By Micaela Itona and Babatunde Ojo
Recent events in the U.S. regarding race, gender, and sexual orientation are reaching the public eye arguably more than any other time in the nation. One would think that there should be public events for people to discuss said issues in an open space with the intentions of understanding each other’s viewpoints and working toward a solution to raise general awareness. Developing communication skills is crucial because miscommunication could lead to misunderstanding and conflict. For example, in team sports or when working in a group setting on a class project, if everyone is not on the same page, odds are the group will be graded poorly and will not succeed in their goals.
On January 27th NJIT hosted the Day of Dialogue, an assembly open to students and staff. Its purpose was to provide an opportunity to the NJIT community to discuss issues surrounding diversity on college campuses nationally, and occurrences around the world. It was hosted by the Division of Academic Support and Student Affairs and the Student Senate, with a keynote presentation by Dr. Felicia McGinty, the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs at Rutgers New Brunswick. NJIT’s president Dr. Joel Bloom opened up the Day of Dialogue with warm sentiments – he emphasized the diversity of the NJIT campus being a true strength and beauty of the university. Student Senate president Raj Das highlighted the importance of communication with each other and that events like Day of Dialogue provide another platform for the many different communities represented at NJIT, along with the many student organizations on campus. McGinty’s keynote presentation harked back to national issues rooted in racial, religious, and gender diversity in the U.S. and across the world. She asked those in attendance to reflect upon these recent events and their impact.
With every table filled and the event well received, Marybeth Boger, the Assistant Dean of Students, stated that there will be more opportunities similar to the Day of Dialogue which will allow students and staff to speak about issues surrounding everyday diversity and discrimination within the community and around the world. By providing a support network to members of the NJIT community, academic and personal growth can be maximized in a more comfortable, accepting setting.