The Colleges are excited to announce a new educational program that will be delivered during Orientation for First Year Students, titled “Social Class and HWS.” This program is designed to start conversations around social class with incoming students and to introduce first-years and new students to the Colleges’ mission of Inclusive Excellence.
“The program will help students understand what ‘Inclusive Excellence’ is,” says Orientation Coordinator Francesca Antonucci ’10. “It’s more than just a statement on paper; it’s about understanding what our community is and what it stands for. All the questions and issues are relatable: how the media portrays social issues, for example, will get them thinking about everyday aspects of life which affect their perceptions of social class. We hope that it will get them talking about issues which they’ve identified as significant.”
Dean of William Smith College Cerri Banks says that participants will come to understand the importance of establishing open communication. “I want to give them skills they can use to have these discussions which will be ongoing throughout the first year,” Banks says.
The program will be delivered to incoming students in two sessions, which will be held in the Winn-Seeley Gym on Sunday, Aug. 30 from 10 a.m. to noon, and again from 1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. It will include an introduction by the Colleges’ President Mark D. Gearan, student speakers Akilah Browne ’11 and Michael Barlow ’11, and a social class video created by the Social Justice Collective.
Group discussions will follow, divided by four thematic areas and multiple groups addressing each theme. These include media and social class, changing social classes, social class and interactions, and what this all means for campus life.
For more information on Inclusive Excellence, please click here.