Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

December 9, 2023

OSID promotes diverse relationships with basketball

Last week, Augustana College’s Office of Student Inclusion and Diversity (OSID) organized the “Who Got Game?” event, where faculty and staff of color were playing basketball against students of color. The event ran from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursday, April 11 in the PepsiCo recreation center, with the game starting at 7:15 p.m.

Dr. Corey Miles, the diversity fellow in the sociology, anthropology and social welfare department said, “No one is surprised when I say Augie is lacking when it comes to faculty and staff diversity on campus. Student’s graduate from here without taking a course with a faculty member of color.

“This type of event is important because it creates a democratized space where students of color can engage with professionals that look like them. They can network and have fun in a space that they feel comfortable. Consistently sitting in predominantly white classrooms, going to a predominately white cafe and attending predominantly white events on campus is psychological exhausting over the course of four years for students of color,” Miles said.

According to Miles, there were about 20 people, including student players and faculty members who participated in the event.

Markus Harris, the network technician at Augie said, “I got involved because I like being part of the Augustana community. Although diversity numbers are growing, I still think it’s important to reassure students that they are not navigating this without help from people who are familiar with it.

“I think events like this will help with student and faculty retention because it helps form bonds and create memories that will hopefully keep Augustana’s community together long after class lets out,” Harris said.

David Bajracharya, one of the first-year players said, “The event was quite fun. The game turned out to be very fast, competitive and very entertaining. I had lots of fun taking part in the event.”

As a Hispanic student player, Briana Lee, said that the event was meaningful to her:

“Initially, I was a bit nervous signing up. I did not feel that I was eligible to participate because I’m Hispanic and Caucasian, but Ashley Allen and the staff of OSID encouraged me to participate, and to not be concerned about how others perceive my identity.

“Although we lost the game, my teammates still supported one another and we had a blast playing basketball. An event like this is important to have, especially for bringing a strong and diverse community together,” Lee said.

“This was an attempt to center students of color,” Miles said. “I was thinking of ways students of color can engage in a co-curricular manner with the very few faculty and staff of color on campus. For people of color at Augie to see each other, we have to be purposeful and organize events to bring us together.”

“For those like myself who do not feel that they fit in with their cultural background or are starting to understand and embrace their own heritage, I was fortunate to meet some phenomenal students and faculty and staff members who made me feel more comfortable in my own skin and comfortable in this inclusive community.

“I cannot thank them all enough for this opportunity to participate and for welcoming me with open arms,” Lee said.

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OSID promotes diverse relationships with basketball