SGA Hosts First Cardinal Conversations

October 19, 2021

On Wednesday, Oct. 13, members of the campus community gathered for the kick-off of a monthly speaker series called Cardinal Conversations. Approximately 40-50 students and another 10-15 faculty, staff, and community members were in attendance.

This event featured a sustained dialogue workshop in partnership with Fisher’s Senior Diversity Officer Dr. Marlowe Washington and Lavery Library. The workshop, “They Said What? Addressing Sustained Dialogue from Reactive Listening to a Proactive One” was led by Dr. Robert Ruehl, Dr. Richard DeJesus-Rueff, Dr. Jennifer Rossi, and Dr. Jebaroja Singh.

They started off by discussing what is sustained dialogue, establishing group norms, and then provided an introduction about microaggressions. The attendees then split up into groups of three where they had facilitated sustained dialogue conversations about topics surrounding microaggressions.

Jenna Vinoya, Student Government Association (SGA) vice president and Honors student was a huge contributor to this event. “It is my and SGA’s goal to strive and ensure that Fisher and the surrounding community are enlightened with ongoing issues regarding underrepresented and marginalized groups and ways to uplift institutional or structural racism, social barriers, and inequality,” she says.

Steven Lysenko, member of the Department of Executive Leadership who is doing his field work as the DEI field coordinator, took part in this event. He says sustained dialogue is a critical piece of the puzzle that is diversity, equity, and inclusion at St. John Fisher College because it provides a protocol that allows for all voices to be heard and all perspectives to be shared in an equitable manner. “A natural consequence of this is that people begin to understand and appreciate one another at deeper levels, and in turn form positive relationships with one another,” Lysenko explained. “It is this intent listening, understanding, and relationship building that will make all the difference as Fisher forges a path forward with respect to ensuring that all members of the learning community feel accepted, welcomed, and valued.”