SUNY Brockport diversity specialist on resignation: ‘My support system is gone’

Local News

BROCKPORT, N.Y. (WROC) — Dr. Sandra Vazquez worked at The College at Brockport for 12 years. She’s also a graduate of its Educational Opportunity Program. Making the decision to resign from her position as the Diversity Recruitment and Retention Specialist wasn’t easy, but she did it this past Tuesday.

“With what I’m charged to do, with what’s happened in the at the college at this point, I just don’t feel I could be successful at recruiting underrepresented and marginalized individuals but more importantly it just doesn’t align with the ethics and morals that I have in the way,” Dr. Vazquez said.

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She said she’d been feeling this way over the past year, but the college’s firing of Chief Diversity Officer, Dr. Cephas Archie, a few weeks ago was a tipping point.

“As I continued to do a lot of the policy work and strategic plan work with Dr. Archie, who we all know is no longer here, and after his firing and my move or transition to HR, there became a lot of thoughts of how successful am I going to be? My support system is gone.”

Dr. Vazquez was there on Thursday as students protested Dr. Archie’s firing. She said she’s proud of them for speaking their minds.

She adds the thing she’ll miss the most about Brockport is the students. Over her 12 years there, she also served as a counselor and the Assistant Director of the Educational Opportunity Program and met many students along the way.

MORE | SUNY Chancellor: Brockport situation ‘not acceptable,’ visit forthcoming

“I take pride in the fact that I was the highest-ranking Latina in administration, that was huge for me. I mean, not because of me but because of my daughter, my son, my family, because of the students that walked around here that they can see themselves in me that they can say, ‘you know what? I came from the same place that she did, but I too can make it.'”

Dr. Vazquez accepted a position at the Gates Chili school district as the Coordinator of Recruitment, Inclusion, and Retention. She said it’s the first position of its kind through the district and she’s looking forward to the new chapter.

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