Bonner Meetings | Highlights From the Semester

Bonner Meetings | Highlights From the Semester

April 28, 2020 Stories from ACE 0

In a recent blog post, Bonners were asked to reflect on the trainings they’ve participated in this semester and share what “stuck with them” days or weeks after participating gin the meeting. Here are some of our Bonners’ reflections about the trainings they participated in this semester.

During Winter Retreat 2020, Bonners participated in a day of programming facilitated by Dr. Arianne Hoy and Dr. Rachayita Shah from the Bonner Foundation. One of the sessions that stood out to the Bonners most was the privilege walk. This workshop has been designed to provide college students with an opportunity to understand the intricacies of privilege and to explore the ways that each individual enjoys privileges based on the social identity groups they are a member of. Here are two Bonners reflection on the privilege walk:

“I…really liked when we talked about privilege and did the privilege walk during Winter Retreat. This was a very eye-opening experience for me. Different situations were uttered and if you aligned with one of those situations or did not, you took a step back or a step forward. What was amazing was that we all started at the same place but, ended up in different places in the room. This really demonstrated how real privilege is and how some people must work harder in order to achieve the same results as the person next to them. One way I can transfer this beyond the Seminar room is by being aware of my privilege and the privileges of others. Also, I can use my privileges to help those who are less privileged than me. At my service site, I am using my privilege of being a Bonner to help people and their families get necessary sustenance.”

-Cody Romani 23’

“The seminar that really stuck with me was a session from Winter Retreat when we did the privilege walk. This stuck with me because I think a lot of times I think I know someone, especially spending a lot of time with everyone in Bonner. However, there are always things you don’t know about a person. This training showed me how we all come from such different backgrounds and are able to bring so much to this program because of that. I was able to take this beyond the seminar room and think of it and how it applies in the real world and understanding how everyone comes from different backgrounds and has different opportunities. Also in my first-year seminar class when talking about diversity. I think one of the biggest takeaways for me is in this training we all started on the same line, however, the reality of this is that in life we don’t all start in the same spot.”

-Samantha Lunt 23’

Two of Bonners in the Social Work program, Kayla Sweet, ’20, and Hayley Pijanowski ’20, facilitated a training on Harm Reduction in February. Based on practices explored in the social work curriculum, harm reduction outlines a way of addressing negative behaviors. This training used case studies and activities to help students learn about the philosophy of Harm Reduction as well as how it can be implemented in their own lives. Here are two students’ reflections on the training:

“For me, the harm reduction training stood out the most this semester. It’s not something I’ve considered or even talked about that often. Usually, when I learn about drugs and things of that nature, the whole lecture is about how harmful it is, and why you should never do it. They hardly ever discuss how you can provide people affected by these things with safe and regulated options. I also liked how Hayley and Kayla, two social works majors, connected the idea of harm reduction to other aspects of social work. My biggest take away was that it’s not just about drugs, it’s more about respecting everyone’s right to make their own decisions but providing them with the safest possible options. This gave me a new perspective on people who struggle with addiction, showing me that they’re humans first, and deserve just as much protection and support as anyone else.” 

Jack Mckenna ’23

“The training that stuck out to me was the harm reduction training. It was extremely informative and educational. I found that it has stuck with me to this day because I never knew about it until the training. I think that the term harm reduction and the training that goes along with it should be something everyone knows about. It is not just for those who are going into the medical field, it should be something for everyone. I think a great way to expand this information outside of the seminar room can be to educate those on the term ‘harm reduction.’ This could even be something that is done on campus in the SSU so everyone on campus has the opportunity to go.”

Nia Colon ’22