The Residence Life staff of Seavers Hall held a Representation in Leadership event at McFeely’s in the CUB on Wednesday, Feb. 22, to discuss the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion in leadership roles.
The event had six panelists for the discussion: Multicultural Student Affairs (MSA) Director Diane Jefferson, MSA Assistant Director Kapri Brown, SU Student Trustee Rangeline DeJesus, Chief Michael Lee of the Shippensburg University Police Department, PAGE Center coordinator Sahara McGrath and Manuel Ruiz, Assistant Vice President for the Office of Inclusion and Belonging. The panelists discussed the importance of representation in school and the workplace, and why it matters to them.
“I’m the first Latino in the executive management at the university, and it’s the year 2023,” Ruiz said. “But that’s sad. It shouldn’t have taken the university this long to do this.”
“I like to see people who have similar looks and personalities as me,” McGrath said. “I am bisexual, and my gender is very fluid, but I like being able to see queer people who are out and proud and it makes me feel more comfortable. It makes me feel like there’s a safe environment, to have that representation and being supportive of that. So, to me, representation is about having a safe place.”
“I was the second lieutenant in my previous job with my first police department,” Lee said. “But for me, that meant just because I was the second didn’t mean I want to be the last. So, my job was to make sure that I helped those officers who are rising to management positions. So, it’s very important to help bring those who ultimately want to get to that same level of success.”
“One of the hardships that I’ve experienced in all leadership positions that I’ve held in student government is that imposter syndrome is very real,” DeJesus said. “And so, you have to remind yourself that when you are given an opportunity and you are selected by your peers, you deserve it, and don’t ever tell yourself otherwise.”
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