[MUSIC PLAYING] ERIN SEMBER-CHASE: By having these Colleague Networking Groups, it really showed that Cornell gets that this is a critical part of your identity in a good way, that it's an asset and a benefit to the institution as a whole. Whether it be race, your gender, your sexual orientation, and your disability are always with you.
Creating these opportunities for people to find one another who share that identity-- and you might not meet each other otherwise, if it weren't for these groups-- really helps to form a much more solid, cohesive sense of who our employees are and all the different aspects of them.
MATT CARCELLA: The LGBT CNG really helps to welcome new staff and faculty to the area and to campus, connecting them to colleagues they might not otherwise work with, providing a support system, and creating what I think are friendships that are really important beyond the normal work environment.
I think it's important to recognize that, oftentimes, people can't find other individuals like them. And having an organization on campus that is supported both by the university and from its members is really integral to having a good work-life balance.
TREY WALKER: Cornell is a great institution that brings diverse ideas together. The group itself allows these diverse ideas to come together and support the institution by providing feedback. It is a great opportunity not only to provide feedback.
It gives us a platform to support one another and also to network, because you want a place where you feel like you are supported, where you feel like you belong. It gives us a place of just saying, this is our voice.
SVANTE MYRICK: Tompkins Connect is a young professionals organization in Tompkins County that can help young people, particularly young professionals, and especially staff and faculty at Cornell University break out of their comfort zones, meet new people, make new friends, expand their personal networks, while still giving back to the community that they live in.
Your personal network becomes one of the most important assets you can have. And opportunities to build that network out of college become kind of scarce. So this is an opportunity to keep expanding your horizons, keep meeting new people, adding people into your network. And you never know what could come from it.
JENNIFER MAJKA: The Women of Color Colleague Network Group helps Cornell retain diverse talent while at the same time fosters a sense of community in an inclusive and supportive environment. While we all may identify as women of color, our lived experiences, cultural backgrounds, and belief systems may be different from one another. The group gives me a sense of community and an opportunity to connect with women who may share similar interests, issues, and a common bond where we can offer support to one another.
AUBREY LANG: It's such a great opportunity to learn about the rules and regulations that are out there. By being able to have the opportunity to get to together and share information, it definitely is a win-win.
ERIN SEMBER-CHASE: The Disability Colleague Networking Group really does tell me, as an employee, that my employer, Cornell University, recognizes and values disability as a part of diversity, and, therefore, they recognize and value it as a part of my identity.
DENNIS SHAW: The Veteran Colleague Network Group is unique because, to my knowledge, it's the only network group of its kind. Raise awareness for veterans on campus. It's camaraderie there.
We share a lot of the common experiences, yet we are a diverse group. The veterans themselves are a diverse group of people. There's a lot of strength in that diversity.
And it's nice to have a place to identify with, and the network group's a great place to do that. You can learn a lot of different things. It's a great resource for people.
You can get involved and raise awareness for veterans' issues on campus. And there's really no better way to feel good about your community or the environment in which you work than to get involved. And it's a great place to get involved.
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University-sponsored colleague network groups (CNGs) give Cornell employees the opportunity to come together outside of their everyday work. Faculty and staff can join any group to find perspectives that are similar or different, build friendships, learn about university and community resources, or participate in small lunch discussions and larger service events.
If you're looking for a way to get to know your colleagues in our diverse community, consider participating in one of Cornell's six CNGs.