesn't agree with you a percent, and it's students at Brockport, you're there, you know you, you see what your your student colleagues are going through. Has To be very, very difficult for them. I mean now part of what McPherson says, as she is talking about that there will be changes. Hang I second this is an in from the report. Sorry, I'm mixing up a couple things. So the Curtis Voyd report. He issued five recommendations, one of which is to revamp the bias incident reporting system to make it clearer and to develop guidelines for the resolution of all complaints. That has been an issue of students for a period of times. It's just complaint reporting system. We don't know where that's going and in a set that's not satisfying us. So that's going to be be revamped. They're going to be additional online and or Webinar training and development programs to educate employees about the core values and expectations for treatment of fellow employ ease. Campus leadership is going to undertake additional implicit bias training. These are some of the recommendations from...

...the report. Again, this report was in the fall. This was before we knew anything about Dr Archie, before that happened. So it's just I think this just adding more speculation to the situation. Now, are they related? Aren't they related? We don't know, no idea. The Sunny Chancellor is supposed to visit the school. The diversity office is getting a boost from Rodman King, who is at Os we go, is coming in to advise Dr Acker in the diversity office and Rodman King will have decisionmaking power. So all of this is happening and it's got to be very difficult for the students to follow. has to be very confusing for them, students throughout the campus, whether you're the white student, black student. Yeah, it's just the student body has to be wondering what, what's what's happening here, and will we really get the answers to our questions right? And know you hit a very good point here. Is it good that we that Brockport is trying to make changes for the future so things like this can be avoided? Yeah, that's great, but I think the problem still lies that this issue still remains with questions unanswered. I think that's where the problem is. It's I refer to like if someone got wrong. For now again, I want to keep saying that. Remind US I'm this is not the case here at these are just me giving examples of things. This is nothing to do with Dr Archie or the case or what's quite on here, but I'm saying it's almost like if someone, mould say, got arrested and you have a feeling that they're that person was wrong for wrongfully arrested, and then the police department says, okay, we're going to make changes for the future so this doesn't happen again, but you still have this person who sits here wrongfully arrested. So I think what the problem is is a lot of people are saying, okay, that's great, that we're going to go forward and try and make things better, but what about Dr Archie? What really happened here? And I think that's why they're still so much unrest on the college right and I think that the legal protections that are put in place for people are they there, there for a reason and we wanting more information may just have to say, well, these are these illegal protections put in place. What would we want released about us, you know, if we're in that situation, and maybe just be aware that in a social media age, information can get way out ahead of facts and we end. How can we perhaps calm down on this, not and not say, oh, somebody's lying us, they're not telling us the truth, and and kind of get our backs up on that, but understand that there are protocols that have to be followed. We may not like them, but they're there and if and if we were in that situation, how would we want to be treated? And just try to focus on okay, now, now we have five points from the report. We have three to five points from from the president's office, the diversity office. Dr Akers...

...wants to start a student advisory board. So there are things that we can do on the campus. Everybody may just have to wait to find out what what really has happened here, but manage, you point out, okay, while we're waiting over here, do we have to just stew in wait over here, or what can we do to move forward? Hopefully this is at window dressing. Hopefully this is this is sincere and it will lead to too. It will affect a good change on the campus for future students. But let's let's just put this let's just put d arch in a parking place right now. It's hang on to that for a second. Let's move over here, and at some point we will. We will find out, but in the meantime we there are issues we need to fix again that were separate. We're Dr Archie, still in the position. This report still would have been written, there still would have been issues. So we that those aspects still need to be addressed at Brockport. How do we? How do we talk about these two things and not necessarily equate them if we don't know that they fit hand in glove? We don't know that right. I think what you're what you're saying is right. The hidden that nail out of the head. Sometimes you got to be patient. Sometimes you're not going to get the answers immediately. And again you're right. Some people always have the tendency to that when they hear stuff, think it's lip service and that you know, an actual truthfulness of what's going to happen. But you got to give got to give things time. I don't want to. I'm not giving an opinion one way or the other because I don't and I really don't have one because I don't know the facts. I'd you know, I'll. I know is that this person was let go and the trying to make things better. I don't know exactly why he was let go. No one really knows exactly what. Why does it go, except for the people who let him go? I don't even know if Dr Archie know, it's like, the exact reasons why he was let go. You don't really know. And it's and you're absolutely right. What's the the age of social media and we want information right now. We gotta sometimes go with your mission statement from information to understanding. You got to give time to understand the information versus just I got a subformation, I need to put this out now and process it. And why? How? What's going on? You got to make sure that all the t's across, all the eyes are dot and you get all the facts before you jump to any conclusions. That's kind of how I said on this. Yes, yes, that's true, and ad is in. That's hard to do it because there's so many media outlets. You know, we're competing to get the news out. You know, facebook pages and, like said, social media is competing to get the news out and and really it is. Patience is in short supply. I think in our world right now, and this is and again, we also need to be fair to the people involved. We don't know if there were missteps. We don't know what was done and we...

...can't jump to the conclusions that somebody was wronged, somebody was somebody was right. We don't we don't know and that will take time to sort out, if we ever know. But in the meantime, as you say, there are things that can be done and need to be done for the future and maybe even if we're not saying the whip service. We hope to not, but even if they are, well, if you get a couple of these things are you are you better off than you were? Absolutely and again this report. Before we heard about the dismissal and before we heard about other other things going on in the diversity office, this was already in the works. So the folks at Broughtport knew they needed to look at something. They knew there were some some issues and the report is a is a start for that. I said, there'll be a visit from the chancellor. There'll be other other things. I'm sure they'll be reports. You know, I would think that Dr McPherson would be sending updates of what she's doing. I would think that the student advisory board, once that is up and running would certainly communicate to the college community what is what is happening. Yeah, from that point of view, Yep, and I've also obviously when you are on the campus or you talk to people who go to the college. Now, I will tell the truth, the majority of the classes that I take now are primarily online. So I am at I'm actually on the campus, not that is that nearly is enough as much as I was back in the time when I was actually going for my bachelor so I'm there once in a while now as much as I used to be. So I don't get to see everything that's happening out there, but I do know with the people that I'm talking to, there's a lot of rumors about this and that of Dr Archie was working on something. must why he was let go al. He's looking. He was looking into somebody's you know, somebody who thought that there were something was done wrong and them. I don't know if any of that's true. It's all rumors. There's no proof to back up any of those claims. So I try to steer clear of rumors until I get actual factual information that support anything that's being stuff like that. So my opinion is this, and this is just my opinion. Try to keep an open mind, let the facts present themselves and then, once you get all the informations, then you can draw your conclusion as to what's happening. And one of the things in the report was that the report did not say that that a student education was being unduly affected by by this. So I'm trying to you can give us a little traveling music, Matt, while I'm trying to find this really okay, so here it is. So from the executive summary of the report. This is from light associates. My assessment of the climate and working environment at Brockport has revealed some serious and rather troubling developments taking place at the campus with respect to educating students. It is believed by some that the campus should be provided getting additional support services to some students, particularly students with disabilities and students of color. However, I found no evidence that students are being negatively impacted by...

...the climate created by employees and administrative processes. So what I would say again, having been an instructor on that campus, what I would say to the students is that, yes, I understand you were upset by this why are you here? That's how is this, how is this potentially derailing your education? And do you what decisions are you making that this affecting your education? Now, education on a college campus is everything. Is Everything, from academics, it's everything, through sitting with people you don't necessarily know it and the dining hall, because in the workplace that they will be new people. Your interest education is it covers everything you can think of. So, while you are on this campus, what are you here for? How are you furthering your goals while at the same time being aware of what's happening around you and being involved in that to the degree that you want or feel you need to be involved in but don't lose sight of why you are there, which is to get as well rounded in education as you possibly can. This is part of your education, but you also have to stick to your books and and and what you are there for. You're there to learn everything you possibly can. But what I would say as soon as it was please don't let this derail you from the other from your other objectives on campus. I can tell just by that that you were educated there, so I would have taken your class. Thank you so much. Thank you so much, patty singer. I always appreciate us talking about these things and that's why I like the minority reporter, because you can get the information, but you got to try to process and understand it, and that's what we try to hear on this show as well. Thank you so much, patty, for doing this. We appreciate that. Again, if you have any questions for me or patty, you can go to our website, which is inside the margins RADIOCOM. There's a contact us US contact us section there on the site. There's also links to the website for the minority reporter and also you can send an email to is it editor, editor, editor at minority reporter Dotnet Man. I appreciate you and I appreciate all the listeners. So thank everybody for for giving us their time and giving us their brain cells. Appreciate that. Thank you so much, Patti. All right, we will be back after the this this quick break. This is inside the margins. Right back. Do you have a topic that you would like to discussed on inside the margins? We would love to hear from you. Please send your thoughts, comments or questions to inside margins at gmailcom. Welcome back to inside the margins. I'm your host, Matt Wilson, so I want to go ahead and finish out my final thoughts on today's topic. Again, I am definitely a person who has a lot of ties to the college at Brockport, so I never want to jump...

...to conclusions on anything. I really don't think anyone should. The reason why I did partner with the minority reporter is because I definitely live by their mission statement, and their mission statement is from information to understanding. And our problem really and the reason why we're so divided in this country, in my opinion, is because the way that we process the information that we get, we don't get to the understanding part. Social media definitely has played a key rolled in this. In my opinion. We have become people who are headline readers and scrollers. Right. How often do you see someone just scrolling through facebook or scrolling through their twitter and if they see a headline or meme or something that pomps out and capture their attention, they react immediately. They don't read the story, they don't look into it, they don't fact check it, they just see a headline and because it triggers them in a way, either for support or in a negative way. There's an immediate reaction, and I think that's what our problem is. Is a lot of things that happen there are immediate reactions to without understanding the full story or getting all the facts. And that's where I sit on this issue. Is I hold my judgment on things until I get all the information and once I get the information, I process it so I can understand it, and once I understand it, that's when I decide to make my opinion on whether I think something's right or wrong or whether I support it or against it. So what am I saying? Exactly? I'm saying I'm not saying cut the college of Brockport is right. I'm not saying what they have done is the great thing to do or they're there without fault, but I'm also not saying that they're wrong because I don't know. I don't know what happened and we don't know what happened and we don't know the full details as to why Doctor Archie was released. Inclusion and diversity is one of the most important things to me, there's no question about that. It's reason why we do this show. We do this show because people feel left out. People feel excluded, people feel miss treated, people feel less important than the majority out there, and we're trying to unify everyone,...

...to put everyone on the same page, on the same level. So yes, if something agreed just was done by the college at Brockport, there should be penalties. But again, I don't know, I don't know the full story and I'm going to hold my judgment until I do understand the full story. And that's that's all I'm saying. I think I applaud the students at Brockport for standing up to what they're you know, to for what they believe. I'm proud of them. I think the college at Brockport is one of the best colleges around as far as the student body isn't isn't you know? My opinion is, I don't know. It's just a unique group of people there and the last Geez three years or so that I've been on that campus it's changed my life and I've met so many people there that have become great friends of mine of all sexes, of all races, of all religions and all genders and all everything, and some of these people remain good friends to this day with me and a lot of people who have come out of that college, by the way, have had successful careers in broadcasting and radio and in television. I can tell you half of the people that work out the commercial radio station that I work at come from the college at Brockport, and same thing that is allow of the other commercial radio stations. So it definitely produces a lot of great talent and I hope the college continues to do that. And I don't and I don't want there to be any issues with diversity or inclusion or, you know, people being released for false reasons, reasons that that can't be justified. But again, we don't know everything. So you know, if your parent and you want to and you your we were considering something, your student to the college at Brockport, do it's a great institution and the education, the education that these students get from this institution is priceless. So don't let what's happening to cheer you from that, but don't be afraid to stand up for what you believe in as well. So yes, students, unify, unite and find out the facts and stand up for what you believe in, but also get the facts. Just remember that and once you get the facts. Let's try to make everything better. Let's...

...use this as an opportunity to make the institution better going forward. Those are my final thoughts. All right, thank you for listening to inside the Mar just today. I wanted to think patty singer. Always great to have her by my side again. The minority reporter is a great paper. If you get some free time, I you know, you might want to go visit the website to see some of those stories that that you're heard in the headlines, to get some more of that in detail. And if you want to submit questions or suggestions for a store or even if you have interest in subscribing to the minority reporter, go to the website or email editor at minority reporter Dotnet, or just visit the website at my hurry at minority reporter dotnet. I'm ATT Wilson and I'll see you next time for inside the margins. Do you have a topic that you would like to discussed on inside the margins? We would love to hear from you. Please send your thoughts, comments or questions to inside margins at gmailcom.

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