by Imran Suhail
After looking at a handful of SUNY schools, FM stands out in the way it supports diversity, religious, and LGBT groups, while providing freedom for everyone to express themselves. FM has created an environment that encourages politeness and civility between students. SUNY schools face a various set of issues from their diverse student body. FM has handled these issues and continue to do so, helping to allow students to express themselves.
FM has students from different parts of New York, different states, and over 30 countries. Each student who attended orientation might remember that one of the first things they heard was to be civilized to other students and faculty, and to practice “chivalry.” From the first day, students embraced this ideal. You’d see them holding a door for someone, offering a ride, and even help another student pay for their lunch in a time of need.
The students at FM have shown they like to help each other out. Kassandra Mercado, a current student, was more than happy to sit down and talk about some of the kind acts she has done since attending FM.
“I did an act of kindness today,” she said. “It’s raining and I held the door open for another student. I have also given students who normally take the bus a ride home in the cold weather. I gave my jacket to a student that did not have one. In my opinion, if you do good for others maybe one day, good can be done for you. There’s always a chance to turn a negative situation into a positive situation.”
In other SUNY schools, you may hear faculty and students having trust issues, dealing with racism and careless teachings. With this, FM shows another reason why students should be proud of the school.
Not only are the students attending FM respectable to one another, the faculty and student relationship can only be described by one word: amazing.
The instructors and professors at FM are more than happy to lend a hand when they can, even to students not enrolled in their classes.
From something as simple as letting a student borrow art supplies to being a listening ear, the faculty care. Many faculty are seen randomly showing acts of kindness around the campus.
Some help students with projects while others help international students create and cook their home country’s cultural dish, which after being away from home for a long time is very comforting.
Walk into Student Activity Coordinator Gwen Ossenkop’s office and you can see it filled with students. She works closely with students, working hard so that no student should feel left out.
When asked how she felt about the students’ act of kindness around the campus, her response was, “I feel that there are many small acts of kindness that happen every day on our campus. These acts are often overlooked by many as they could be something as simple as a student opening the door for others, picking up something that fell, or asking if they could help staff in some way. I am grateful to witness these acts every day, whether it be student to student or employee to student. Sometimes a small act is all that is needed to turn someone’s day around.”
The students and faculty at FM have shown that chivalry is not dead.