Minority Students in Action

By Erin Young, Ph.D., mentor, SUNY Empire State College

January 16, 2015

Minority Students in Action Club membersThe Long Island Center is excited to announce a new student club: Minority Students in Action (MSiA). MSiA is the brainchild of Layla Abdullah-Poulos (far left), club president and a MALS student who earned her bachelor’s degree at the Long Island Center.

As a former student and current learning coach, Abdullah-Poulos created the club to address the needs of students who identify as minorities. “For me, so many minority students at the Long Island Center expressed that they feel little connection to the college outside of their course studies,” she said. “It is my hope that Minority Students in Action will provide a venue for students to enrich their Empire State College experience.”

Jawana Richardson, club secretary, adds, “Our goal is to be a source of information for students to learn about resources available to them, a place where students feel they can voice their concerns, learn about events and activities and, most importantly, network!  When our students are successful, Empire State College is successful!”

MSiA’s objectives include providing a safe space for minority students to discuss their experiences at the college and offer support to one another; helping minority students to develop and achieve their academic goals; encouraging pluralism and cultural relevancy among students, faculty and administration; and increasing diversity awareness and friendship among people of all backgrounds.

According to Melinda Wills-Stallings, club treasurer, “MSiA members share our experiences of dilemmas we have faced, our knowledge gained through overcoming challenges, testimonies of effectively navigating our way through them and shared goals of successfully completing and furthering our collegiate education.”

Club vice president, E. Reginald Pope, adds, “It is inspiring to know that there is an organization of peers to encourage, nurture and develop mutual growth. May you know the peace and comfort provided through MSiA.”

MSiA has several events planned for the 2014-2015 academic year, at both the Old Westbury and Hauppauge units of Long Island Center. These include “meet and greet” sessions, a financial planning workshop and an “end of the term” luncheon.

The executive board is comprised of Layla Abdullah-Poulos, president; E. Reginald Pope, vice president; Jawana Richardson, secretary; Melinda Wills-Stallings, treasurer; Baraka Corley, member-at-Large; and Erin Young, Ph.D., faculty advisor. Students interested in becoming members of MSiA should visit the website at http://sunyempiremsia.wordpress.com/, or email the club president at msia4students@gmail.com.

Note: In accordance with Empire State College's Clubs and Organizations Policy, all students are welcome to join the Minorities in Action Club. Determination of criteria for membership and for active status is the prerogative of each organization, insofar as it is consistent with State and Federal law. No organization may restrict its selection of members or assignment of voting privileges, rank or office, based on illegal differentiation or based on an individual’s previous affiliations. There will be no discrimination based on race, gender, color, religions, age national origin, disability or sexual orientation.

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