This week the ECC will join student-athletes across the nation celebrating NCAA Diversity & Inclusion Week. With our schools located in some of the most diverse areas in the country, we'll celebrate our differences and show inclusion is a team sport.
Day five's theme is "I Pledge...Committing to a personal action plan for inclusion." Throughtout the day, the conference highlighted numerous student-athletes who pledged to promote diversity and inclusion. Now a few get the chance to write in their own words about what this means to them.
Amber Lubaszka/Tyiana Nunez - St. Thomas Aquinas Women's Triathlon
Inclusion is important to any athlete, on any team. Being inclusive is engrossing yourself for the love of the sport, providing a positive environment to those around you, and to making sure that everyone is accepted and included. For us personally, being very involved in the school community as well as being student-athletes helps us commit to a personal action plan for inclusion. From the first teammates we meet through orientation, to going to practice, meets, competitions or team bonding, it is important to make sure everyone is included and no one is left out. Make an enough to get to know and respect everyone on your team, but don’t be reluctant to branch out to other teams and the school community to get involved. It makes all the different in the team dynamic and chemistry when everyone feels included and accepted.
Andrea D’Sa - Daemen Women’s Soccer
Student athletes may be considered their own group, but we do many things to be inclusive with the community and other students on campus. As a student athlete we pledge to make the students and faculty feel included in our events. I pledge to give back to the community by having fundraisers and doing charity work. I would also like to educate people on why it's important to embrace diversity and be accepting of different people. Student athletes do not just play sports, they utilize what they've learned from being an athlete and spread their knowledge to others. I pledge to take action to influence others to embrace diversity and promote inclusion.
Bobby Norton - Mercy Men's Lacrosse
My phrase I chose to wear on my chest means a great deal to me. The phrase itself, I will treat all kinds of people with respect, seems pretty simple to understand but actually dives much deeper. To me treating all people with respect means a couple things. For one it means first off getting to know the person and learn about them so you are able to understand their point of view and aspect of life. This better helps treat them with respect since you now have built a relationship with them. Secondly just treating everyone like a human being. People will not always get along or understand each other’s beliefs so not everyone has to be friends but everyone deserves to be treated like a person and should not have to feel like they are any less. This includes respecting thoughts and opinions even if you disagree, and not in treating people as if they are in any way shape or form below you. Treating people with respect gives them confidence and sets a good example for the society and community. So I pledge this in order to make a good example around the campus and community as all should.
Erin Lankowicz - NYIT Women's Soccer/Lacrosse
NYIT is recognized as a highly diverse student body, representing over 90 countries and 44 states. This is something I take pride in and feel fortunate enough to be associated with an inclusive campus culture. As a student athlete I have had teammates, opponents, and coaches of all different identities. Growing up I wasn’t introduced to dissimilarity, so I was introduced to many different varieties of people. This diversification has helped me become more knowledgeable of all different backgrounds and sexualities, leading me to learn the proper way to treat everyone with respect regardless of what identity someone may hold.
Student Athletes are held to a higher standard than most on campus by our coaches, professors, and peers. We are expected to receive a certain GPA, work hard on the field and in the classroom, assist our communities, and hold us accountable by doing the right thing on and off the field. As leaders on campus we should pledge to treat everyone equally and set an example for those around us.
As athletes we rely on each other for support and to become the best possible version of ourselves. This is not capable without acceptance and consideration from one another. Pledging support to embrace and respect the different ethnicities and sexualities we may come across is imperative to aid in the growth of healthy competition and unity across our campuses. I pledge to always treat others the way I wish to be treated, while being a constant reminder and leader to my teammates and peers to act the same.
Tyler Mace - District of Columbia Men's Lacrosse
The meaning of diversity is to understand that each individual is unique and has the ability to recognize our individual differences. This can be anything from race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age or political beliefs along with many other ideologies as well.
As I have spent years going through school and playing many different sports before focusing on lacrosse, diversity is an aspect that has and always will be with me. During my years of schooling, it was evident to me at a young age that no one person is the same, and that is okay. I grew and I began to understand my beliefs and core values, that this is what makes up society. Over the years of playing many different sports, and even now with lacrosse, my teammates varied in race, socio-economic status, age and had different political ideologies, but that is what made us who we are. There was never a time or a moment where someone would not be included or accepted because of this. Diversity amongst us as a people provides growth and enhancement in finding unity.
As the president of the student-athlete advisory committee, this is a matter I take great pride in. It is important to embrace our differences. I pledge to treat all people with the utmost respect, regardless of what identities they may hold. I will not only be a leader within my respective sport, but also a role model to other student-athletes, showing just how important diversity is to our institution and to the world we live in.