Minority students get early welcome

Lydia Coutré

While most freshmen moved in Thursday, some students arrived earlier in the week to participate in Kupita/Transiciones.

This is a four-day program prior to the beginning of the fall semester for African American, Latino and Native American freshman and transfer students.

One aspect of the program was a forum discussion held Wednesday in Oscar Ritchie Hall.

The discussion was divided into a Brother to Brother talk, hosted by members of Kappa Alpha Psi, Phi Beta Sigma and Omega Psi Phi, and a Sister to Sister talk, hosted by the Sister Circle.

In each discussion, students could ask questions and get to know their peers. After an hour and a half, the two groups combined to continue talking.

Academic Program and Student Development Coordinator Pamela Jones and Academic Advisor Truella Harper are advisors to the Sister Circle, which aims to establish a support network for women of color.

“The advantage is—as especially new incoming freshman—there may be topics that male students and/or female students might be uncomfortable discussing in a mixed setting,” Jones said.

She said this event provided an opportunity for students to approach whatever topics they wish without feeling inhibited.

Senior marketing major Danny Butler is treasurer of Kappa Alpha Psi and said he wanted to help the young minority men transition into college.

“I think it’s important because incoming freshman a lot of times, they may be lost,” Butler said. “ They may not know someone, but just the fact that we were there to talk to them and be a big brother and be a positive role model was very vital.”

Harper said she had a positive experience and could tell the students were enjoying themselves.

“I can say there was a bonding between the sisters in Sister’s Circle, and there was a bonding of the whole group when the Brother to Brothers came,” Harper said.

Senior mathematics major Rachelle Fraise is treasurer of the Sister’s Circle and said the event went “very well.”

“I wish as a freshman I had that opportunity because I didn’t hear about the program until after I had gotten to the university,” Fraise said.

Contact Lydia Coutré at [email protected].