KASA encourages students to take course on African issues

Christina Stavale

A course in the Department of Pan-African Studies that provides students with historical information and practical, hands-on experience, could be canceled if enough students do not sign up.

Babacar M’Baye, assistant professor in Pan-African studies and English, spoke to members of the Kent African Student Association last night about this course, titled Pan-Africanism and Model AU, and the benefits and practical experiences it provides.

The course is open to students of all levels and all majors in Spring 2008.

“People should take it because it’s going to help connect their discipline to African issues,” M’Baye said.

In the class, he said, students will study issues confronting Africa, including Darfur, health, children soldiers and education. The class will then travel to Washington, D.C. for four days to attend a mock meeting of the African Union.

There, students will have the opportunity to act as delegates of specific African countries and address problems and provide resolutions for the issues they study in class.

Students do not have to pay for travel and accommodations.

KASA secretary Stella Sule also encouraged members to take this and other courses in the department of Pan-African studies.

“When you take these classes, your eyes will open up,” she said.

During last night’s meeting, Andrew Lepp, assistant professor in the School of Exercise, Leisure and Sport, also spoke to members about a two-week study-abroad program to Uganda through the Recreation, Park and Tourism program.

For Uganda and some other countries in Africa, Lepp said, tourism is the number one industry.

“We get to sit down and talk to the people there to see how tourism has impacted their life,” he said.

In addition, Theo Lasser and Alesa Bostwick, senior business management majors, talked to KASA members about another way to help countries in Africa.

For their Integrated Business Policy and Strategy class, they started a Tsavo Peoples Project that would work to help issues facing Kenya.

One of the main issues the project targets is the lack of profit people of Kenya make on goods purchased in their country.

When people travel to Kenya, Lasser said, they’ll purchase goods at a very small price, and then sell the goods in their own country for hundreds of dollars.

Representatives from the project will be collecting donations for the rest of this week and all of next week.

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