Students of Color conference bridges gap between cultures

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Amber GillilandSenior Reporter

Students will have the opportunity to learn more about themselves and other cultures this April at the 26th Annual Students of Color Conference.

The SOCC brings together students and faculty from colleges across the state to learn about diversity. The application deadline was extended to Feb. 5 to encourage more students to attend.

At the conference, students will attend presentations by keynote speakers, as well as workshops.

“There are five sessions with 10 to 13 workshops per session on Thursday, Friday and Saturday,” according to “ Each interactive workshop is scheduled for 90 minutes.”

Pierce College students will eat together at the conference but aren’t required to attend the same workshops. Students may choose the ones they’re interested in attending.

ASPCP President RoxAnne Simon attended the SOCC last year and said the workshops discussed subjects regarding all aspects of life.

“It was life changing just taking the time to learn about other cultures and how to learn to deal with people who stereotype,” Simon said.  

Equity and Diversity Coordinator Timothy Estes said Pierce College Puyallup students have been attending the conference since 1992, and he encourages students to attend. Estes said that students will get to learn more about their peers and themselves.

“You get to see people outside the box that you see them in everyday,” Estes said.

Estes said he’s looking forward to seeing what the conference has to offer.

“I’m most excited to actually experience what students have said is ‘a life changing experience’ and am excited to see how I will benefit from this conference,” Estes said.

The conference will be at the Howard Johnson Plaza in Yakima from April 21 – 23.

The SOCC is free to students and will be funded by Student Services and Activities fees. Conference registration is $130 per student and $155 per adviser, but will be paid for by the college. Transportation, lodging and food will also be provided.

Each Pierce campus participates separately and a maximum of 40 students from the Puyallup campus can attend the SOCC. Students must be taking a minimum of five credits and plan to enroll in at least five credits for spring quarter.

Students will be sharing rooms and could choose their roommate for the conference. If a student doesn’t have someone in particular that they wish to room with, they’ll be assigned a roommate but will need to approve the pairing.

Interested students had to complete an application. Students needed to fill out a few short-essay questions explaining why they’re interested in attending and how they’ll use the information they learn to benefit the community. Two recommendation signatures from faculty members also are required. [/responsivevoice]

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Students of Color conference bridges gap between cultures

by Amber Gilliland time to read: 2 min