CU Diversity Diplomats Help on Campus

Emily Lepien
Staff Writer

Cameron student organization Diversity Diplomats are currently on the lookout for new members. The club revolves around inclusion on campus and giving students an opportunity to connect and feel a part of the Cameron community, no matter their backgrounds.

Diversity Diplomats originated a few years ago through the Office of Student Development.

Club adviser Oliva Polynice said when she took over the position for the 2016-17 school year, the organization consisted of a group of students who gathered to help with events going on in the office, but eventually it started growing.

“A few of the students said, ‘You know, we want to be a student organization,” she said. “They wanted to be bigger, better [and] more active.

“We worked harder trying to establish ourselves as a student organization.”

Cameron freshman Cheyanne Hill attended the leadership summit hosted by the Diversity Diplomats last spring as a concurrently enrolled high school senior.

She said it had been difficult having to wait until she became a freshman to join, as she felt it was perfect for her.

“I went [to the summit] because of leadership,” she said. “That’s always been important to me. I think this one stood out more to me because of what it stands for – diversity and inclusion.

“I feel like sometimes that’s overlooked and not made a big deal on campus.”

Every student in Diversity Diplomats plays a similar role – helping. While the organization has officers and an adviser, Hill said it has always been more than that.

“I feel like we all have the same role,” she said. “We all come to the meetings, and go to the events, and I think we’re all equal.”

Polynice said it’s been quite the experience watching the group grow from around five members to 22.

“Their attitudes just did a whole one-eighty,” she said. “From being just a couple kids who just kind of helped volunteering for a couple of events, to now their own student organization.”

This semester, the Diversity Diplomats are involved in on-and off-campus events. They hosted the Snacks and Chats workshops, helped with the Disability Fair hosted by the Student Development Office and are now wrapping up the semester with community service and volunteer work off campus.

Polynice said the rest of the work will include activities like writing letters to veterans.

“They’re going to be participating in holiday events and trying to make sure that they do their volunteering and philanthropy,” she said.

The organization’s philanthropy activities help students focus on being diplomats with a voice for diversity on campus. However, Polynice said it is also about being diplomats off campus and in the community as well.

“They really want to work hard on establishing a name for themselves,” she said. “They want to go into being more vocal in the community. They talked about maybe doing bell ringing or something for the Salvation Army or reading to elementary school children.”

The Diversity Diplomats wrapped up their events for this semester last week with their final Snacks and Chats. They are already planning several events for the Spring, including Mixing with Teas, Snacks and Chats and their annual Summit conference.

For more information about the Diversity Diplomats, contact advisor Olivia Polynice at opolynice@cameron.edu or visit the Diversity Diplomats website at www.cameron.edu/diversitydiplomats.

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