CCC aims to create a more inclusive community

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The administration on the Hill takes a lot of pride in the fostering of safe discussions about important issues that students face both here and in the outside world.  In the past, groups have been formed that have enabled students to find those safe spaces for discussion. One of the first of these was a group called CCOR (Campus Conversations on Race). In CCOR, students divide up into small discussion groups and talk about issues surrounding different topics including race, gender and sexuality.  These discussion groups hope to promote the sharing and understanding of everyone’s opinions for a stronger community. Colby Conversations on Community (CCC) hopes to accomplish these goals as well.

Taysir Jama ’15, Jasmine Bazinet-Phillips ’15, Jordan Nathan ’15 and Maddie Dewhirst ’16 are the primary organizers of CCC, along with the help of Associate Professor of Psychology Tarja Raag. “The program is an extension of our pilot program ‘CCOR Hockey’ that took place last Spring,” Bazinet-Philips said, which entailed “teaming up with both the men’s and women’s ice hockey teams to talk about various social issues within the sport of ice hockey.”

Bazinet-Phillips was a member of the women’s ice hockey team during her freshman and sophomore years on the Hill and was also a member of the women’s rugby team for two seasons before a career-ending ankle injury happened during her junior year. One thing that Bazinet-Phillips noticed during CCOR Hockey, along with the other members involved with creating CCC, was that during the conversations the labels “Hockey Players” and “Non-Hockey Players” were used a lot. “This apparent divide between non-athletes and athletes has inspired us to continue to push dialogue on campus and use this discussion to address this divide,” Bazinet-Phillips said.

It is not uncommon to find a student who does not participate in varsity athletics that is upset about the privileges that athletes receive. These privileges come either directly from the College itself, perhaps in admissions, or in different places around campus such as the weight room; this is a topic that the facilitators of CCC hope to address. Facilitators are also planning to address issues such as student dynamics in the dining halls and in the Athletic Center, as well as social life. The social life aspect of discussions aims to address the attitudes and stereotypes that are associated with being an athlete or non-athlete.

The ultimate goal of CCC is to close the divide between athletes and non-athletes here on the Hill. “These conversations will lead to a more inclusive community that creates friendships and long lasting relationships between varsity athletes and non-varsity athletes here on campus,” Bazinet-Phillips said. They found that CCOR Hockey was a very impactful experience for those who participated, but one negative effect was that the conversations might have been limited because they were only delving in to the social complexities of hockey. “This year we look forward to applying the conversation of CCOR to athletics and the Colby community with a more diverse lens, applying it the broader athletic and student identities on campus,” Bazinet-Phillips said. The facilitators are hopeful that this could be a program to build a bridge between two communities that are too often disconnected here on the Hill. If you would like more information about CCC, you can contact Jasmine Bazinet-Phillips at jabazine@colby.edu.

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