Year’s end bri ngs increased interest

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Burgers sizzled on the grill and music played in the background Saturday during the Black Student Council's barbecue.

Despite the cold, many people showed up for the food and friendship.

However, getting participation for events such as the barbecue has not been easy. Over the last year, a lack of participation has forced the cancellation or postponement of many activities sponsored by the Black Student Council.

Rashad Younger, a junior in the College of Communication, just took over as the president of the Black Student Council.

"We're trying to make a good presence on campus," Younger said. "I want to get the Black Student Council where it used to be."

He said many events had been canceled, and he said he is hoping to avoid that problem during the next school year.

Quenjana Adams, a senior in the College of Communication and the previous president of Black Student Council, said "participation is the biggest problem."

She said that events like a three-on-three basketball tournament and Black History Month activites in February had to be canceled due to lack of interest, and there was little recognition of Black History Month on campus.

However, the Black Student Council was still able to hold many activities. According to Adams, this was a vast improvement over last year, when very little was done by the group. Still, she hoped more could have been done. She said that the group had publicized their events with fliers and word-of-mouth, but did not send information for events to the Tribune.

Allison Coleman, a sophomore in the College of Business Administration, said that she had wanted to attend more events, but only went to two events because she did not have much extra time.

Pamela Larde, the coordinator for student organizations and leadership in the Office of Student Development, said the Black Student Council is facing a relatively common problem in lack of attendance. She said the best way to provide information about events was through word of mouth, e-mail lists, posters and working with other groups on campus.

While apathy is an issue, Larde said, it can be overcome with strong leadership who can get and maintain participation in their group's events.

Adams said many people on campus were not aware of racial issues.

"The university can only do so much — it's a personal choice to be culturally aware," Adams said.

Younger said the university could better help minority students.

"A lot of minority students are coming in and don't know where to go," Younger said.

He said the university does help, but there are not a lot of resources for groups to use.

Coleman agreed and said she thought that more money should be given for programs the Black Student Council was preparing.