The City College Honors Program hosted its first virtual Student Conference on Friday, April 30.
This was the 18th annual event after last year’s event was canceled due to COVID-19. Submissions for the conference were open to any City College students who wanted to share their perspective on the subject of “Justice: Environmental. Economic. Racial.” Submissions could be papers, videos, art or music.
“Each year Honors students select a theme that runs through all Honors classes,” said Honors Program Director Melanie Eckford-Prossor, “In past years we have had movable sculptures, interpretive dance, movies, excellent papers and so on.”
The event is moderated by the Honors students and they then select the submissions. The goal is for this conference to be a student-centered, student-run event. In past years, the conference has had movable sculptures, interpretive dance, movies and papers submitted.
“What you will see today is a range of ideas, some of them in process, some that will generate new ideas from you. And that is the entire idea of school itself,” Eckford-Prossor said to the 70 Zoom participants.
The event kicked off at 12 p.m., starting with a short video after some technical difficulties.
Oliver Vallejo, Honors co-president, commented on the event saying how this is “meant to bring together the SBCC students.”
All nine candidates presented their submissions to three separate breakout rooms via Zoom. There, they answered questions from the viewers and other students. After about one hour of presentations, the three winners were announced.
“We got to hear some really wonderful papers,” Eckford-Prossor said before presenting the first place prize. “A huge thanks to the Winslow Maxwell fund and the SBCC Foundation who help support Honors amongst many other programs.”
Liz Munday won first place for her essay, “The Lens of Whiteness,” that she presented to the remaining audience.
Robert Roysner’s “The Power behind Art,” received the second-place prize.
Roysner, a first-semester student at City College, told the audience that he is “so honored and eternally grateful.”
Emily Reilly won the third place $250 prize for her piece, “The Case for UBI.”
Next year’s topic will be “Landscapes of Truth: Charting a Shared Future.”
In the summer, the program publishes the work of conference participants who are interested in sharing their work via City College’s digital magazine, Stand, as well as an online art exhibit during the month of May showcasing the submissions from students from each art department.