Music, food and meeting new people were the main themes of the Black House event, “Welcome Black,” on Sept. 13 at the USU Northridge Center.
The event introduced students to Black fraternities, sororities, organizations and helpful educational resources on campus.
Students who attended said it was important for them to create bonds with other black students on campus.
“I’m OK with knowing that I have a community on campus that I can turn to that’s separate and not always intertwined,” said junior Deala Web, a marketing major. “This does feel like a space you can let your guard down but know that you’re protected,”
Many other students expressed the same sentiments, with many appreciating the opportunity to network with Black clubs and organizations on campus. Students enjoyed traditional soul food fare while browsing the clubs’ tables and talking to Greek societies’ representatives.
Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students, William Watkins was among those who attended the popular gathering. “Engagement is important for all students. But generally, because we are a very small population on a large campus like this, finding each other and supporting each other and understanding that we have a common journey is reassuring to students,” he said.
Abram Milton is a psychologist with University Counseling Services. He says events like this serve the essential need to connect.
“A lot of times, when the students first come here they isolate out and they feel like they’re alone. It may feel like there’s not a lot of students of African descent here, but what I love about these ‘Welcome Black’ events is that it shares with the community that there’s places, there’s organizations, there’s friendships that they can establish. There are people here you can connect with. This just proves it,” said Milton.
Before the event, the USU organized other cultural welcomes for students to build bonds with others on campus. The Latinx Welcome took place on Sept. 6 in the Thousand Oaks room. The Asian American Pacific Islander Welcome happened on Sept. 7-8, with the welcomes taking place at the Northridge Center and the Glenn Omatsu House.