Community Building Day - March
by Stephen Margelony-Lajoie, posted 03/27/2012
It’s easy to think that the possibility of any “community building” is out of the question when living on a campus comprised of almost thirty thousand students. However, CMASS “Community Building Day” accomplished this feat on March 9, 2012 with food, refreshments and the extraordinary guest speaker Markeysha Davis. The event kicked off with a luncheon with Asian cuisine from Butterfly in Hadley before Davis’ presentation. She began by sharing her experiences as an undergraduate student and her transition from living in a city where diversity was never a problem to a school where finding diversity was a rare discovery. She also stressed the importance of participating in extra-curricular activities that should not just be done for the sake of it—she placed importance in making sure that every activity one partakes in has a purpose and will be a stepping stone towards one’s future goals.
After discussing her undergraduate experiences, Davis conducted an activity that combined the students’ aspirations with their artistic abilities (or lack thereof). Every student created a diagram that started with showing where they came from before moving on to where they are now in this point of their lives and then where they want to be five years from now. After the students were done creating their diagrams, they presented the diagrams to everyone attending the event. On a campus as big as UMass, it was great to see everyone at the event start to make a connection with each other as they realized that the other students were also people with dreams, aspirations and a story to share.
The event wrapped up after the presentation but there was tons of food and laughs to be shared afterwards. Community building is not easily accomplished at UMass but CMASS pulled it off excellently. A special thanks to Markeysha Davis, a Doctorate candidate for UMass’ Afro-American Studies program, who helped make CMASS “Community Building Day” a success.