page 2 The Signal September 20, 2017
SFB gives full funds for deaf ‘Baby Driver’ actor
SFB funds Jones’ perfomance at Deaf Culture Night.
By Eric Preisler Production Manager
Fresh off his performance in the summer hit “Baby Driver,” actor CJ Jones’ performance at Deaf Culture Night was among four events that received full funding at the Student Finance Board meeting on Sept. 13. The Deaf Hearing Connection was funded $4,087 for its Deaf Culture Night, which is planned to be held at the College on Tuesday, Oct. 24, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Jones, a deaf actor, will be performing an 80-minute comedy routine at the event. Food and drinks will also be provided. Explaining the significance of the event, Julianna Kamenakis said that, “(the event will) showcase Deafness as the culture that it is … rich with a gorgeously captivating language and its own beliefs and morals as well.” Kamenakis also expressed excitement for the event saying that the organization looks forward to allowing “TCNJ students to gain awareness about Deafness as a culture and to provide students an opportunity to interact with people from the Deaf community — including our guest speaker CJ Jones!” TCNJ Musical Theater was granted $4,800 for the rights and royalties to
Kim Iannarone / Photo Editor
perform “Spring Awakening” during the spring 2018 semester. Kelly Ganning, a junior graphic design major and co-production manager of “Spring Awakening,” explained that “Spring Awakening” was chosen by TMT’s members because of its mental and creative ,which differ from the family-friendly productions of “Legally Blonde” and the “The Addams Family” last year. “‘Spring Awakening’ is a musical about coming of age and the navigating teenage sexuality, and deals with themes such as sexual violence, teenage pregnancy and censorship,” Ganning said. “It will definitely be a challenge TMT hasn’t faced in a while but I’m sure our actors and designers will grow from the experience.” TMT is optimistic about the challenge of the production. “In the upcoming months I can’t wait to see what creative minds will eventually be working with us, and what ideas they will come up with to make this a groundbreaking show for TMT as well as TCNJ,” Ganning said. Chi Upsilon Sigma National Latin Society, Inc. was funded $491.75 for its Week of Wisdom Event, which will consist of a variety of events from Monday, Oct. 2, to Friday, Oct. 6. Funding will cover the expense
of personal trainers for Cussie Bootcamp, which will provide instruction for intensive exercise and healthier lifestyles. Additional events will include DIY terrariums and the Cussie Luau. The proposal explains that the Cussie Luau program will teach students the meanings and representations of certain movements in Hawaiian culture. Describing the significance of this, the application explained that participants will have a better understanding of the Hawaiian culture by being able to communicate using the important things that Hawaiians enjoy from their culture. When asked what she is most looking forward to, Cenadra Gopala-Foster, a sophomore deaf education and biology double major and a sister of Chi Upsilon Sigma, said that, “the wide range of programs we are doing all in one week.” While Chi Upsilon Sigma’s Week of Wisdom requires complex planning, the sisters are excited to participate in various programs throughout the week. “When we were planning it during our retreat we knew it would be difficult, but we have really stepped up to the challenge
and I’m excited to learn more about the programs and topics that I’m not personally running and bringing new topics and discussions to the campus community,” Gopala-Foster said. Chi Upsilon Sigma hopes that students and community members will broaden their global perspectives by attending the event. “I think students will gain a new perspective on a wide spectrum of topics that we decided to focus on, such as the Polynesian culture through their traditional dance, to creating an entire terrarium that can thrive within a dorm room, and in (a) way show the power human beings have over the environment and vice versa,” GopalaFoster said. The Class of 2019 received $8,741.25 for bussing, venue, food, parking, and security fees for their formal, which is planned to be held on Friday, Oct. 29, from 8 a.m. to 12 a.m. at the Adventure Aquarium in Camden, New Jersey. “The Aquarium formal will be a class unity event for the class of 2019,” according to the event’s proposal. “(The formal) will build cohesion in a unique environment.”
Kim Iannarone / Photo Editor
The Class of 2019 receives funding for a formal at Adventure Aquarium.
Trahan / New office sets social justice goals for College
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According to Sidney Kimmel Medical College, a part of Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals, the Office for Enterprise Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Engagement collaborates with the Center for Urban Health and Pipeline Programs to “reduce health and education disparities, increase student body and faculty diversity, and promote an inclusive environment for the entire university.” Because of his range of experience, Trahan feels prepared to tackle his new position at the College. “To date, I have worked with and led various divisions that adhere to the needs of the campus community under the aegis of change management,” he said. “Specifically, I have endeavored to promote and create an inclusive climate within the institutions I have been affiliated, with an emphasis on systems thinking, which positions me to understand all from a holistic lens.” In addition to his dedication to inclusivity and his emphasis on systems thinking, Trahan said he has established relationships “with key stakeholders and community liaisons in order to create pipelines and assess growth processes as necessary for the organization.” By establishing these relationships, Trahan has developed skills that may aide in promoting diversity and inclusion policies at the College. “Such engagements have significantly influenced my lens as a transformative leader,
researcher, and subject matter expert,” he added. “As such, I have developed the expertise necessary to oversee all facets that relate to diversity and inclusion and organizational change management.” As director of the College’s Office of Student Diversity and Inclusion, Trahan will be responsible for advocating for marginalized students, overseeing the Office of Institutional Diversity’s Sustained Dialogue program, advising specific student groups and implementing a campus-wide diversity and inclusion curriculum in addition to other various responsibilities. A big part of his role at the College also relates to creating and maintaining social justice, which he defines as “the manner in which we collectively recognize that all have civil liberties and basic human rights that should be upheld and honored, regardless of the intersection of one’s cultural identity.” Trahan discussed how students can be proactive in achieving social justice. “Like diversity and inclusion, social justice is not limited to racism and other social constructs but rather a framework to understand our society from a holistic lens,” he said. “In order to be proactive, we have to avoid being reactive. It means that we need to continue being mindful, at all times, that regardless if inequities directly impact us, we have a responsibility to speak up and hold each other accountable as a society.” The introduction of the Office of Student Diversity and Inclusion is part of the College’s strategic plan, TCNJ 2021: Bolder,
Better, Brighter. Specifically, the office will help achieve the plan’s goals detailed in “Priority I: Attract and retain talented students, faculty, and staff into a diverse, inclusive, and healthy campus.” According to the College’s Center for Institutional Effectiveness, in 2015, 4,405 white students accounted for the total undergraduate population of 6,758 students, or roughly 65 percent. In contrast, African American/Black, Asian, Hispanic, Native American, Native Hawaiian, not reported, non-residential alien and students of two or more race accounted for 2,353 of the total
undergraduate population, about 35 percent. Trahan is hopeful that the College’s Office of Student Diversity and Inclusion will make a profound impact on campus. “I look forward to making history at TCNJ,” Trahan said. “I’m excited about fostering forward-thinking education, being innovative, and positioning TCNJ as a model for inclusive excellence in contemporary society. Most importantly, I look forward to being a beacon of support for the students at TCNJ, ensuring that equity is at the cornerstone for how we will be ‘bolder, better, and brighter’ as a campus community.”
Photo courtesy of Don Trahan Jr.
Trahan encourages students to be proactive instead of reactive.
The 09/20/17 issue of The Signal, The College of New Jersey’s student newspaper