Turnout for campus Black History Month events narrow in number
Black History is recognized throughout February and it is a time to learn, honor and appreciate historical African American heroes who have helped shape this nation.
Seton Hall University students honor Black History Month through a variety of activities and events offered on campus.
Ireisha Vaughn, a social and behavioral sciences and sociology double major and president of the Psi Pi chapter of the Zeta Phi Beta sorority, said that she believes Black History month is invaluable.
“Black History month is a very important month in America because it brings awareness to and highlights the historic leaders of the black community,” Vaughn said. “It is especially important to college students because it gives the African American students the opportunity to have programs and to spread their knowledge of prominent African Americans who helped us to get to the level of equality that we are at, today.”
Psi Pi takes its position as one of the premier multicultural organizations on-campus seriously by honoring it exclusively.
“I, along with Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., honor black history month by attending, hosting, and encouraging others to attend all of the programs offered throughout Black History month,” Vaughn added. “On February 24, we will be hosting a program in honor of Black History Month, entitled ‘Unsung Heroes Part II’ where we will discuss many African Americans who have helped us get to where we are today as a people and how we, ourselves, can be Unsung Heroes to help change many of the issues taking place today, in regards to police brutality, Flint Michigan, and more.”
Although the African Cultural Organizations on campus do their best to create and promote Black History Month events, Vaughn said she is puzzled as to why attendance is so stagnant.
“I am satisfied with the programs offered by the African Cultured Organizations (ACO) and the fact that they are annually advertised and I am satisfied with the content of the programs that are hosted. But I am not satisfied with the number of people and the diversity at these programs,” she said. “Since my freshman year, I have annually attended the Black History Month programs offered by ACO and there has always been mostly African American students in attendance when, according to collegefactual.com, Seton Hall is only comprised of 11.4% African American students so my question is, why doesn’t the rest of the school attend?”
Working hard to generate student attendance and awareness is Chinez Madueke’s, assistant director of leadership development of student organizations, personal mission.
Madueke’s works with others to create a link between all the Multicultural Organizations on campus and publicly promote their events in their monthly multicultural calendar.
She said that she believes her committee is crucial to the development and achievement of goals in multicultural relations on campus.
“It is important to build our identity on campus, build community around multiculturalism and diversity programs, and serve as the pillars of the campus community when it comes to diversity,” Madueke said. “We are working on the Semester of Service initiative, International Night in April, and our Diversity Week in late March, all showcasing the power of language.”
She added that she is really excited about what the student organizations are doing.
Black History Month is an important time in classrooms, neighborhoods, and on campuses around the world. The students and faculty at SHU work to provide tributes and programming to properly honor it.
Heather Harris can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.