The Charger Blog

Senior Passionate about Fostering Diversity and Inclusion

For Nathan Fonseca ’20, a criminal justice major who is minoring in legal studies and psychology, serving on the University of New Haven’s Student Conduct Board is an opportunity to promote a sense of community responsibility.

September 19, 2019

By Nathan Fonseca ’20

Image of Nathan Fonseca ’20
Nathan Fonseca ’20 serves on the University’s Student Conduct Board.

Serving on the Student Conduct Board has enabled me to become a better social justice advocate. It has also strengthened my communication, critical thinking, decision making, and listening skills.

It is imperative for those who serve on the Student Conduct Board to learn and grow. We must ask questions to help us determine if students – whether on or off campus, individually or acting as a group – have violated the University’s Code of Student Conduct, and, if so, what action should be taken.

As an individual who identifies as Black and of Portuguese and Jamaican descent, I was taught growing up to be cautious of law enforcement and systems of conduct, since I could be unfairly treated based on my racial identity.

As an individual who refuses to conform to the ideals and principles of society, I have found it best to place myself in an environment where I can grow and foster change. I can promote diversity, inclusion, and understanding through the organizations I represent.

"I can promote diversity, inclusion, and understanding through the organizations I represent."Nathan Fonseca ’20

As a senior at the University of New Haven, I have encountered a wide array of students of different races, ethnicities, gender identities, sexual orientations, ages, social classes, physical abilities, religions, national origins, and political beliefs. My goal in joining the Student Conduct Board has been to help provide a fair, safe, and inclusive environment for those who appear before the board.

When my fellow students hear that I serve on the Student Conduct Board, they tend to see me as an authoritative figure in a position of power. What I want them to know, however, is that I serve on the board to facilitate a fair process and for them to understand that I care about their learning, while being sensitive to the attitudes and perceptions of students.

I believe it is important to ensure that the Student Conduct Board is a fair system that is of an inclusive environment. Creating systems and processes that treat students equitably and fairly is crucial for everyone.