Can Adelphi's New President Be A Leader For Diversity On Campuses Internationally?
Start writing a post
Politics and Activism

Can Adelphi's New President Be A Leader For Diversity On Campuses Internationally?

On many campuses, there are still many students who feel they stand out and don't fit in! But can we change this once and for all?

32
Can Adelphi's New President Be A Leader For Diversity On Campuses Internationally?
"We will dare to be extraordinary." ~ Dr. Christine M. Riordan's Inaugural Address

In the early 1900s, diversity in America was an issue for the African American community. While there are still some radical issues today, progress has been made since then. Today, the diversity issue not only roots from the difference of races, but of gender, sexual orientation and various socio-economic backgrounds.

On Friday, March 11, 2016, Adelphi University, in their 120th year, inaugurated their 10th President, Dr. Christine M. Riordan. In her inauguration speech, Dr. Riordan pointed out the clear fact that many universities today have still not emerged themselves into diversity. Dr. Riordan stated in her speech that there are still students today who feel like they don't belong or fit in on campus; she declared that this has to change. She said, "We will be a model of a University that creates a culture of diversity and inclusion."

Dr. Christine M. Riordan (President of Adelphi University) Credit: Adelphi University

But even before her inauguration, Dr. Riordan has been an advocacy for diversity on the Adelphi campus and has begun to implement the changes deemed necessary to make all students feel welcome and at home.

Immediately after assuming the office of the Presidency in July, 2015, Dr. Riordan began the 100 Day Listening Tour. Within these 100 Days, Dr. Riordan listened to students, faculty and alumni about what they believed to be the crucial issues facing the university. Following the 100 Day Listening Tour, Dr. Riordan immediately realized that diversity was an issue not only facing Adelphi, but campuses across the nation.

Dr. Riordan began working towards diversity at Adelphi University through various committees and new pathway programs to create a safe environment for all students. Adelphi even launched a Diversity Page that lays out the university's long term and short term plans to achieve their diversity goals.

A major part of Dr. Riordan's diversity plan, is to make every student feel welcome and like they too can be a part of the campus. In her inauguration speech, Dr. Riordan stated that international students have expressed that they feel as if they don't belong and are struggling to adjust to campus life. To solve this problem, in the Fall of 2016, Adelphi will be launching a new pathway program for international students to foster the transition of international students into the academic and social setting of Adelphi.

Dr. Riordan is consistently receptive to the students of Adelphi, she models her agenda based on the ideas and concerns of the students; she expressed this vividly in her inaugural address stating, "I think we are at our best when we collaborate."

As an Indo-Caribbean student here at Adelphi University, I can state that the outcome of Dr. Riordan's efforts is clearly portrayed. Through many cultural events and organizations at Adelphi, students have expanded their knowledge of their peers who come from different backgrounds; with knowledge, stereotypes begin to loose their power and students from various walks of life here at Adelphi are beginning to reach out to one another and form life-long friendships. While we may not have completely achieved full diversity, I believe that we are on the accelerating path towards it!

Another student at Adelphi University, Noor Meer spoke to me about her preconceived notions that she had of Adelphi, which many students have of the university, and how that all changed when she arrived on campus.

Noor said, "When I first found out that I would be attending Adelphi I was excited, but coming from New York City, I had this preconceived notion that Long Island isn't diverse at all, and that it's full of Caucasians. I believed that I would be the odd one out since I'm a hijab. Then I did FCAP, and very quickly realized that I was completely wrong. The way I was expected to be treated at Adelphi versus the way I was actually treated were two completely different things. I actually felt accepted and had to have multiple people tell me that they don't have stigmas against people of color or even of Muslims.

Sure, there are probably some bad apples here and there but I haven't run into them yet. I think what President Riordan is doing is great. She's doing a great job at making the campus seem more diverse than it actually is, but at the same time, you don't have to be a campus full of different races to be diverse. You just have to be accepting of everyone and everything. I would feel safer in an Adelphi classroom full of white people who love Muslims than a room of diverse people who aren't accepting of everyone."

The student body here at Adelphi University, hopes that Dr. Riordan's work becomes contagious and spreads to campuses worldwide. Under the leadership of Dr. Riordan, we believe that the students and faculty of Adelphi University will be able to succeed in diversifying our campus, along with becoming the frontrunners and examples for universities everywhere.

At Adelphi University, we have learned that the greatest way to accomplish anything is to work hand in hand; different backgrounds, opinions and beliefs, if used right, all come together to form a tight bond; and in the famous words of Dr. Riordan, "The People Make the Place."

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
the beatles
Wikipedia Commons

For as long as I can remember, I have been listening to The Beatles. Every year, my mom would appropriately blast “Birthday” on anyone’s birthday. I knew all of the words to “Back In The U.S.S.R” by the time I was 5 (Even though I had no idea what or where the U.S.S.R was). I grew up with John, Paul, George, and Ringo instead Justin, JC, Joey, Chris and Lance (I had to google N*SYNC to remember their names). The highlight of my short life was Paul McCartney in concert twice. I’m not someone to “fangirl” but those days I fangirled hard. The music of The Beatles has gotten me through everything. Their songs have brought me more joy, peace, and comfort. I can listen to them in any situation and find what I need. Here are the best lyrics from The Beatles for every and any occasion.

Keep Reading...Show less
Being Invisible The Best Super Power

The best superpower ever? Being invisible of course. Imagine just being able to go from seen to unseen on a dime. Who wouldn't want to have the opportunity to be invisible? Superman and Batman have nothing on being invisible with their superhero abilities. Here are some things that you could do while being invisible, because being invisible can benefit your social life too.

Keep Reading...Show less
Featured

19 Lessons I'll Never Forget from Growing Up In a Small Town

There have been many lessons learned.

72236
houses under green sky
Photo by Alev Takil on Unsplash

Small towns certainly have their pros and cons. Many people who grow up in small towns find themselves counting the days until they get to escape their roots and plant new ones in bigger, "better" places. And that's fine. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought those same thoughts before too. We all have, but they say it's important to remember where you came from. When I think about where I come from, I can't help having an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for my roots. Being from a small town has taught me so many important lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Keep Reading...Show less
​a woman sitting at a table having a coffee
nappy.co

I can't say "thank you" enough to express how grateful I am for you coming into my life. You have made such a huge impact on my life. I would not be the person I am today without you and I know that you will keep inspiring me to become an even better version of myself.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

Waitlisted for a College Class? Here's What to Do!

Dealing with the inevitable realities of college life.

133966
college students waiting in a long line in the hallway
StableDiffusion

Course registration at college can be a big hassle and is almost never talked about. Classes you want to take fill up before you get a chance to register. You might change your mind about a class you want to take and must struggle to find another class to fit in the same time period. You also have to make sure no classes clash by time. Like I said, it's a big hassle.

This semester, I was waitlisted for two classes. Most people in this situation, especially first years, freak out because they don't know what to do. Here is what you should do when this happens.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments