The Symposium on Inclusive Excellence: a recap

By: Jalen Cliatt ‘18, Staff writer

Every spring semester, students are given a day off from classes early in the year, but this time away from the books isn’t squandered; the Symposium on Inclusive Excellence aims to be just as productive as any other lecture they’ll attend.

On Tuesday, Jan. 23 Lebanon Valley College hosted a collection of speakers and advocates for its fifth annual Symposium on Inclusive Excellence.
As noted by the official description, the symposium’s goal is to meaningfully highlight and celebrate the differences in experiences and lifestyles shared by the community that make up both LVC’s student body and faculty. Throughout the day, the Symposium aimed to tackle tougher topics of social discourse such as race, gender and identity with an inviting and approachable level of tact.

“I chose to attend [the intersectionality session] because it’s important that feminism is more [encompassing] than white, able-bodied women,” Laura Ciuchta, a junior physical therapy major said. “The symposium really sheds lights on issues you may have or have not of thought about in that way before.”

In order to familiarize attendees with this year’s keynote speaker, LVC allotted an hour-long social with guest-speaker Calvin Sun, M.D., in the Lebergern Learning Commons prior to his prior to his speech. Dr. Sun has a slew of achievements under his belt including being an emergency medicine resident physician, civil rights activist, entrepreneur and filmmaker. He even spent four years as a host for MTVu’s show, “The Freshmen”.

“He’s very interesting and unconventional,” Ciuchta said. “It’s like he’s lived a thousand lives.”

Other sessions throughout the day also helped to inform its guests of their constitutional rights.

“This year, I learned about first amendment rights and internet law,” Maya Calderwood, a junior digital communications and art and visual culture double major, said. “Freshman year, I remember going to a retirement home and doing activities there, last year I did the poverty simulator and this year the [guest] speakers; It’s worth going if you want to get something out of it.”

Calderwood, like many other students, has gone to every Symposium the College has offered since she enrolled. She explained that she had to sit on the floor during Dr. Sun’s convocation due to immense turnout.
While excitement for the Symposium was high, students have hopes that next year’s installment will offer even more hands-on experiences.