I know what diversity means to me but what does the College mean by diversity?
Diversity means different things to different people and we value ALL people here at the College at Oneonta. There are components to our identity that make us as alike as they may make us different. And we believe that diversity both generally and specifically are essential to the process of educational engagement.
When we say "diversity" we mean all kinds, including but not limited to race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic class, marital status, religious or non-religious background, and mental and physical ability, to name just a few. A diverse campus provides for a diverse classroom setting which facilitates exchange among different perspectives and ways of being. Without exchange, learning is impossible. Without diverse perspectives, exchange is limited. We value diversity because we value learning.
What does the term AALANA mean?
The term "AALANA" is an acronym which literally stands for African American, Latino, Asian, and Native American.
At the College we assume that there are students of color who do not fit exactly into those rigid categories. With that, when we say "AALANA" we've come to also include students of West Indian/ Caribbean descent, naturalized African decent, as well as students from Multi-Racial, Multi-Ethnic backgrounds. You may see the AALANA acronym on letters from the Admissions Office or internal correspondence from the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs, for example.
Why does the College request racial or ethnic demographic information on the Admissions application?
Since diversity is important, gathering information on what kinds of diversity we enjoy here on campus is equally important. For example, one way we assess diversity on the campus is by gathering racial and ethnic demographic information on the admissions application. Self identifying as an AALANA student, or a student who identifies with one or more of the racial/ ethnic categories, ensures two things. Firstly it enables you to receive helpful information about scholarships especially for African American, Latino, Asian, and Native American students as well as receiving information about services from the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs. And secondly, it provides the College with the data necessary to assess how we are doing with the recruitment and retention of AALANA students.
What if I am bi-racial / multi-racial?
We encourage you to choose a primary AALANA identity descriptor for the application process in order to receive information from the Multicultural Student Affairs office and then change your racial/ ethnic status after you matriculate, if you choose. Did you know that NYC and LA have the highest numbers of multi-racial and bi-racial people? Steps are currently being made to create a multi-racial category for students to self identify on admissions applications and the way we analyze data on campus.
Just so you know, prospective students get two opportunities to self identify, the SUNY application and the College Supplemental application (Part 2). If you've checked "other" on both, feel free to call the Admissions Office and change it over the phone. And if you choose to identify as "other", you will not be eligible to receive information from the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs. So choose a primary identity just to get the ball rolling!
Rainbow Flags and Pink Triangles
The College is invested in the comfort and success of all of its students, and for reason discourages the use of racial and religious epithets, gender slurs, as well as heterosexist and homophobic language and behavior. Rainbow Flags and Pink Triangles are used on campus to identify ALLIES, or people who value our lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, and transgender community, as well as their families and friends.
If you are interested in becoming an ally, please contact the GSRC at ext. 2190 and ask for the Safe Space program.