Welcome Black event highlights Black CSUN organizations

Courtesy photos from CSUN’s Welcome Black event on Sept. 13, 2022, in Northridge, Calif.

Fatimah Jackson, Reporter

Despite the decrease in Black student enrollment at CSUN, partially attributed to the pandemic, students and faculty gathered in the Northridge Center Complex to embrace new or returning Black students.

Hosted by the University Student Union, Black organizations had the opportunity to foster an environment of community and acceptance for many Black students that may otherwise not experience such interactions in daily life.

The event introduced students to Black fraternities, sororities, organizations and helpful educational resources on campus.

“I’m OK with knowing that I have a community that I can turn to that’s separate and not always intertwined because it does feel like a space you can let your guard down but know that you’re protected,” said junior Deala Web, a marketing major.

Courtesy photos from CSUN’s Welcome Black event on Sept. 13, 2022, in Northridge, Calif. (David J. Hawkins)

These sentiments were echoed by many other students at the event, with many emphasizing the need to have more Black organizations made visible and accessible to Black students at CSUN.

“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,” said CSUN’s Vice President for Student Affairs William Watkins. “So many of us go into classrooms that we’re not certain whether or not we can make it.”

Attendees at the event were offered free food and beverages, as well as the chance to win a bingo raffle if they stopped to visit every booth. The Black fraternities and sororities discussed their organizations and their respective societies’ historical significance.

The large turnout of the Welcome Black event speaks to the need for Black students to feel more connected and be a part of the larger CSUN community, according to many in attendance.

“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 staff counselor Abram Milton.