Bonner Visions

Bonner Visions

August 27, 2020 Reflections from Changemakers 51

We talked about visions of the past, present, and future during SGU 2020. What have you been noticing and seeing about the world around you since we left campus in March? What are your visions for this semester? What are your goals for service? Academics? The larger community?

51 Responses

  1. Stephanie Da Fonseca says:

    So many things have changed, our world looked like something from a dystopian novel this year; with civil rebellion, a pandemic outbreak, unexpected deaths and wildfires. Our world is not the same whether it is good or bad, amid the loneliness of quarantine we saw good things happen such as the Himalayan Mountains being visible from 230km away due to less pollution in lockdown, a 104-Year-Old army veteran beats Coronavirus in time to celebrate his birthday and Endangered sea turtles hatch in Brazil’s deserted beaches.
    My visions for this semester are to be able to focus a lot on school and my family ad loved ones since we are still social distancing and etc. For Service I hope to achieve the goal of writing my first Bonner policy research, which would benefit so many people once we bring light to issues and lay them out clearly and concisely.

  2. Tristan Hunzinger says:

    I have been noticing positives as well as negatives around the world since we left camps in March. Positives would include people rallying together and voicing their opinions, causing change, and fighting injustices. Negatives would include a further divide that has been created between political groups in our nation. For this semester, I am hoping to achieve academic success as well as success in my new position at choice physical therapy. I am also looking forward to beginning my capstone project for Bonner. For the larger community I hope to see people continue to come together and fight for the overall good of our country and the people within it.

  3. Jackson Regan says:

    Leaving high school in March for lockdown, we all thought we’d be back by May, or June at the absolute latest. That didn’t happen. What instead happened over the lockdown and over the summer was in many ways, a show of the worst of humanity: brutality and mistreatment by those sworn to serve and protect, chaos and destruction across America, negligence and petty politics that put people’s lives at risk and in many cases cost people their lives. But as I moved on to campus in September, I noticed that amidst all this bad, hurting, and evil, there was also the best of humanity showing. People rose to the new, unprecedented challenge. Yes there was selfish negligence by many citizens and politicians. However, many in those groups helped those in need, often putting their own health and safety at risk. That selflessness, that call to action to help others; that is what I hope to see this year, especially being at a school that embodies the values of humble and sincere servitude to others.

  4. marykate del gais says:

    Since we left campus in March there have been several changes that have taken place in the world. The global pandemic has taken a toll on communities as a whole, as well individuals themselves. Everyone had to quickly adjust to the new normal that has bestowed about the world. Secondly, social justice issues have become more prevalent since we left campus in March with the rise of the Black Lives Matter Movement. It has given the world the opportunity to educate themselves and fight for change in their own communities as well as worldwide. This semester I hope to challenge myself and grow as a person. I want to continue to educate myself on the issues going on around the world and even certain issues that are going on so close to our campus. I hope to succeed in the classroom, as well as going out of my comfort zone outside of the classroom to meet new people and learn new things. I hope to stay organized and focused during the time that we still remain on campus.

  5. Jack McKenna says:

    I’ve noticed that a lot of people handle stress and change in different ways. Some people readily accept it, others dig their heels in and resist at all costs. From having to stay inside for a while, to having to wear a mask, nothing is how it used to be. A larger, deeper change is in everyone’s day to day lives. Everyone has more free time, which means less distractions and more time for reflection and thought. For some, this was great, for others not so much, and it drew a clear line that has further divided our country, but also gave rise to the largest civil rights movement in history. My vision for the semester is very blurry; I have no ability to look ahead, because more than usual things are so unpredictable and ever changing. I feel as though I’m constantly one step behind where I should be, in classes and in service, and I’m still trying to get adjusted to how things work now. With that said, my goals for service and academics are the same- I want to get readjusted, catch up, and feel like I’m in the driver’s seat again. For the larger community, I just hope that everyone says safe, takes this time to reflect and educate themselves so that we can continue to make change and fight against injustice in our communities and as a country.

  6. Julia says:

    After spending two incredible months in Spain, coming home early was difficult to say the least. Not only did I miss Valencia and my host family, but I was also overwhelmed with uncertainty and stress due to COVID-19 as I’m sure many people were. Since March 2020, the world has faced a global pandemic and an economic crisis impacting billions of people. In addition, the world has focused its attention on social justice issues particularly racism.
    This semester I hope to continue educating myself on current events. In terms of service I hope to create a meaningful survey and gain IRB approval for my capstone. I also would like to create connections with students at the Troy Boys and Girls Club. For academics, I am pushing myself to participate like I would during an in-person class. For the larger community (Siena, Albany ,and Troy), I hope that people remain connected despite social distancing and other COVID-19 precautions.


  7. Kayla says:

    We talked about visions of the past, present, and future during SGU 2020. What have you been noticing and seeing about the world around you since we left campus in March? What are your visions for this semester? What are your goals for service? Academics? The larger community?

    When I left school in March things have never been the same. COVID-19 has made a huge impact on everyone’s life because of the new criteria such as masks and social distancing. The little things in life have been stripped away such as being within a reasonable distance of someone in the grocery store. Now we have to be within at least 6 ft of someone. The new normal thing to do is wear masks so that everyone protects each other from the virus. The socially distancing aspect of COVID felt real and alive after March. For the first 2-3 months after, people had to quarantine in their house and could not be in contact with people.
    The distance felt real and needed to be practice in order for everyone to keep each other safe. During these months in the summer, the media was blowing up because of the death of George Floyd. People were forced to look at his murder because it was a vivid, painful, and immoral death. This illustrated to people that systematic racism is real and there needs to be reform. From this incident, people came to gather all across the world, nationwide and worldwide to protest and petition for reform in the system because of so many African American deaths due to police brutality and racism. My vision for the semester includes becoming more educated on these sorts of issues so that I know how to act and form an opinion. I would also want to educate myself in the fields of religion and sexuality because I am not aware of some of the struggles and would want to contribute to helping with their struggles as best as I can. I want to learn how to become a better ally. My service goals are to learn more skills through the Bonner webinars so that when I go to my site I am prepared on how to help. My academics goals include managing my time better so that I complete assignments within a timely manner and not at the very last minute. I would also like to improve my study habits and try to study gradually for exams and not cram all the material in a couple of days. My goal for the larger community is to be as openminded as possible so that I can learn how to better connect with it.

  8. Giavanna Pitagno says:

    Leaving school in March posed more questions for the future than answers. The change in “normal” views of life was not only effected by the pandemic, but the arise in awareness of social injustices. While these have led to a physical and metaphorical distance between people, it has been a time for reflection and self growth. The result of this growth and change gives hope for a clearer view of the future. For this semester, I intend to use the lessons I’ve learned throughout the pandemic and social justice issues to live more intentionally and with more unconditional love. My personal goal for service (when we are in person) is to further learn about the injustices in healthcare, and to talk about these injustices with the community to get a better grasps of the tangible effects. For academics, I’m working for A’s, but also just to have a fun and safe semester.

  9. Sydney Maughan says:

    Since we left campus in March, I’ve been noticing that everyone seems much more on edge and stressed. Overtime things have gotten better but people still seem very weary about most things.
    My visions for this semester remain hopeful despite everything going on. I’ve also been doing my best to be hopeful that things will at least start to go back to normal within the next few months. But I am thankful that I can live on campus this semester because finishing last semester from home was a real struggle for me.
    My goals concerning service are just to feel that I’m still supporting the community although I am doing remote service. I also hope that by second semester we’ll be able to go back to working in the surrounding communities on a regular basis.
    As for my academics, I’ve been anticipating this to be one of my best semesters because I’m taking several classes that are directly related to my major. I’m more engaged in my classes than ever before and actually want to learn more which is a different feeling compared to how I usually feel about classes. Lastly, I feel like I have more support from my family and friends to excel in my academics and it has made things easier for me.
    Concerning the larger community, I hope that it will begin to further recover from the effects of COVID. The economy was hit hard and I’ve noticed so many businesses having to close where I live and in the surrounding communities to Siena. I just want to see communities to start to thrive again soon.

  10. Ecli Vazquez says:

    When we left school in March I feel that the dark side of the United States was shown. From a government that wasn’t prepared for the pandemic but also did not take as seriously as they should have. People would also feel their hearts with hate to the Asian community because of the origin of COVID-19. I feel that a lot of people learned just how much injustice there is in the United States. This why I’m happy the Black Lives Matter is moving the way it is. It has become a bigger voice than what it was in the past. When it comes to school I’m excited to work on my own self-esteem and confidence. When it comes service since I’m working on my capstone I’m going to try and make it the best thing I can.

  11. Kate Callery says:

    Vision is a very cool thing to think about. In its simplest definition it is our ability to see, but it also represents something much deeper. Looking forward at this next semester I hope to complete my goal of graduating early. I have come to understand, through seeing and reflection, that I am no longer fulfilled at Siena College. I will be leaving the school with many many happy memories – many of which are thanks to my Bonner family. When my mom asked why I wanted to graduate early I explained that I see hatred and disrespect in our highest official position in the USA. With the events and pain that continues to exist in America, I feel eager to get working. Vision is about seeing your future through the dreams you have but also about reflecting in what you currently see and experience.

  12. Nicole Pazarecki says:

    My vision for this semester is to have a fun, safe and stress free semester. I want to do well in my classes and create a well written capstone project for my academic goals. Also, I want to try to focus on myself and be the best that I can be. During this time, I have been very stressed and worried about my family and friends. Therefore this semester I want to try to remain positive.

  13. Rachel Gifford says:

    Since leaving high school in March the world has changed. At the beginning everyone felt the distance created by Covid, but overtime people came together to stand up for what’s right as well as to help each other through this difficult time. In my life I have grown a lot since March because of the jump I made from high school to college. I feel like we are never ready for the challenge’s life throws at us, but we grow from it. For this semester I want to get settled in my new community and build friendships. It’s hard to not feel the distance between myself and my classmates. However, we can overcome the barriers and find other ways to get to know one another.
    For service I want to educate myself more on the word around me and how I can do my part to help. I want to learn more about the problems our community faces as well as the problems my site faces. I was sad when I realized that I couldn’t do in person service this year, but I’m taking it as an opportunity to build on myself and figure out the best way for me to help. Academically I want to adjust to college life and figure out how to balance my time between my classes. I’m still adjusting to the workload and I’m learning a lot in a very short period of time. Sometimes I need to stop myself and take a breath. For the larger community I want to focus on making my community more welcoming and advocate for those whose voices aren’t heard in my hometown. In my Siena community my goal is to be open to new possibilities and to spread more kindness. I want to find new ways to connect with others during this time.

    • Kate Callery says:

      You are SO right about the challenges life will throw at us. We never expect it but we always grow. Your Bonner Family will be here to help too!

  14. Nora Diede says:

    Since this pandemic started and the world drastically shifted, I have noticed so much. The idea of “we are all in this together” has been used to unify the world while facing this pandemic. People have also been very active in the Black Lives Matter Movement, as systematic racism continues across the nation. It has been very powerful to see marches and protests against the presence of police brutality and systematic racism nationwide. With this, it is clear that our nation’s greatest flaws have been shown through this pandemic. The virus has disproportionately affected communities of color, and police brutality continues. The state of our nation has become evident in the discrimination that is present and the murders of so many. Those that refuse to wear masks and risk the lives of those around them, also shine a light on the ignorance and disregard for others our country possesses. One of my goals for service is to become more educated on the Black Lives Matter Movement. I am really excited about #DoTheWork and hope to become a better ally. I am also serving at the YWCA, and hope to be able to aid in their mission of supporting women in the capital region, and fighting racism. For this semester academically, I want to get adjusted to the college workload and work schedule. I also want to focus on my writing skills to better myself for the next four years. For the community, I hope that I can contribute to the health and safety of the Siena community. This is of course by following guidelines set forth by Siena, but I also believe that mental health is very important in a time like this. I hope to be able to aid in spreading joy and positivity to those around me, while in such an uncertain and stressful time.

  15. Jonathan Limey says:

    Since leaving my High school last March, I have seen a stark change in many different aspects of life. There is the obvious changes with covid, masks, social distancing, and quarantine but besides those there are many more changes that have occurred. The perspective on discrimination and segregation is beginning to change, especially in terms of racial equality. The news has become a source to question just as much to trust. New scandals appear every day and this quantity causes many unfair responses. Fires, giant hornets, famous deaths, and more have appeared and disappeared as passing thought due to the overwhelming craziness which is this year. Lastly there are the more personal changes which are unseen but there. Depression, Anxiety, and other mental health issues are beginning to seriously take a toll on individuals living in isolation out of necessity and/or fear. Domestic Violence has gotten worse due to people loosing the escape of school or work. Overall the world has experienced a great amount of pain and suffering, but it is also experiencing a great period of change. The biggest changes since March is bringing attention to existing issues, and more people being willing to talk about them.

    Due to the large amount of unpredictable events that have happened in a year, it is hard to have aspirations for a future like before. Many dreams told now are for a covid free world or just time where nothing eventful and world changing happens. Personally I don’t actively have any visions for the semester because my visions are now actions. I am at college, taking classes, serving, singing, and joining clubs just like I wanted to be able to. I am living the hopes I have had for all of the uncertain times these past few months. Regarding my goals (which I realize are visions), I hope to be able to look back at my semester and see a change. I hope to make a positive impact with my service, even if it is only one because every bit means something. I hope to see a change in my academics. More specifically I hope to find the joy in learning and remind myself that I have the privileged to learn not the chore to learn. My goal for the community and for my self personally are the same. I hope we grow. No one knows where we will be in a year, that we have all certainly learned, but we will all be somewhere. I hope that when we are there we are better off, smiling, and talking about new goals which lead us to the same joyful outcome a year later.

  16. Erin Spence says:

    I have noticed a lot of change in the world since we left campus in March. With the new way of life that we have all adapted to, I think our mindsets have changed on the ways we are able to continue to grow communication and relationships with one another. We left campus so abruptly in the Spring, and we all had to make adjustments to how we stay connected with each other, even with people who were close by. I have learned that physical distance does not have to stop people from staying connected. In adapting to a new way of life, so many people still found creative ways to keep in touch and support each other. Because the entire country was adapting and facing this challenge together, I think there was also a growth in solidarity, especially towards the groups who were impacted more by the virus. There has been a large amount of social change occurring since the pandemic hit. This public health crisis has brought to light so many inequalities that are experienced around the world today, sparking the social movements that have risen up in the last few months.

    I am so thankful that we were able to come back to campus this Fall, and my vision is to continue to be grateful for what we have right now. Despite the differences in campus life, I am going to make the best of it and take advantage of the time we have here now. My goals for service this semester are to gain more comfort and confidence in the PA role and bring in an awesome new Bonner class of 2025! Even though we are not doing much direct service this semester, I know that we will continue to make an impact in our community throughout the year.

  17. Harriet Koblenzer says:

    We talked about visions of the past, present, and future during SGU 2020. What have you been noticing and seeing about the world around you since we left campus in March? What are your visions for this semester? What are your goals for service? Academics? The larger community?

    In the past several months I have seen a lot more people actively stand up to social injustices that continue to take place. Previously people were more passive about these injustices, and didn’t concern themselves with them. Personally I wasn’t taking direct action steps before, like contacting state officials and representatives to make my voice heard, or calling police departments when incidents of police brutality occurred.
    One thing I envision for this semester is pushing myself to not stop, because we don’t want this movement to lose steam. I really liked when Nyle Fort said that we have the floor, and we can’t give it up as there is a lot of work to be done. I also want to continue to question my thoughts and beliefs. I don’t want to stop learning, and understanding different perspectives.
    This also ties into my goals for service, which is to keep pushing even when I’m tired or want to give up. I want to be proud of my capstone, and want it to be as effective as possible in helping Castle Island sustainably increase their enrollment.

  18. Kiara Woodward says:

    Since leaving campus in March the world around me has not always seemed like a positive place. It has been impossible to miss the societal injustices that took place during our time in quarantine. People who refuse to wear masks to the murder of George Floyd has shed a light on the state of our country as a whole.

    My vision for the semester is hopefully being here. I want Siena to beat the odds and prove that we are a community that cares enough about one another to follow the rules. It will the only thing that will get us to Thanksgiving. My service goal for the semester is to have impactful conversations surrounding race and ally ship. I want #DoTheWork to start conversations that have been avoided and help us all engage in material that teaches new and much needed information. My academic goal for the semester is to make it through and get that step closer to graduation.

    My vision for the larger community is being willing to learn, selfless, and committed to change. These past few months have forced many people to face a harsh reality that has always existed in reference to police brutality and treatment of people of color in general. I hope for people to not look at these moments as isolated incidents but rather as symptoms of the larger issue of systemic oppression. I hope for people to put others before themselves when having these conversations about race and when living in our covid world.

  19. Sarah Ahmed says:

    It’s evident that the world is not the same since leaving campus in March. During quarantine, I think people realized what they had taken for granted such as being able to spend time with friends, being in school, and being able to have a plan. We took our daily lives for granted and realized how the small, everyday things, impacted us for the better. Along with this, the social injustices due to the systems which govern the U.S. were finally unboxed.

    My vision for the semester is to not take every day on campus for grated and to constantly check my actions and my words. We spend a lot of time discussing injustices, but I want to take time outside of Bonner to educate myself a little more each day. I also want to be able to take something away from each class instead of just taking the course to fulfill credits.
    My service site is different than last year, so my goal is to learn more about the program and go into the program a bit more open-minded since I was a bit sad that I won’t be seeing my kids from last year.

    My goal for the larger community is to be more positive and open-minded in general. It can be difficult to stay positive and see the good in everything going on right now. I hope for the larger community to see this year and all the occurrences as something to grow and learn from instead of hoping for the year to get over with so we can move on to 2021.

  20. Dana Wakeman says:

    Unfortunately, since we left campus in March, it feels as though there have been so many injustices and inequalities that have gained attention. A positive is that a lot of people are learning more about social justice issues and are working to create a change.

    This semester, I want to focus on taking it one day at a time. I often like to plan things out, but this pandemic has proven that planning is not always possible and I want to continue to be ok with that. For service, I want to create trainings that engage all of the Bonners and allow them to learn more about different social justice issues. Academically, I want to continue to challenge myself as well as to grow specifically as I work on my capstone.

    Finally, my goal for the community is to create a world where people are not judged or discriminated against by their race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, mental health status, among others. Currently, I am grappling with the fact that the recent death of a black man occurred in Rochester where I am from, so I want change to come to Rochester and the broader community in order for it to become a safe and equitable place for all.

  21. Alexis D'Aloia says:

    Since leaving campus in March, there have been so many things that have changed in our lives. There are many little things that I now see differently, a lot of those things being recognition of what I often take for granted in life. The little moments and experiences I have at Siena are so priceless and having to leave in March led me to missing out on those little things that actually had a huge impact on me than they seem they would on the surface. In terms of society as a whole, I think it is interesting to see how we have essentially shifted our entire world online/virtual. It was definitely not an easy process and it brought to light a lot of the injustices we have in our communities. If you don’t have access to technology, it is undoubtedly more difficult to adapt to the Covid world. Classes went online, shopping was done online, doctor visits, therapy sessions, connections with friends and family, etc. It was also very eye opening to see human behavior in general in response to a global pandemic. It seems that in some aspects it brought communities together however it also tore them apart in disagreement of the right thing to do and how to respond. The biggest thing I’ve seen overall is a large divide in society on various issues we are facing– Covid-19, the BLM movement, etc. which all have serious impacts on every community we are a part of.

    My visions for this year are to be happy, successful, and hopefully enjoy my senior year to the best of my ability. I know I need to keep in mind to focus on what is in my control rather than what is not. My goals for service are to finish out implementing and assessing my legacy project that I worked on throughout the summer, as well as hit that 1800 hour mark (coming soon!). In regard to academics, I hope to not only get good grades but to actually be learning something and absorbing new skills and knowledge rather than just going through the motions to get it done. My goal for the larger community, I’m going to take this as the large community being Siena College and hope that we are able to remain on campus with everyone staying healthy and safe.

  22. Amanda Molloy says:

    Since I left my high school in March, so much has changed. I think this has been one of the most difficult and uncertain times I have ever seen our world in and that I have experienced personally. I think there has been a lot of sadness, negativity and focusing on all the things that everyone is missing out on. Personally, I dwelled for a long time on my missed prom, graduation and “normal” summer. Honestly, looking back, it was a selfish mindset considering the state of the world and the fact that people dealt with much worse. For the future semester, I want to change my personal mindset and help those around me with a similar mindset make a switch from negativity and dwelling on things missed to positivity and focusing on the possibilities the future holds. My goal for service is to make it as meaningful and impactful as possible with the current circumstances and try to make connections in the community even though we may not be able to be physically together as often. For academics my goal is to try to make the best of the combination of in person and online classes and to try as hard as I can but realize that perfect grades are not necessary as long as I am working to the best of my ability. Going back to my personal mindset earlier in quarantine, I hope the same for the larger community as I do for myself, which is to experience a little more joy and positivity in these coming months, because the last months were filled with many struggles in personal lives as well as within communities.

    • Alexis D'Aloia says:

      Glad to hear your goals are centered around staying positive! I can’t wait to see all you accomplish this year as you start your journey at Siena!!

  23. Ava Bibisi says:

    Since leaving High School in March, the world has seemed to be flipped around. Although there have been many downfalls, I have noticed more people wanting to be with each other. When we are ripped away, and forced into isolation, it has seemed that is when we realize all the people and tasks we’ve taken for granted. Pertaining to service, after taking the time to reflect on the safety, shelter, and care I was given during the pandemic, it has made me want to go and serve more. My goal this semester is to become more educated on the Black Lives Matter Movements and become more of an activist. For my service site, I’m serving with GOTR, and am eager to meet adolescent teens and be a role model for them in setting goals and later achieving them. My goal for academics this year is to stay on top of my work and to develop a healthy balance between schoolwork, service, and friends. For my community, I’m hoping we can all stay healthy and safe by following the protocols Siena has provided us. Hopefully we will get to experience a full semester on campus even though it may be different than normal.

    • Alexis D'Aloia says:

      It sounds like you have some awesome goals in place for this year. GOTR is so luck to have you!! Educating ourselves and taking action is so important in the current times so it’s cool to see you’re taking those steps!

    • Kate Callery says:

      Ava! The growth i’ve seen you go through since March is amazing!!! I think you have big dreams and great instincts – i think it’ll get you far 🙂

  24. Nancy Rasmussen says:

    Since we left campus back in March, I’ve been noticing people’s willingness to help each other, especially during these trying times. With the struggles and hardships that come along with Covid-19, many people have made it their mission to help those directly affected by the distress of this pandemic. My visions for this semester align with those who are trying to stay hopeful about this pandemic and who are helping those in need. This semester I want to be more giving, whether that be with service or being a better friend/Bonner. My goal for service this year is to successfully create an online version of the Troy Prep Writing Center. My goal for academics this year is to stay present in classes, especially because most of mine are online. My goal for the larger community is that we all follow the guidelines Siena has provided us so that we can all have a fun, safe, and full semester on campus 🙂

    • Alexis D'Aloia says:

      I like your goal of staying present! I think it’s really important to focus on this especially this year. It’s so easy to drift elsewhere in online classes and it’s easy , and it’s definitely easy to want to avoid thinking about everything going on around us in the world.

  25. Mara Golden says:

    Since leaving campus in I have noticed that people have become more self-aware. With everything going on with Covid-19 people have become more responsible with their actions and understanding the possible outcomes/ consequences. One of my visions for this semester is to continue to educate myself on everything that is going on with COVID and how its affecting people and with social movements like BLM. My goal for service is to recruit more students for the Virtual Tutoring Program Abeer and I designed over the summer. With COVID taking younger students out of school, our goal is to help them get back on track and not fall behind. For academics, my goal is to stay on top of everything and really plan out my semester. I struggled with that after leaving in March but hopefully coming up with a plan now will help me later on.

  26. Maura Lynch says:

    Since arriving back on campus a few weeks ago, it’s hard to miss all the changes concerning COVID-19. However, I’m enjoying focusing on the things that haven’t changed. My friendships, my academics, my BFAM, and the level of comfort I feel at Siena all make me feel right at home. Even though there are changes in the rules, the social life, and just about every physical aspect of campus- the community is still alive and well. In service this year, I’m excited to dive deeper into policy research and further my knowledge on the struggles of refugees enduring Border Patrol brutality. Having the opportunity to educate myself on an issue that might seem far away (at the Southern Border) might sound like it isn’t affecting the Capital Region, however, there are many people here in Albany who have endured this struggle and I would love to look into the programs assisting them. Ie. RISSE

  27. Abigail Hoekman says:

    Since leaving campus in March, the world has been through significant change as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Everything about human interaction has changed. Long gone are the greetings of handshakes, hugs, and smiles that hide behind our masks. Most people have had to make a variety of changes and sacrifices in order to continue their livelihood, earn an education, and even to accomplish everyday tasks such as going to the gym or walking in a crowded hallway. However, this pandemic has also helped to change the trajectory of our future as many injustices such as racial, economic, and gender based discrimination have risen to the surface and been placed in the spotlight after centuries of hate have been swept under the rug in our country. People are speaking out about these issues and educating themselves on their own privilege and learning how to be an ally. My visions for this semester are to continue to learn how I can leverage my privilege for the benefit of others. I am hopeful that my Capstone project will help me to grow as an ally. Furthermore, my research will help me to develop a training for my community partner that can help employees to continue the conversation about all the inequalities that plague our society, specifically as it relates to inclusion and diversity.

  28. Tori Mangelli says:

    The world has changed drastically in such a few months. With figuring out news ways how to live without getting COVID19 and the Black Lives Matter movement bringing attention to such an important issue, I think it might be reasonable to say that no one predicted this version of society in 2020. Honestly, I don’t really have high expectations of this semester because I don’t know what to expect. I’m just happy to be back and be able to see everyone, and I want to enjoy this as long as possible. In terms of service, I’m excited to dive deeper into my policy work and get a better understanding of an issue that is important to me. Also for academics, I want to still be able to do well while adjusting to these alternative ways of learning.

  29. Samantha Gisleson says:

    I’ve noticed a shift in the morale of the world since March. The pandemic has brought up fear but also uncovered injustices that have been ignored for years. As agents of change we have to keep that momentum going so that we may actually see change.

    My vision for this semester is for Siena to find ways to keep its “communal spirit” alive in a time when we can’t be within 6 feet of one another and cannot gather in large groups. My hope is that if we can do this successfully, we will be able to de-mask and start gathering again in the near future. Siena is a special community, and although the pandemic made it difficult to keep the Siena spirit alive, it did not make it impossible.

    My goals for service this semester include finding a way to combine all of my various interests to find a capstone that is exciting for me to work on but also needed somewhere in the community. I also hope to be more of a mentor, to both the freshman and sophomores, as I am helping Kate to oversee the Sophomore Policy Project and am now a Bonner Buddy 🙂 My academic goals are to stay focussed during such a strange semester and to enjoy my classes and not just worry about getting the work done to get a good grade. This semester is going to be a stressful one, but I hope to spend it on campus and to enjoy the little moments among the craziness.

  30. Lulama Nyembe says:

    We talked about visions of the past, present, and future during SGU 2020. What have you been noticing and seeing about the world around you since we left campus in March? What are your visions for this semester? What are your goals for service? Academics? The larger community?

    Since leaving campus there were various environmental, economic, and mood shifts due to the pandemic and the uncertainty that came with it. Looking at the surge in activism globally there seems to have been a social awakening to various injustices worldwide. Information was more centralized, so we were faced with repeated images and ideas that we had to confront. I also think that there was a sense of unity from the fact that we were and still are all faced with the same outbreak.
    My biggest vision (more like hope) is that we will finish off the semester on campus. One of my goals for service this semester is to consistently be intentional with each of my “service projects”. Another goal for service is to become more informed about ACE service sites and community partners to help inform my CAPSTONE writing.
    This is a weird semester for upperclassmen and possibly a little disappointing for freshmen. Being a CA in a freshman building my goal is to ensure that students feel supported and know that I am a resource. Overall my hope is that we all keep to safety guidelines as far as social distancing and sanitizing common areas frequently.

    • Erin Spence says:

      I’m with you on the Capstone goal, Lulama! The more information we can learn about our various opportunities for engagement in the community will definitely be helpful in the development of our work.

  31. Parker Taft says:

    Since I left my High School for the final time in March the world in general and the United States, in particular, has been going through a period of tremendous upheaval and disruption. From trying to adapt to the “new normal” of social distancing and face masks brought about by the COVID-19 Pandemic, to the long-overdue recognition of the importance of social justice issues and the effect racism and the increased inequality of wealth has had on the fabric of our nation in particular and the world at large.

    My goals for this semester include achieving a grade of at least 3.0 or higher cumulatively, developing more critical thinking skills. Expand my knowledge of important justice issues and serve in the local community in person through the Boys and Girls Club of Albany. I look forward to continuing the do the work challenge and learning more about important issues that affect our local community.

    • Erin Spence says:

      I definitely agree, Parker. It has been such a difficult time full of uncertainty and adjustment. These are great goals that you are setting for yourself though! This semester is going to be a great learning experience and there will be so many opportunities for personal and professional growth. Looking forward to seeing all that you accomplish!

  32. Michael Averill says:

    Since we left campus in March, a series of events have ensued in our country and throughout the world that have uncovered the perceived comfortability that many of us had been previously living in. The pandemic has not only tested our healthcare infrastructure, but also our resolve as citizens to protect our neighbors at the cost of our own personal freedoms. The horrific murder of George Floyd incited a summer of social justice protests throughout our country where we were all challenged to confront systemic injustices that have been perpetrated against our black brothers and sisters since the birth of this nation. Our nation is hurting in multiple ways right now and our people are divided. This is not the 2020 that anyone expected, but in the long term view of our national and international prosperity going forward, this year offers us the opportunity to work towards a brighter future.
    Siena looks different, there’s no denying it. My goal for this semester is to make the most of my opportunity to live on campus. I want to work towards improving our campus culture for the better, develop meaningful relationships, and excel in academics. I am excited for my course load this semester, as I am taking classes on Refugee & Migration Studies, International Organizations, Advanced Spanish, and Leadership & Political Change taught by the college’s new president Dr. Gibson. I feel that these classes will help guide me towards my postgraduate plans and eventual career path. Although I was originally supposed to go abroad this semester, I am making the most of the opportunity to live on a college campus and focus on my vision for the future.

  33. Nia Colon says:

    Since we left campus in March, I have seen a huge difference in how people interact with each other. I am so use to giving my friends hugs and it was a question of should I? I hope to be able to have a successful year. My visions are also to be able to have a full year on campus to make sure that I can do my clinical. My hopes for the larger community is for everyone to just stay safe during the pandemic.

  34. Chandler Edbauer says:

    Since the pandemic the world has changed quite a bit, I have noticed that more people have been socially distance not only physically but also emotionally. I think a lot of people are getting more and more secluded and it can be damaging to emotional health. I hope this semester is full of companionship and new relationships. I hope in service I can find my issue and research a topic that is interesting to me. I hope I am very successful this year academically and learn a lot about my classes so I can further determine what I want to do in the future. I also hope to help the larger community by knowing more about issues in the community so I can develop a plan to help. I am very excited to start work again and focus on my own interests working alongside the community.

  35. Cody Romani says:

    Since we left campus in March, the world has changed a lot. We have had to adjust very quickly to a pandemic that has changed the way people interact with each other. The format of classes and service switched from in-person to remote. We often use the term “the new normal” when describing this pandemic. Also, instances of racial injustice have devastated communities and have led to social unrest in the world. We must educate ourselves about the racial injustices that have existed for years and how we can create a more inclusive community. I am super excited to be back on campus and back to class. I am excited to dive into my classes and continue to meet new people. My goals this academic year are to educate myself about issues in the world and do my best in my classes. I want to meet new people and embrace our differences. I love learning new things from other students and faculty.

    • Kate Callery says:

      Get comfortable with the uncomfortable! We are all learning and adjusting to this new normal but you are ACE-ing it!

  36. Marlie says:

    Since we left campus in March, so many things have changed! From the way we learn to the way we serve and the way we interact with others, everything is different. My goals however, have not changed. I am actively working on my capstone and researching ways to utilize a research tool to collect and understand my data. I am taking Medical Sociology, Social Epidemiology, and Microbiology which are all extremely relevant classes and I am excited to learn more.

    Socially, more people are recognizing the social and economic disparities as caused by institutional racism. This has come following far too many deaths of innocent people of color. I am excited to put my all into the #dothework challenge and educate myself further on the racial injustices that have been occurring for centuries. My hope for the world is to continue the conversation and to support the oppressed in making sustainable change.

    • Dana Wakeman says:

      It’ll be interesting to hear you talk about how your classes relate to the pandemic, so I’m looking forward to talking to you about them.

  37. Samantha Lunt says:

    When we left campus back in March we automatically had to adjust and make changes, because we were now in a pandemic. Also during this time more awareness was being brought to social justice issues and the racism that has been occurring in our country. These last few months have brought about extra time for people to educate themselves on these issues. This semester I hope to grow and continue to challenge myself to think deeply and continue to educate myself on these current issues. I am excited to be doing #DoTheWork this semester because I think it is a great way to diver deeper into these topics on our own, but then be able to come together as a group and discuss what we have learned. For service, I am excited to be at YWCA now and to learn about this organization. I am looking forward to this new start and how much I am going to get to learn and grow this semester. This semester is another adjustment and I am excited to settle into a routine and adapt to the challenges that come this semester.

  38. Abeer Jafri says:

    Since we left campus in March, the world has gone through many changes including a pandemic in which we must adjust to the “new normal”, as well as a new recognition of social justice issues and racism as a byproduct of tragic killings of black men. With these difficult changes come opportunities for education and reflection for everyone, and the larger community should take the time to think deeply and act on solving these issues. For this semester, I hope to challenge myself to think more critically about my actions and intentions, and further educate myself on current issues. It is one thing to be an ally, but it is another thing to make sure the right voices are being heard to stimulate change. I think the #DoTheWork initiative included in service this semester is a great opportunity to dive deeper into these topics and I look forward to learning more through it, and acting on what I learn. For service, I am excited to continue with the tutoring program Mara and I created for Unity House this summer, and hopefully expand it as well. Academically, I hope to successfully navigate the challenges of online learning and make sure to stay disciplined and focused during this tough time.

    • Erin Spence says:

      I love these goals that you’re setting for yourself Abeer! They’re all great ways to hold yourself accountable and reflect on how you, as an individual, can create change through your own actions.

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