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MTV "Real World" reality TV star to headline first Diversity Day
Monday, November 09, 2009

Ruthie of MTV
Ruthie Alcaide of "The Real World" will be the keynote speaker on Diversity Day at SUNY Fredonia. She will speak Wednesday, Nov. 11 at 7 p.m. in the Multipurpose Room of the Williams Center.

Reality TV show producers figured out years ago that high-drama individuals usually translate to big ratings. The organizers of SUNY Fredonia’s first Diversity Day are hoping that adage holds true for attendance figures at campus events as well.

On Wednesday, Nov, 11, the campus will welcome reality TV star Ruthie Alcaide, one of the more unique and memorable cast members of the hit MTV series, “The Real World.”

Alcaide, a bisexual of Filipino decent who underwent a very public battle with alcoholism, will serve as the keynote speaker for the event, appearing at 7 p.m. in the Multipurpose Room of the Williams Center.

She was a member of the cast of “The Real World: Hawaii,” the eighth season of the popular show which focuses on a group of diverse strangers living together for several months in a different city each season, as cameras follow their lives and relationships.

The full slate of events, sponsored by the campus’ Center for Multicultural Affairs, Student Association and various student groups, will include a series of hour-long presentations given by the Black Student Union, Jewish Student Union, Latinos Unidos, Pride Alliance and Women’s Student Union in the Williams Center.

The Diversity Day schedule of events all of which will take place in the Williams Center, is as follows:

• 12 p.m.: Jewish Student Union — “Feeling Bluish? Eat with the Jewish;” Pucci Room.
• 1 p.m.: Pride Alliance — “Don’t hate me because I’m PROUD;” Room S-104.
• 2 p.m.: Women Student Union — “The Message of the ‘V’;” Room S-104.
• 3 p.m.: Black Student Union — “Our Inventions…Your Future Presents;” Room S-104.
• 4 p.m.: Latinos Unidos — “LU Made it for You: Caribbean Crafts;” Room S-104.
• 7 p.m.: Keynote presentation by Ruthie Alcaide, reality TV star of MTV’s “The Real World: Hawaii;” Multipurpose Room.

To cap off the day, Alcaide will speak at 7 p.m. about diversity and alcohol awareness based on her own experiences as a minority, a bisexual and a recovering alcoholic. Following her presentation, she will sign autographs and pose for photos.

Student Association President Anthony Faraco, a junior political science major from West Seneca, N.Y., came up with the idea to have a day-long event on campus dedicated to diversity.

“Diversity is strong within the Multicultural Affairs Office and Student Association groups, but unfortunately it stays within these groups,” said Faraco. “The purpose of this event is to promote diversity to the rest of the campus and acknowledge the various cultures that exist in this environment.”

Faraco coordinated the event along with John Gradel, the Student Association’s Diversity Awareness Chair, Averl Otis, the campus’ director of Multicultural Affairs, and Jasmine Ranjitsingh, a graduate assistant within the office of Multicultural Affairs.

“Diversity Day is an opportunity to show the campus how culturally diverse SUNY Fredonia is,” added Gradel, a senior Social Studies Adolescent Education major from Endicott, N.Y. “Students can attend presentations by a variety of groups to see what they actually do, which may inspire them to join these organizations. I hope this will become an annual tradition on campus and that more culturally diverse organizations are included in the future.”

The event is free and open to the public, although tickets for Alcaide’s presentation are required and limited to 300 seats, with students having top priority. They can be obtained in person at the campus Ticket Office on the first floor of the Williams Center. They may also be ordered by calling (716) 673-3501, however, a $2 processing fee will apply.

Diversity Day is co-sponsored by the Center for Multicultural Affairs, Division of Student Affairs, Faculty Student Association (FSA), the Student Association, STEPS (Students Teaching Equals Positive Sexuality), and “Safe Zone,” a committee of faculty, staff and students committed to providing a safe environment for the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) community. Funding is also being provided by a grant from the ADEPT (Alcohol and Drug Education Programming and Training) program on campus.


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