Black Student Union Keeps it 100 by Talking Diversity


The E-Board for BSU (right) hosted an open forum Wed., Feb. 3 to discuss diversity and get to know students. Photo by James Miranda/The Pace Chronicle.

JAMES MIRANDA, Sports Editor

Black Student Union (BSU) hosted “Keeping it 100” in the Butcher Suite of Pace University’s Kessel Student Center on Wed., Feb. 3 to openly address if the campus is diverse enough.

Other topics like politics and Greek life were discussed, but diversity among students and faculty was what got the most attention.

“It needs to be recognized that there’s all these initiatives to make our campus more diverse,” said Chrystal Azatassou, Vice President of Finance for BSU. “To make a school more culturally diverse there has to be that balance.”

Other diversity groups on campus, such as Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), share the same view.

“Diversity is always a plus when it is incorporated into any school’s student body as well as faculty,” said Seja Alkhatib, Vice President for SJP. “I would also enjoy a more diverse faculty on campus.”

The idea is to show that there is care for the student body.

“I think one place [Pace] lags behind is matching diversity on this campus,” said Cornell Craig, Director for the office of Multicultural Affairs. “I think we can increase the diversity and when we say increase diversity, it’s not just a racial aspect, it’s a generational aspect.”

BSU and Craig both expressed that race is only a piece of the puzzle. The idea is having a relationship with professors, therefore building a stronger community and it allowing students to get the most out of their college experience.

“A key priority of the 2015-2020 Strategic Plan currently in place is to ensure a recruiting and retention program that continually aligns the diversity of our full-time faculty with the available pool of applicants and our student population,” said Lisa Bardill Moscaritolo, Dean of Students. “The Provost’s Office has been working closely with the Affirmative Action Office to make every effort to continually strengthen our faculty search processes.”

It is not to say that students cannot have a professor from a different background, it is just that having someone who looks like them is the difference between just going to class and learning something.

Allegedly, over 90 percent of full-time faculty is white, According to Craig.

“It shouldn’t just be a numbers game, it’s about a philosophy of inclusion and giving students an opportunity of mentorship,” Craig said. “If you’re a Latino male and you have a Latino teacher, what that can do for a student is immeasurable. A little bit does a lot, if we were to add a few faculty members of color it would mean a lot.”

The forum also acted as conduit to get to know the students and give them ideas for diversity moving on.

“We want to know the next generation, so the next generation can have ideas on what to do [in the future],” Azatassou said. “Nobody likes to left cold turkey and not be in the know of what to do.”

The event was a part of BSU’s Black Excellence Month. BSU will be taking a trip for a history tour of the Underground Railroad on Sat., Feb. 13.