The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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USU welcomes new and returning Black students to CSUN

Student volunteers greet students to the Welcome Black event in the Northridge Center of the USU in Northridge, Calif., on Sept. 13, 2023.

The University Student Union held its “Welcome Black” Cultural Welcome inside the Northridge Center on Sept. 13. The first Cultural Welcome events of the school year are at the start of the fall semester for two weeks.

The purpose of the Cultural Welcomes is to introduce CSUN students to faculty and clubs while participating in entertaining activities with their peers.

Each Cultural Welcome caters to a specific demographic so students can feel a sense of community with people they culturally identify with. “Welcome Black” is for Black CSUN students interested in engaging with their community.

During the event, faculty members went onstage to introduce themselves and present organizations for students to get involved with. Surrounding the room were tables showcasing clubs such as the National Association of Black Journalists, Black House, and Black Campus Ministries.

“I think it’s honestly amazing that we have this. I don’t think most schools have something like this. I think it’s honestly great to have this, and I’m glad to see everybody here just getting information,” said Keturah Gregg, a CTVA major.

Staff members handed students a ticket to fill out with their CSUN information. Attendees were encouraged to meet with as many club leaders and staff as possible to receive stamps on their tickets. Students with two stamps received free lunch. At the end of the event, there was a raffle for students who received four stamps.

Later into the event, many students, club leaders and staff performed in the center of the room as dance music played. Attendees of “Welcome Black” expressed excitement to be surrounded by their community.

“I like seeing all the new faces. I came in during COVID, so it’s always beautiful to see all these amazing Black people here,” Jeayana Davis-Daniels, a psychology major, said.

One of the many faculty members who made this event possible was Abram Milton, a staff counselor at CSUN for University Counseling Services since 2018. Milton has over two decades of military service experience, and his counseling focuses on serving CSUN veterans, Muslim students, and men of color.
“A lot of the time, students don’t know about some of the resources that can support students of African descent,” Milton explained. “This is like a one-stop shop where you can see all the different resources on campus and know that representation is here for you.”

Milton was pleased with the turnout of the Welcome Black event and enjoyed directly engaging with students.

Following the event, attendees who took advantage of the resources and clubs shared how they have benefited from participating.

C.J. Moore, majoring in art with an emphasis in illustration, said that she actively participates in organizations presented at the event.

“I have participated in the Pride Center. I like going to tea time and coffee nights, [and] CSUN housing, I am an RA [Resident Advisor] so I do use those resources, and also the Black House,” Moore shared.

Ezenwa Nekes, a radiology major, said that he joined the African Student Organization, which was showcased at the event. He explained that being part of the organization has benefited him because being around other Black students gave him a sense of belonging.

“It benefited me as a student, getting to know more about my people and just being around African Americans, because when you’re in a majority of a group that looks like you, you tend to feel more comfortable and relaxed,” Nekes said.

The USU will be holding another Cultural Welcome in the spring semester. In the meantime, there will be Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Essential Talks on Oct. 17 at the Plaza del Sol Performance Hall. The event will be hosted by William A. Smith, who will discuss the impact of “Racial Battle Fatigue,” giving students another opportunity to connect and learn with their CSUN peers.

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