BY KASAIRA BURGOS
Walking into the Longo Research Center, one was greeted with welcoming smiles and encouragement. Fun pop music was playing, and a projection for a presentation was set up with rows of chairs facing the screen. There were many people chatting and laughing.
“A place to learn, grow and make a significant impact in the world amongst many different races, ages, and cultures,” is written on blue-green flyers that are being passed out as well as being displayed across a table at the side of the room. The flyers also have their Instagram, email and website.
At the table, Jenna asked me to write my name on one side of a provided piece of paper and then three fun facts about myself on the other. People walking in are encouraged to do the same. An icebreaker! When more people arrived we were all directed toward the screen, the Presidents introduced the club and we proceeded to watch a Coca-Cola video. The video was a great reminder that people shouldn’t judge others by appearance. Then we started guessing who’s who from the pile of fun facts.
A loyal member, Frank Eaton, was brought on by friends and said he enjoys the environment that the organization provides.
“It’s like everyone’s treated equal,” said Eaton, a graphic design major. “It’s relaxed here and no one’s judging you.”
Eaton said the meetings are fun, and he keeps coming every week. He plans on continuing to be a part of the group until he graduates.
“Hopefully, I will be here and make my mark here,” Jenna Cifrodelli said, a liberal arts major.
Cifrodelli was all smiles and was clearly happy giving a hand at her first meeting. She was introduced to the club through friends.
“I have this amazing interest in delving into other cultures,” Cifrodelli said. “I like seeing other perspectives and putting it into something I understand.”
The Diversity Organization is well organized in all aspects, from the events with music and icebreakers down to how positions are placed within the group. The goal is not only to promote inclusiveness to students at the college but to people everywhere.
“We’ve had many events here at CCM along with nursing homes and trips out,” Faith Torppey, the group’s’ president said. “The biggest thing we have accomplished is a substantial amount of growth throughout our time here. The meetings started out in small classrooms, and then we moved to study rooms. And now we rent out the Davidson Rooms. We’ve just improved substantially.”
The organization has done a lot of growing in the three semesters that it has been on campus. The members are not just part of a school club, but part of a non profit organization. They attend high school assemblies, including East Stroudsburg High School North, Teaneck High School, and soon Hackensack High School. The assemblies focus on the students and how they can promote a positive attitude to their lives.
“We talk to the high schools about what they feel like they need at their school,” Torppey said. “We talk to the students about acceptance and about making an impact.”
Anyone is welcome, and the members encourage students to stop by.
“If people want to be involved, that’s amazing,” Torppey said.