BUS candidates discuss issues

Bryan Wroten

Kareem Mitchell, junior justice studies major, speaks at the BUS candidates forum in Oscar Ritchie Hall yesterday. Candidates running for executive board positions campaigned to other BUS members. Elections will be held today and tomorrow. SEAN DAUGHERTY

Credit: Carl Schierhorn

Black United Students hosted a forum last night for students interested in running for its executive board. Each candidate had a chance to give a platform and answer questions.

Unity and change were the themes of the night, as all candidates spoke of student apathy and lack of communication among black students.

“I see the problems plaguing the African-American community, and I’m hoping to help remedy some,” said Riajo Loftin, candidate for vice president.

Loftin, historian and treasurer for BUS, said she wants to build a stronger bond with the department of Pan-African Studies and other black student organizations. She said she wants to bring consciousness to black students.

Her opponent, junior financial engineering major Kevin Gibson Jr., said he also wants to bring black consciousness to students. He said when he first came to Kent State, he knew little about black history. Taking The Black Experience changed his outlook, he said, and he wants to share that with others.

Sasha Parker, BUS political affairs and grievances chair, Kareem Mitchell, junior justice studies major, and LaDon Neal, freshman public relations major, are all running for BUS president.

“I feel there are some changes that need to be made, and they’re changes I can make,” Neal said. “There’s a lack of unity and organization thus far that can be picked up and implemented.”

Parker said she wants to bring back the Black Leadership Council, a think tank of leaders from black student organizations. She said she wants to continue working on a grant for the Progressive Education Community schools. “We need to make black students feel that without BUS, something is missing,” she said.

Sophomore special education major Alisha Alls is running against freshman justice studies major Terrence Alexander for treasurer. BUS programming co-chair Ryan Robinson is running unopposed for secretary.

Students can vote 9 a.m. to noon in the Student Center and 1 to 4 p.m. in Oscar Ritchie today and tomorrow.

Contact minority affairs reporter Bryan Wroten at [email protected]