RU KSU?! kick-off is a success

Megan Wilkinson

R U KSU?! kicked off their campaign to enhance diversity issues within the university yesterday along the University Esplanade in front of the M.A.C. Center.

The campaign celebrates the different student organizations at Kent State, while it also acts as a common thread to bring Kent State students and faculty together.

Speakers Greg Jarvie, vice president of enrollment management and student affairs, Geraldine Hayes-Nelson, assistant vice president of pipeline initiatives and diversity programming, and Alfreda Brown, vice president for diversity, equity and inclusion opened the ceremony to students at 1 p.m. The three introduced the goals for R U KSU?!

“Our goal was to represent different divisions at Kent State,” Dr. Hayes-Nelson said, “It was an opportunity for students to explore, learn and share various aspects of individuals that make up the great community that we call Kent State.”

Students responded energetically to Brown’s question “R U KSU?!” at the event’s kick-off.

The idea for R U KSU?! started at the end of last semester. It combines both the University Diversity Action Council’s and a group of students’ ideas on how to address the issue of diversity to Kent students and faculty. Vice President Brown said that UDAC’s goal was to bring student clubs and organizations together in response to diversity; the student R U KSU?! group came up with the idea to make it more of a festival event to get more students involved.

Overall, R U KSU?!’s main initiative is to create a reality of diversity across Kent State. Michele Davis, grant writer for the Institutional Advancement Department, said R U KSU?! kick-off introduced the 100 Commitment campaign to students at the university. Both students and student-run organizations can sign up to take part in the 100 Commitments at MOOSEJAW!!! any time before April 14, 2011. The first set of commitments involves Ability Awareness from Oct. 3 to Oct. 16.

“We really hope that all students taking part in this at least attempt up to 50 percent of the commitments on the list,” Davis said, “UDAC hopes that this year’s 100 Commitment campaign and R U KSU?! will become an annual event that will set new standards for diversity at the university.”

Because R U KSU?! aims to promote diversity, students of all different groups on campus participated in R U KSU?!’s opening ceremony. Organizations such as PRIDE! Kent, Spanish and Latino Students Association, Modista, NAACP, the Women’s Chorus and others, represented Kent State at the R U KSU?! kick-off.

“The weather was really groggy [Monday], so I was surprised at all the students who came to the event,” said Ebonie Parks, vice president of Black United Students.

Many Greek-Life organizations also attended to the R U KSU?! opening to inform students about their fraternities and sororities.

Tomorrow at 7 p.m. R U KSU?! will continue its weeklong celebration by hosting the New Modern Family: A Conversation About Today’s Family Structure in room 336 of the Student Center.

Contact Megan Wilkinson at [email protected].