Student Organization Works to Promote Cultural Awareness

Members of ABC vote on constitutional changes.

Photo Credit: Cortlynn Stark, Members of ABC vote on constitutional changes.

Cortlynn Stark, The Black Bear – Throughout the year, Association of Black Collegians (ABC) promotes cultural awareness through social and fundraising events on campus.

“In a predominantly white campus, it kind of brings black comradery, events and places for people to hang out with people like yourself,” junior Ryan Justice, a member of ABC, said.

Freshman Olivia Obi shows ABC members her t-shirt designs.

Photo Credit: Cortlynn Stark, Freshman Olivia Obi shows ABC members her t-shirt designs.

According to the Forbes college profile of Missouri State University, the student body is almost 82 percent Caucasian. Only 4.03 percent of the student population is African American. The student populations of Hispanics and Asians at 3.05 percent and 1.33 percent, respectively.

“It’s important to campus because I feel like a lot of minorities would feel alone if there wasn’t one,” freshman Olivia Obi, another member of ABC said. “You can kinda get lost in the campus as a whole because minorities aren’t really represented that much.”

On Oct. 24, ABC is hosting the “All or Nothing Greek Stroll Off” competition. The fraternities and sororities of the National Pan-Hellenic Council will compete in three different categories: sexy, old school and original, to determine the winner.

ABC also regularly does ovations, where members work the concessions at any university event like football and basketball games. At the rodeo during Family Weekend, ABC raised $500 during an ovation.

Black History Week is the most prominent event that ABC puts on. It is a week full of educational events where students can learn about history that is specifically relevant to the black community.

“Just by having educational events and social events which helps the black community become more involved,” said junior and Community Service Chair, Brandi Higgins. “There are a lot of us, but people fail to recognize that when you don’t see a lot going on.”

All of these events help promote cultural awareness and the ability to do so but not without certain difficulties.

For ABC, the main problem is retention.

“We will gain members in the beginning of the school year,” Higgins said. “And once it gets towards the end people trickle off.”

To prevent losing members during the academic year, ABC tries to keep their members heavily involved and active in the organization.

ABC maintain a professional air during meetings which makes meetings run smoothly. They also strive to make members feel welcome. Executive board members greet people by name as members enter meetings.

Executive board members listen to junior Ryan Justice and freshman Olivia Obi discuss t-shirt designs and ask for input from general members.

Photo Credit: Cortlynn Stark, Executive board members listen to junior Ryan Justice and freshman Olivia Obi discuss t-shirt designs and ask for input from general members.

“It just feels really warm in here to me, everyone’s really friendly,” Obi said. “It’s like a second home.”

ABC meets every Wednesday at 7 p.m. in Plaster Student Union room 313.

“It’s a great way to meet new friends,” Higgins said. “It’s just a great networking opportunity because everyone is involved in different organizations, everyone is involved in different majors so you learn from different people, you grow together, you work together.”

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