LEWISBURG, Pa. – Nearly 180 students, faculty and staff packed the Terrace Room on the Bucknell campus for Tuesday evening’s Community Dinner. The dinner, which was co-sponsored by the President’s Diversity Council and Bucknell Athletics, was developed, planned and coordinated by Bison student-athletes Amanda Fazio (softball), Ryan Frazier (men’s basketball) and Katie Price (volleyball).
With the assistance of more than a dozen student-athlete facilitators who led table conversations throughout the room, the Community Dinner focused on discussion in three critical yet frequently uncomfortable topics: privilege, racial discrimination, and gender and sexuality.
Audience members, consisting primarily of student-athletes from a wide array of Bison varsity teams, watched short videos on each topic before breaking out into smaller table discussions.
“I had such great conversations at my table,” said Price, who was a two-year captain of the Bison volleyball squad. “The most important thing about this is just to continue the conversation, and this was one additional outlet for Bucknell community members to gather and at least talk and exchange ideas.”
“These topics are hard to talk about,” added Fazio, an outfielder and pitcher who is Bucknell’s all-time strikeouts leader. “I think that’s why we don’t have these conversations enough, because we are scared of saying the wrong thing. But the more you talk the better it gets. Hopefully that’s what we were able to accomplish here.”
“As a basketball player and an athlete, you are working on teams constantly,” said Frazier, the two-time captain of the Bison men’s hoops squad and a member of the Patriot League All-Academic and All-Defensive teams this season. “Teams are a combination of people who are very different from one another. To reach the objective that everyone has, you have to be able to respect the differences on your team.”
“I am so proud of Amanda, Katie and Ryan, as well as all of the student-athlete facilitators, for putting together a tremendous program,” said senior associate athletics director Maisha Kelly, who is also a member of the President’s Diversity Council. “This was their brainchild, and I commend each of them for their tireless efforts coordinating an event that fostered quality dialogue in the important areas of diversity and inclusion. Bison student-athletes have shown the desire to be leaders in these areas on the Bucknell campus.”