New KASA board wants strong year

Amadeus Smith


Vanessa Opoku, freshman integrated health services major, speaks to members of the Kent African Student Association last night during its election meeting. Opoku ran for vice president and stressed unity in her bid f

Credit: Adam Griffiths

Last night, Helen Yohanes was elected president of the Kent African Student Association for the 2007-08 academic year.

Her platform included advocating the group’s expansion beyond its annual African Night.

“We should be known for more than African night,” Yohanes said to a classroom packed with students in Oscar Ritchie Hall.

Vanessa Opoku, who was elected vice president, agreed.

“This is college, you know, people have to focus on academics,” Opoku said. “But there also needs to be something else, some other focus, like KASA, to give balance.”

He said regional divides among black students at Kent State shouldn’t cause actual division.

“It doesn’t matter where you’re from. You have to unite,” Opoku said.

During the election, Steve Michael, vice provost of diversity and academic initiatives, told members and candidates they must remember KASA is part of a larger group. He encouraged members to expand their networks through other groups around campus.

He also said members should apply what they have learned through KASA and the university to problems in Africa.

“The state of Africa is not a state you should be happy with,” he said.

Overall, candidates and members said they are looking to expand the group.

Current KASA president Ewaohi Ify Amu said the new board must continue the success the organization has achieved during the last year.

“What we’re hoping is that the new candidates will carry out the trend that the 2006 board started,” Amu said. “It brought life, energy and structure back to this organization.”

As she opened the elections, Amu discussed KASA’s new Facebook group, which is updated regularly. She also mentioned the success of a soccer tournament held for different African students from Kent State, Youngstown State and Akron University as well as the success of “Faces of Africa,” the 27th annual African Night.

The other board members elected include:

&bull: Stella Sule, secretary

&bull: Yejide Olaniyan, treasurer

&bull: India Foster, publicity

&bull: Sheila Denanyoh, programmer

Contact minority affairs reporter Amadeus Smith at [email protected].</>