KSU-NAACP seeks leaders, stronger presence

Christina Stavale

Boosts in membership and attendance are two of next year’s KSU-NAACP board members’ goals for this coming fall.

Last night, Whitney Smith, junior fashion merchandising major, and Ashley Bennett, freshman fashion design major, were named president and vice president respectively of KSU-NAACP for next year.

But the group is still seeking candidates for secretary, treasurer and membership chair.

“NAACP needs strong, dedicated leaders who have the time on their hands to dedicate to NAACP,” Preston Mitchum, senior political science and Pan-African studies major and former president of the organization, said.


• KSU-NAACP is looking for applicants for secretary, treasurer and membership chair for next year.

• Vice President-elect Ashley Bennett said she’d like to see diversity and dedication among board members.

• Interested students should e-mail president-elect Whitney Smith at [email protected] as soon as possible. Applicants will be required to fill out an application form and be interviewed by current board members.

When Mitchum became a member of the organization four years ago, he said the group’s leaders had to work to get the chapter reinstated on campus and at a national level because of personal problems within the previous executive board.

“We had to reinvent ourselves,” he said, “and make sure people knew about KSU-NAACP.”

Even with hard work and dedication to boost the organization’s presence, Mitchum said this isn’t the first time they’ve had problems filling all of the executive board positions. But he said Smith and Bennett are strong women whom he knows will be dedicated to the organization.

Smith said she is not worried about filling the three positions and is excited to work to boost attendance through dedication and creativity.

“As long as I’ve seen NAACP, they’ve never given up,” Smith said, “even if membership looks slim.”

Next year, Bennett said she wants to discuss current health and political issues at meetings and bring well-known speakers to campus to draw membership.

In addition, she said she hopes to increase contact with the national chapter of NAACP by sending members to national conferences or bringing national board members to campus.

In his years as a KSU-NAACP member, Mitchum said he’s seen meetings where more than 100 people attend and other meetings where only the executive board members attend. But no matter what, he said every member has had the same goal – promoting civil rights and equality.

“We’ve built something really strong, and we want to keep that legacy going,” said current President Brittnei Neely.

She said, despite dwindling attendance, that she sees great potential in the organization and its future leaders.

Contact minority affairs reporter Christina Stavale at [email protected].