In their first meeting of the semester, the African Students Organization focused on the importance of sharing African culture with more CSUN students and providing a better understanding of Africa.
“We want to let them know what is going on in Africa,” said Donnella Collison, the president of the organization.
Collison began the meeting by announcing the latest news from Africa, including a peace agreement between the Congo government and rebels in the area.
“There has been a lot of fighting in Congo lately,” Collison explained to members.
There is a lot of coverage of fighting and information on how many people have died, but when the peace comes along you don’t hear about it, she said. So, taking a few minutes to talk about the positive steps being made in Africa is needed because many people do not know about them, she said.
During the discussion, Vice President Adaku Anyanwu, explained that she wants to move away from the negative representations of Africa and focus more on things like music coming out of the area.
“I just want to put Africa in a positive light” said Anyanwu. “It’s a modern place. We have our issues, but Africa is moving just like everybody else.”
One question ASO members tried to answer was how to bring in more members to discuss these issues.
Member Samantha Wauls said that some people might feel like this club is not for them, but everybody will be accepted.
ASO needs to let people know that “(student) don’t necessarily have to be African continentally to be in the club,” she said. “You don’t even have to be of African descent.”
Collison asked members to bring in more people so that they could see for themselves what the organization is about.
“We’re always open and we want to see new people here,” said Collison.
Newcomer, Mitzy Mendoza, who is a currently a member of Hermosa Unidas, said that people can find someone that they can connect with in these clubs.
ASO meetings in the past have had heated discussions about topics like divorce.
“We don’t just talk about Africa,” said Anyanwu.
But whatever the topic of discussion is, Anyanwu said she wants members to walk away with a deeper feeling of brotherhood and sisterhood.
This semester, the ASO plans on continuing to raise money for African charities.
Members also voted between several films for various movie nights they will be hosting in February in honor of Black History Month. They decided on “Sankofa,” a film about a black American fashion model who experiences a spiritual trip back into slavery in the West Indies. The documentary “Blood Diamond” was also chosen.
Movie nights will also be held at the Black House on Feb. 6 and Feb. 13 and all students are welcome to attend.
ASO meetings are held on Thursdays at 7:00 p.m. in the Ventura Room at the University Student Union.