Celeste Gessner, Staff Writer
Utica College hosted their third “Walk-A-Mile for Unity” on Wednesday, Sept. 4 to kick off the start of the semester.
The Unity Walk was created to bring the Utica College campus together to promote diversity and inclusion. The walk acknowledges that UC faculty, staff and students are united as a campus.
Planning for the first Unity Walk began three years ago after racial incidents on campus that brought the discussion about race and inclusion to light.
Todd Pfannestiel, provost and senior vice president of academic affairs, has plans to promote the Unity Walk and remind students of its fun and significance.
“I also know in terms of student activities, everything else going on at the college, in the classroom, what’s out of the classroom, what’s in our everyday lives,” he said. “There’s going to be a lot of activities, a lot of speakers and a lot of fun.”
Pfannestiel said the Unity Walk is a fun way to connect with other students, but it stands for something more.
“We have so many efforts underway,” he said. “I know in my case I work strictly with academics affairs, so we’re thinking about ways to bring diversity and inclusion into our classrooms and how we can have a curriculum for what we’re standing and marching for today.”
According to student Gia Marie, the Unity Walk is an excellent event to hold during the first week, because it shows that the UC campus is accepting and brings everyone together.
First-year student Ryan Caccavale said that he believes everybody should be included and that everyone’s equal and that they’re all one.
Student David House said everyone should “feel like we’re all together and accept everybody.”
“This walk shows that we should all be included,” said House, a First-year student.
Joanne Pluff is one of the Unity Walk committee members and the Associate Director of Admissions at UC. She was in charge of creating the Unity Walk pledge.
Pluff said she believes that the Unity Walk is a great event because it brings the campus close together to show that the UC campus is not divided.
“The walk is important to me because it is a yearly reminder that we sometimes need to support each other and even in times of discourse that we should come together as a campus,” Pluff said.