Being a leader of Diversity

By Heather LaPergola
November 26, 2012

Leading a club is no easy task to take on.  There are many challenges club leaders are faced with when launching a new club or carrying out an already established club in the hopes that it continues to grow and thrive even after the founder – or founders – have left.

“It’s hard being a leader in general, especially when people rely on you for a lot of things,”  John Eddings, junior and president of the Black Student Union, said.

Eddings spoke of some plans to further engage the student body.  A key motif is to erase negative stigmas.  This task won’t come easy or overnight but with the determination of hardworking students at Cabrini, many things foreshadowed as seemingly impossible have already been accomplished.

Regarding plans to the future, Eddings hopes the club will continue to prosper and develop even after he graduates.

“I’m hoping by the time I graduate there’s going to be a legacy and someone else will take over,” Eddings said.

Although there are many plans on events in the upcoming future, Eddings made it clear there weren’t any set in stone at this point in time.

“Similar to other diversity clubs on campus we do have a strong background, but I feel that it’s important to keep ourselves separate so we know exactly why we are important,” Eddings said.

While there are many different diversity oriented clubs here at Cabrini, Eddings makes a great point that each one has its own unique goal and with that comes its own unique path to achieve it.

Junior business administration major Ashlee Grazier is the president of Amor Latino, formally known as La Raza.

“Our purpose is to educate people about the Hispanic culture,” Grazier said. “To just let people know that it’s not just black and white on campus, because that’s what everybody thinks it is, and there’s more cultures around.” She continued saying, “I’m so in love with the culture and I wanted to bring something to the table.”

When asked about the troubles of running a club, Grazier responded, “It’s hard being a president just because you know you have everything hanging over your head. Like if it flops, it’s because of you. If no one shows up, it’s because of you and you’ve got to figure out why no one showed up.”

Despite the struggles though, Grazier says there are rewards with every negative aspect.

“This is helping me as a person,” Grazier said. “It’s showing me how to become a better leader and what’s the things I have to do to actually get people to come to things.”

Many students know the club as La Raza, however, this year the name of the club was switched from La Raza, which means “the race” to Amor Latino, which means “love Latino.” Grazier didn’t like the original name and explained, “I just wanted to add love to it because the culture itself is beautiful, and for someone not to love the culture is just insane to me.”

The biggest thing Grazier says she gets from the group is the motivation of other people and learning about the culture. Through teaching other people about the culture, she also learns things herself.

Another club in the process of name transition is Gender and Sexuality Alliance (GSA), which is formally known as Gay Straight Alliance or, at Cabrini, as Sanctuary. New club president, junior psychology major Dymond Gleaves, explained that the purpose of the club is to provide a safe space on campus for people of the LGBT community and also people who are supportive of that community, to come and feel comfortable to be themselves.

“Being the president, you’re constantly running around and trying to get stuff done and meet up with people and sometimes balancing it doesn’t always work out; something is forgotten,” Gleaves said. Balancing life outside of a club is the same for any president: challenging.

The best part of the job for Gleaves is “knowing that you did something that you’re proud of, and that other people are proud of.”

“GSA is important to me here on campus and to know that I’m providing that space, along with my exec board; that space for people to come so that they can feel comfortable or just feel like they belong to the campus, belong to something that’s good,” Gleaves said. “That’s the reward for me.”

Last year, Gleaves was only a member and attended the few meetings they had, however she wanted to see the club do more and become bigger and more successful. She didn’t want to see it fail or fall behind, so she took it over. She says that she has noticed a definite improvement in meeting consistency and word around campus.

“For GSA, I want people to know that it’s not just for people who are gay or bisexual or transgendered. You don’t have to be a part of the LGBT community for you to be in this club.” Gleaves said. “If you have a friend, if you have a family member, if you just want to be there for someone else, even if you don’t know anyone and you just want to know more about it, come to the meetings.”

Eddings 5 Fun Facts


1. Enjoys Clubbing

2. Loves hanging out with friends

3. Likes watching Once Upon A time

4. Enjoys writing poetry

5.  Strives to be a good RA


Grazier 5 Fun Facts


1. Works three jobs on top of being GSA president

2. Works in the mailroom

3. Is involved in three other clubs on campus

4. Works at Build a bear in KOP mall

5. Is an RA


Gleaves 5 Fun Facts


1.Works in the residence life office

2. Is an RA

3. Works in the Education Resource Center

4. Is an RA in house one

5. Plans for her club to take over the Day of Silence next semester

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Heather LaPergola

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