Konosioni Welcomes New Members from Class of 2019


Meghan McMahon, Maroon-News Staff

Konosioni, Colgate’s senior honor society, inducted the new members from the Class of 2019 on Monday, February 19, in the Colgate Memorial Chapel. 

Konosioni’s three pillars recognize outstanding leadership, dedicated service to the community and the preservation of tradition. More specifically, the defining characteristics of the new Konosioni members are their abilities to follow their passions, express compassion for others and create positive change.  

The ceremony recognizes 26 peer-selected members of the rising senior class, chosen for this position of high honor due to their service to the community, their outstanding character and leadership skills and preservation of and challenge to traditions. 

Vice President of Konosioni senior Valeria Felix expressed her faith and belief in the promising members of the class of 2019. 

“[I] cannot wait for [the Colgate community] to fall in love with all of them as much as I have,” Felix said. 

Felix delivered the opening speech of the ceremony, discussing the long-standing traditions and history of the society. The name Konosioni means “people of the long house,” honoring the living traditions of the Iroquois (Haudenosaunee) Confederacy. 

The confederacy was created as a league of “peace and power” when the Oneida, Mohawk, Seneca, Cayuga, Onondaga and Tuscarora nations joined together. Felix recognized this history with respect and awareness.  

“Today, we stand on stolen land and must acknowledge our position, past and present,” Felix said. 

Felix introduced Dana Campbell ’17, the Outreach Coordinator for the Africana, Latin, Asian, and Native American (ALANA) Multicultural Center and a member of the Konosioni Class of 2017. Campbell described what it means to be selected as a member of the Konosioni honor society: a student who not only has achieved great academic standards, but is also among the very best leaders of the school. The chosen students use their passions to build their communities and the spaces around them, and create legacies to leave for future generations to come. 

Campbell described how the classes of 2018 and 2019 have faced challenges, but linked arms together in the face of adversity. Campbell also described what it takes to be a leader: persisting in the face of adversity, adventuring outside of one’s comfort zone and making a difference in order to give back to one’s community. She expressed faith that the new members of the Konosioni society will continue in the effort to empower each other, our institution and create a more inclusive Colgate community. 

The 26 inducted members of the Class of 2019 come from a wide range of campus organizations, and all have a purpose, intention and vision to stand up for what they believe in. The new members are juniors Ciara Alfaro, James Anim, Brandon Biney, Erin Burnett, Mary Clubb, D’Jonita Cottrell, Grace Cummins, Esteban Dardani, Mara Devia, Gabrielle Durr, Hannah Gunther, Keyra Jimenez, Rachel Keirstead, Zach Lee, Maxmilian Michael, Dan Miller, Tracy Milyango, Enrique Nuñez, Justin Kunz, Renee Roundy, Leiya Salis, Chelsea Santiago, Tashi Sherpa, Robert Sobelsohn, Ilias Stitou and Matthieu Zee. 

Each member of the Konosioni Class of 2018 gave a small speech for each new inductee of the Class of 2019, highlighting their campus involvements, their desire to uplift others and strengthen the Colgate community and their capability to challenge the status quo. 

The members of the Class of 2019 are involved in many different areas around campus, including Community Leaders, Link Staff, the Latin American Student Organization, a capella groups, Bystander Intervention and positive sexuality initiative programs, Outdoor Education programs, athletic teams and more. Ultimately, new members of Konosioni are able to individually thrive while also maintaining a strong connection to the student body. 

Junior Alina Cathcart was deeply impressed by the ceremony.

“It was really nice and touching. The speeches were really meaningful and show how much the class cares about Konosioni and about the members of the new class, and how much potential they see in them for taking on these new roles,” Cathcart said. 

Senior Molly Klein also believes in the impact that the new members of Konosioni will have on the Colgate community. 

“My sisters are going to be first-years at Colgate next year and I am so grateful that they will be led by such a passionate and accomplished group of student leaders,” Klein said. 

Contact Meghan McMahon at [email protected].