UC Davis will be hosting the annual Students of Color Conference (SOCC) on campus this year.
The three day conference, which begins Nov. 11 and ends Nov. 13, will feature public speakers, workshops and community meetings that specifically aim to bring participants together to acknowledge issues and awareness of community, identity and solidarity.
“This last year at [UC Santa Barbara], interested UC Davis students started asking the question, ‘how can we become more involved in this event?'” said Amanda Gonzalez, a senior chemistry major and co-chair for SOCC, in an e-mail interview.
“In April of this year, 20 students decided that they want to organize this event at UC Davis to bring more unity to our campus community, build solidarity [among] UC Davis and the other UC campuses and provide a space for all students to dialogue on the issues that students of color face in higher education and how we can overcome that with faculty, staff and administration.”
SOCC is open to all students from any school, said Edward Montelongo, ASUCD ethnic and cultural affairs commission chair.
The fee for UC Davis students, faculty and staff is $15, and the general fee is $25. Late registration, after Oct. 28, is $20 for UC Davis participants and the general fee is $35.
Anyone who wants to participate in the conference needs to fill out a paper application, which can be found at resource centers on campus, such as the Cross Cultural Center, Student Recruitment and Retention Center, the LGBTR Center. Students can also fill out an online application at www.socc2011.ucdavis.edu, which will be launched shortly. Applications are accepted until the opening day of the conference, Montelongo said.
Opening night of the conference will be held on the Quad, where there will be performances and keynote speakers. Saturday will continue with workshops, a dance party on one end of the Quad and a carnival with University of California campus organizations featured on the other end, said Emmanuel Diaz-Ordaz, ASUCD senator and co-chair for SOCC.
“This is a unique environment that looks at issues that affect students of color in higher education and it becomes a positive effort,” said Miguel Espinoza, ASUCD senator and fundraising chair for SOCC. “This is supposed to be for students, by students.”
The conference expects at least 1,200 participants to attend. Two hundred are estimated to be from UC Davis but there may be more, Espinoza said.
The budget for the conference is around $60,000, much of which comes from fundraising. The conference is currently requesting funds from ASUCD and organizations such as the Gender and Sexuality Commission, Ethnic and Cultural Affairs Commission, various ethnic studies departments and administrations, Montelongo said.
“Students of Color Conference originated 23 years ago in Davis. UC Davis wanted to showcase itself and have its own students to be a part of SOCC,” Diaz-Ordaz said.
Students at UC Davis can get involved by attending volunteering and planning meetings that meet twice a week, Tuesday from 7 to 9 p.m. and Sunday 3 to 5 p.m. Students from Davis who volunteer can attend the conference for free, Espinoza said.
“We hope that by holding this conference at the beginning of the year it will encourage students to seek out organizations that interest them,” Espinoza said.
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