The SUNY New Paltz Men’s Basketball team led a reflection on inclusion before and during halftime of their Feb. 8 home game against The College at Brockport, in collaboration with the Student Association and student performance organizations.
This first-ever Unity Game was a truly grassroots undertaking led by the Men’s Basketball players. The entire team wore matching, black “Take the Pledge” shirts during warm-ups. The Shades Step Team and Culture Shock dance troupe gave halftime performance, and many more student clubs and advocacy organizations were in attendance.
Prior to the game, sophomore forward Isaiah Bien-Aise ’22 (Pre-Management), of Westbury, New York, read a statement on behalf of the team, expressing what “unity” means to them, and why it’s such an important value for the SUNY New Paltz student community.
“On behalf of the Department of Athletics, Wellness & Recreation and our fellow student-athletes, we, the members of the New Paltz Men’s Basketball team, are asking you all to join us in an effort to take steps to build greater understanding and appreciation for one another as individuals and people who share one thing in common – our community, New Paltz.
The department renews its commitment to its mission and strategic plan by continuing to develop a communications strategy that promotes an inclusive and diverse community of students and staff predicated on respect and tolerance towards equity for all.
We have taken steps within our department this past year to grow and will continue moving forward by continuing to work with the Student Association, other student leaders and students in general to build a community of which we can all be proud and that represents us all.
Today, as members of the department, we all take a pledge to push for unity among each other as students. From this day forward, we pledge to listen, to learn, to collaborate and to seek unity and peace within the New Paltz community.”
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