January 28, 2016

SEC Academic Collaboration Event to Discuss Social Change on Campus

SEC Academic Collaboration event attendees will have the opportunity to participate in the 30th annual Student Leadership and Diversity Conference (SLDC)
SEC Academic Collaboration event attendees will have the opportunity to participate in the 30th annual Student Leadership and Diversity Conference (SLDC)

By: Bryant Welbourne
SECU (Twitter: @TheSECU)

The second SEC Academic Collaboration event, entitled SEC Universities: Uniting Voices for Social Change, will take place Feb. 4-6 at the University of South Carolina in Columbia. The workshop will be held in conjunction with South Carolina’s 30th Student Leadership and Diversity Conference.

Each SEC university will send delegations of undergraduate and graduate students, faculty and staff to the workshop. Participants will examine current trends and challenges in leadership and civil discourse and discuss the skills and tools necessary to carry out systematic social change on their campuses and in their roles as current and future leaders.

“The University of South Carolina has for more than 50 years supported student leaders and encouraged growth in diversity in higher education,” said Joan Gabel, Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost at the University of South Carolina. “We are looking forward to including our fellow SEC universities in our longstanding program that focuses on these areas. We are also honored to have been selected by the SEC Provosts and the Southeastern Conference to host the second SEC Academic Collaboration event.”

Workshop presenters will be experts from the University of South Carolina and organizations around the country, including Bethany Johnson-Javois, Managing Director of the Ferguson Commission. Under Johnson-Javois’ leadership, that organization addresses the economic and social conditions highlighted by the Ferguson, MO, protests of November 2014. Facilitators will engage participants in discussions ranging from peer leadership, civil discourse in the media, freedom of speech and mobilizing for social change.

“It is important for SEC schools to discuss the topic of civility given the events, both on and off campus, of the past calendar and academic year,” said Lee Goble, a junior at South Carolina who serves as Student Body Vice President. “If we can create a climate of civility on campus, one in which all of our students invest, I believe that students will take that investment and carry it with them far after graduation. We have the opportunity to create the first wave of a positive ripple effect.”

South Carolina was named the winner of the SEC Academic Collaboration Award in October. Texas A&M University was the first recipient and hosted a workshop on scholarly communication and open access to educational resources in February 2015.

The SEC Academic Collaboration Award is intended to support student-focused collaboration among all SEC universities. The award is part of SECU, the academic initiative of the SEC. With SECU, the conference sponsors, supports and promotes collaborative higher education programs and activities involving administrators, faculty and students at its 14 member universities.