By Jamie Gesell
There are many different ways students can express their voice here at Adelphi. Whether through clubs, fundraisers or other special events, they can share their opinion on something they hold dear. One particular way students can have their voice heard is through the Equitable Adelphi Action Team (EAAT). It’s a student-centered council that works closely with the Division of Student Affairs at Adelphi. They deal with issues such as diversity, equity and inclusion and propose courses of action that the school could take. EAAT is an integral council that contributes so much to the university community.
EAAT was formed in summer 2020 by Dr. Sentwali Bakari, vice president of student affairs at Adelphi.
“He is always looking for ways to hear the student voice and particularly at a time when there was a lot of national conversation and unrest around issues of racial justice,” said Anna Zinko, Adelphi administrator who is a part of EAAT. The death of George Floyd on May 25, 2020, for instance, was one such racial justice incident that fueled Bakari to create EAAT. The name Equitable Adelphi Action Team came from students who wanted not just a space to talk, but a place to take action and be “actionable.”
Students are the ones who actually make up the team, setting the priorities and agenda. Faculty members are there for support and to help guide the students in EAAT. There are approximately between 10-30 students involved. In a typical meeting, students can bring up whatever is on their minds, be it about diversity, equity, inclusion or any other pressing matter.
Lately, meetings have been focused on how to expand EAAT and get other students involved. Work on social media accounts on platforms such as Instagram have been discussed to help spread the word of EAAT.
“I am really excited we are moving forward with our plan to increase social media presence,” said EAAT advisor Robin Kim, associate director for the Center for Student and Community Engagement. “The current members on the team have shared their feedback on an Instagram handle as well as ideas for posts and stories to increase engagement and awareness for EAAT.”
Robin Kim, one of the faculty members who greatly helps EAAT.
One of the things EAAT has done for the Adelphi community deals with the Panther Pantry. Students in EAAT felt that the pantry wasn’t well known on campus and had ideas on further nutritional items that can be available in the pantry. After much work, they formed the Panther Pantry advisory board to help with the pantry. It includes students who utilize the pantry and faculty knowledgeable in areas of nutrition and health. Another thing EAAT has done for Adelphi is help make diversity training required for student club executives. EAAT students felt that leaders of clubs needed to be exposed to diversity training and managed to change the policy to make executive boards of clubs and organizations attend diversity training. In addition, EAAT has created a diversity pledge for the campus community. They plan to continue outreaching and programming things around the pledge in future semesters.
If you wish to join EAAT or visit one of their meetings, visit their website or contact email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. For any student wanting to have their voice heard more, EAAT is a great place to do it.