College of DuPage's student newspaper | Est. 1967

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Letter: Black History Month will improve

Letter to the Editor

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Like many of the Courier’s readers, perhaps, my initial review of the weekly issue starts with the Opinion page. First to make certain I or the Student Affairs Division are not featured, but more importantly, glean what is on the minds of “student influencers.” It is part of my job, of course, but I also have a vested interest as a member of the campus community.

I will admit that my first read of the Opinion page, “Black History Month needs greater push”, left me puzzled. Personally, I thought we heavily marketed this new initiative. I am listing the marketing efforts that I believe supports that we sufficiently communicated the month-long events for Black History Month.

  •    Black History Month Webpage
  •    Posters
  •    Large format posters (for display at events and around campus)
  •    Flyers (printed twice)
  •    Email blast to students sent on Friday, January 30. The email had an average read rate of over 20%. Of 18,521 students; 4,151 opened and read the message.
  •    Featured announcements:
  • Local Community Newspapers (January & February)
  • College Website “Top News” Feature
  • College Plasma Screens
  • College Events Calendar
  • College Outdoor LED Sign
  • Social Media (Facebook/Twitter)
  • President’s “COD This Week” Newsletter
  • College “Green Sheet”
  • Opening Program (which included a list of the month-long events)

I then re-read the article again and took away a far different perspective; one that I feel I must compliment the author. The suggestions were helpful and the feedback positive; ideas that we can certainly consider in the planning of Black History Month 2016. However, I feel we must remember

that this was our first attempt to host a Black History Month celebration at the College. There is always room for improvements.

As with every first-time event, you identify things that you want to do differently, improvements or changes to make the event even more successful and spectacular than the previous year. We have a full year to incorporate the many ideas put forward by participants in the various Black History Month panels.  For instance, at the Intercollegiate Panel on African American Awareness moderated by Dr. Mark Collins, one of the panelists commented that discussion like this should occur more frequently than once a year.  In response, I have asked Student Life and the Center for Diversity & Inclusion to collaborate in the development and implementation of a full-slate of panel discussions. Information will be forthcoming as it develops.

So, while we may disagree on the details, we can all agree that together we will make Black History Month 2016 even better.

-Earl Dowling

Vice President, Student Affairs

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College of DuPage's student newspaper | Est. 1967
Letter: Black History Month will improve