On Tuesday, the Student Diversity Board (SDB) at Saint Mary’s hosted its seventh annual Mosaic celebration. Students socialized by listening to music and eating light snacks in Haggar Hall. At the event, SDB president Crystal Ramirez and vice president Anaís Juliano mingled with fellow students and class peers.
[Editor’s note: Crystal Ramirez is a former associate news editor for The Observer.]
At every table, there was a centerpiece highlighting the accomplishments and continued progress of the College community toward diversity, inclusion and equity. The accomplishments showcased ranged from years 2015 to 2021. Some of these accomplishments included the opening of the LGBTQ+ center and the announcement of Katie Conboy as president-elect of Saint Mary’s in 2020. Other highlighted accomplishments included the welcoming of Redgina Hill as executive director of inclusion and equity in 2019 and Saint Mary’s recognition of Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a College holiday in 2018.
“I have really felt the impacts and seen firsthand how the hiring of Dr. Redgina has affected the campus and the students having a director for Inclusion and Equity, and a decision that has worked to make Saint Mary’s diverse, inclusive, and equitable for all,” Ramirez wrote in an email.
The Student Diversity Board has hosted an annual Mosaic celebration for the past seven years. The entire college community was invited to participate in the event, including all Saint Mary’s faculty and staff.
After the event, when asked what SDB does for the community of Saint Mary’s College, Ramirez said the three pivotal roles of the organization is to celebrate, advocate and educate on the diverse student body.
“And for us, it’s been developing what that word means for us and what that word means for the campus over the past four years for me and the past two for Anaís,” she said. “It’s learning to go beyond the boundaries of diversity that come to mind. Which you know, are like race, ethnicity and looking to things like being able-bodied, not able-bodied, your religious affiliation, your gender identity or sexual identity. So it’s just been looking into all of these different backgrounds that make you who you are and make up your identity.”
Juliano added that SDB is a place for everybody in the community to feel welcomed.
“That’s the part that I love about SDB is that everybody has a place somewhere, and SDB is that place for me,” Juliano said.
At SDB, Ramirez and Juliano said they have unique opportunities to meet new people from all walks of life as well as work with prominent faculty and staff members, such as Liz Bauman and Liz Palmer.
“Being part of the Student Diversity Board does get you the chance to elevate other voices, whether that be of your own, or the voices of students that you’ve heard concerns for the changing that they want to see. And so in this role, you have the privilege of being able to have a seat or conversations, to set the agenda, to have a voice that hopefully echoes the voice of the students,” Juliano said. “It’s been a privilege to kind of be able to do that and sit at different committees and at different boards through these questions we have to hopefully influence the student impact and influence the changes on campus through what we’ve learned through student engagement.”
Events such as the annual SDB Mosaic celebration provide outreach to the members of the Saint Mary’s College community about the accomplishments of the board’s goals. In addition, events like Mosaic tell students that they belong.
“You can be whoever and be a part of the board, because in you, being yourself you bring a diverse identity to Saint Mary’s,” Ramirez said.
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