SUNY Cortland's President Bitterbaum to discuss 'cultural climate' on campus

The following is a republished press release and not an article written by The Cortland Voice … to submit a community announcement, email Peter Blanchard at [email protected].

SUNY Cortland President Erik J. Bitterbaum Thursday will discuss a different kind of climate change, when he joins several faculty and staff members Thursday in examining ways that an inclusive campus environment can strengthen community retention and student success.

The talk, part of the President’s Conversation Series on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at SUNY Cortland, takes place from 3 to 5 p.m. on Thursday, March 31, in the David J. Vittor ’67 Lecture Hall, located in Sperry Center, Room 105.

All students, faculty, staff, alumni and local community members are encouraged to attend.

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“I’ve always found our campus community to be welcoming and accepting, but I also realize there always will be areas where we still need to learn and to improve,” President Bitterbaum said. “In order for our students to become the best possible versions of themselves, they need to be part of an environment that appreciates their many differences and encourages their growth in a variety of ways.”

Other presenters include AnnaMaria Cirrincione, assistant director of multicultural life and diversity; Kassim Kone, associate professor of sociology/anthropology; Christopher Kuretich, assistant vice president for student affairs; Nan Pasquarello, Title IX coordinator; Anne Burns Thomas, associate professor of foundations and social advocacy; and Dennis Weng, assistant professor of political science.

Cultural climate refers to a community’s capacity to make its members feel welcomed, supported, valued and safe, thus encouraging them to produce their best work. There is no fixed set of experiences that create a healthy cultural climate; it must be cultivated, evaluated and addressed regularly.

The talk is intended to encourage campus community members to appreciate the many cultural differences of students, faculty and staff members, which ultimately will contribute to overall student success.

Speakers will consider topics that include evaluating the first-year experience at SUNY Cortland; attracting and supporting a diverse student body; creating a gender climate free of sexual harassment and violence; and discussing both the College’s successes and its potential areas for improvement related to inclusion.

A community conversation will follow, providing time for questions, comments and personal stories.

For more information, contact the College’s Multicultural Life and Diversity Office at 607-753-2336. Follow @sunycrtdiverse on Twitter for updates.

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