Continuing the conversation: What to expect from second KSUnite

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Kansas State University President Richard Myers holds up the football team's "FAMILY" block at the KSUnite Rally on Anderson Lawn on Nov. 14, 2017. (Meg Shearer | Collegian Media Group)

The events surrounding the second KSUnite will kick off at 10 a.m. Tuesday. Concurrent sessions will run until 3:30 p.m. in various rooms in the Kansas State Student Union.

“Being proactive, engaging people around raising their level of consciousness and things of that nature is very important and that’s what we are striving to do with KSUnite in 2018,” Bryan Samuel, chief diversity officer, said. “We’ve selected a number of diverse topics from all across the diversity continuum that are very important to our campus.”

First sessions from 10:00 to 10:45 a.m.

“Free Speech, Diversity and Inclusion” will be held in the Big 12 Room on the second floor of the union. This session, hosted by general counsel for the university Cheryl Strecker and Mirta Chavez, director of multicultural student affairs.

“Students are somewhat perplexed by free speech and diversity and inclusion,” Samuel said. “What can you say? What can’t you say? Why can’t you just say anything and how does a university successfully navigate all those landmines and things to create a positive and strong community.”

“Campus safety: Best strategies for safety both on and off campus” will be in the Cottonwood Room on the second floor of the union. Ronnie Grice, assistant vice president for university police and public safety, will be discussing topics regarding on- and off-campus safety, Samuel said.

“Empowering First-Generation Student Success” is a session that is the result of collaboration between donors and alumni, Samuel said. Held in the Bluemont Room, this session is meant to show that, at K-State, the university does everything in its power “to graduate a higher percentage of students that are first generation” by meeting the individual needs of students.

Second sessions from 11:00 to 11:45 a.m.

“Wildcat Dialogues: Developing Skills for Leading Courageous Conversations,” which is a reiteration of the event held earlier in the fall semester, will be held in the Flint Hills Room on the second floor of the union. Led by Kerry Priest, associate professor in the Staley School of Leadership Studies, the conversation should be successful in allowing students to engage in conversations about diversity, Samuel said.

“‘The Hate U Give’: A Public Conversation” will be held in the Big 12 Room. The discussion about the Kansas State Book Network title will be hosted by Tara Coleman, associate professor at Hale Library.

The book, which was recently adapted into a movie, centers on the story of Starr, a teenager who watched her best friend, who was unarmed, be shot and killed by a police officer.

“There is a lot of research out there and a lot of dialogue about police brutality and some of those other kinds of things as it relates to young people across the country,” Samuel said. “That’ll be a great session as well.”

“Removing Micro-Aggressions From Our Campus” will be facilitated by Doris Carroll, associate professor of special education, counseling and student affairs, in the Bluemont Room. Samuel said Carroll’s experience within the College of Education will allow students to learn tactics to living a healthy life in communities.

Additional sessions and conversations

“Identity Round Tables” will be hosted throughout the day on a variety of topics. The first will be held in the Multicultural Student Organization office in the east wing of the union and the Veteran’s Student Center Office from 10:00 to 10:45 a.m.

The second round, from 11:00 to 11:45 a.m., will be held throughout the union. In room 203, there will be a conversation about “Religion and Spirituality,” and in room 204, the conversation will center on “Voices of Color.” There will be conversations on the “Spectrum of Sexuality” in room 206, and across the hall in room 207, the conversation on first generation students and their experiences will continue. In room 209, the conversation about “Faculty and Staff Affinity Organizations” will take place. Finally, the Multicultural Student Organization Office and Veteran Center will be open for Veterans and Military Affiliates.

Similar conversations will continue at 3 p.m. after the KSUnite rally has finished.

An update panel about the K-State Multicultural Center will be hosted by Adrian Rodriguez, associate vice president for student life of diversity and multicultural student affairs, in Forum Hall from 3:00 to 3:30 p.m.

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I'm Kaylie McLaughlin and I'm the news and features editor this semester. I grew up just outside of Kansas City in Shawnee, KS. I'm a sophomore in journalism with a minor in French and a secondary focus in International and Area Studies. My background is primarily in digital media and broadcasting, but I'm passionate about writing. In my free time, I like drinking coffee and reading news magazines.