BUS works to recruit more members

Mike Zelling

More than 100 members of Black United Students gathered yesterday at Oscar Ritchie Hall for the organization’s first meeting of the semester. AMANDA SOWARDS | DAILY KENT STATER

Credit: Steve Schirra

Black United Students plans to create a stronger support system with other black organizations on- and off-campus this semester.

Yesterday’s meeting was the first of the semester, giving board members a chance to introduce themselves and outline their goals for this year.

BUS president Sasha Parker said it was important for the organization to be unified with other black organizations on campus such as the Kent African Student Association, the University of Akron’s Black United Students and the Black Graduate Students Association.

“We just want to get more involved with the community and campus at large,” said Dametraus Jaggers, Kent NAACP publicity chair and BUS member. “We still want to be identified as a black organization without forgetting our purpose.”

One way BUS is attempting to unify with other organizations is by creating a community calendar that will list the events of all campus organizations. Parker said this would help avoid overlapping events and allow the groups to better support each other.

Among the more than 100 people present at the meeting in Oscar Ritchie Hall were several freshmen and students previously not involved with the organization.

“I honestly haven’t seen this much interest since I was a freshman,” Parker said. “It’s very important for freshmen students to understand this building and why it is here.”

Carla Smith, BUS’s programming chair, also noticed the large number of freshmen and first timers. Smith said it is one of her goals to get people excited about what BUS is doing.

“A lot of the people here were freshmen,” Smith said. “They’re really excited about getting involved.”

Freshmen nursing major, Crystal Colbert, said she has been looking for other minorities on campus.

“I’m trying to do anything my schedule allows,” Colbert said, “whether it’s passing out flyers or anything.”

Brittany Brown, freshman biology and pre-med major, said she was impressed by her first exposure to the organization and became motivated to be involved.

“It makes you think outside the box,” Brown said, “and makes me feel like I’m more than a minority on this campus.”

Smith said she is focused on the quality of programming this year and bringing in good speakers. BUS will present the cast of “Black. White.” in the Carol A. Cartwright Auditorium Sept. 13.

Parker said she wants to build BUS back to the force they were in the past and regain a powerful reputation.

“We want to make a name for ourselves and let the university know we’re going to stand our ground,” Parker said.

Contact ethnic affairs reporter Mike Zelling at [email protected].