MANdatory Graduates Class of Six Men of Color


Peers, faculty, staff and friends filled a room in Bosler on Saturday, March 2, 2019, to watch six students graduate from MANdatory, an enrichment program for men of color in their first year at Dickinson. 

MANdatory provides a space for its members and alumni to engage with each other and faculty in dialogue surrounding challenges, social identity, academic success and well-being.  

Co-Leaders Angelo Tarzona ’21 and Alejandro Rodriguez ’21 along with Vincent Stephens, program advisor and director of the Popel Shaw Center for Race & Ethnicity, met with the students on Friday afternoons and Saturday mornings throughout the past six months. 

“It was definitely good for me not just to adjust, but also to find some people with common backgrounds… As a first year I just felt out of place,” Franklin Saeteros ’22, a MANdatory 2019 graduate said. “I joined MANdatory because I wanted an environment where I would feel safe, where I would find other people not with common stories but with common values because I appreciate the diversity within everyone; everyone within MANdatory has different stories, different personalities.”

MANdatory intends to give students a reliable support system that extends beyond the graduation ceremony.

Alum from the program, Bruno Kaboyi ’21, said, “MANdatory was the chill pill, that most students lack but need, to my freshman year. I truly would not be where I am right now without it.”

Through the program, students learn several skills to enhance their academic and leadership skills. A visit from Marni Jones, dean and director of access and disability services and SOAR: strategies, organization and achievement resources, emphasized tools for academic success, and a presentation from the Center for Global Study and Engagement informed students of Dickinson’s study abroad opportunities and applications. A number of faculty from across various departments also attended some of the meetings to connect with members in a relaxed environment. 

Stephens said, “Our graduates tend to go on to be very successful and very impactful as leaders, as scholars, as activists, as artists, so I feel that the program has managed to provide a strong foundation for the over 60 people who’ve gone through it so far.”

MANdatory, The Popel Shaw Center and CAILCD will be sponsoring a Graduate School Panel on Thursday March 7 at 5 p.m. in Stern 102. Panelists will discuss their experiences, do’s and don’t’s of the grad school application process and what students can be doing now to prepare.