Not just black history

Club president sponsors diversity, education

| Audrey Dighans copy editor |

Black History Month is right around the corner and Black Student Association (BSA) president Kimberlee Fields, junior in psychology, says she is excited to experience Pittsburg State’s dedication to the event.
“It just makes me feel proud to be black,” Fields said. “My high school never celebrated it that much, at Pitt it is completely different. It just fills me with pride.”
Fields, who is from Leavenworth, was elected president of BSA last year.
“It’s a great club to be a part of,” she said. “I came here wanting to be involved and their table at my Pitt C.A.R.E.S. session really stood out to me.”

Diversity drive

Fields says she and BSA work to promote diversity among fellow students at Pitt State whenever they can.
“We work closely with the other clubs in the Office of Student Diversity (OSD),” Fields said. “Our events and theirs are all about promoting students to come together, spread pride in our ethnicity, and have fun.”
Fields says that BSA’s events are never intended to be just for the club’s members. Its leaders actively search for ideas of fun things that many students would like to participate in.
“Last semester, we held the ‘Battle of the Sexes’ and we had a great turnout,” Fields said. “The candlelight vigil for Martin Luther King Jr. also had attendees that weren’t in the club and weren’t black.
“I feel it’s really important that all students at Pitt State know we want everyone to be included.”

OSD a destination

Fields says she had never heard of Pitt State or Pittsburg until her high school’s college fair day. She met with recruiters and instantly felt a connection.
“My high school had a lot of school spirit and I knew I wanted to find that in a university,” Fields said. “After visiting and learning more about PSU, I knew it was perfect for me, and it has been.”
She added that Pitt State feels like a second home to her.
“The people here are so welcoming,” she said. “Especially the OSD; anyone can walk in there and feel at home.”
Homecoming and Big Event are Fields’ favorite times of the year at Pitt State. She says she loves the sense of togetherness brought up by the events.
“PSU just blends so well,” Fields said. “There’s a lot of diversity here, we all get along. I hope to be a marriage and family therapist one day, so promoting empowerment, love and accepting of others is very dear to me.”

Changed mission, same goal

BSA will be hosting several events in February in honor of Black History Month. Fields took some time to discuss what issues she thinks face the world and Pitt State itself.
“Racism is still around in the world,” Fields said. “I haven’t experienced any of it in Pittsburg. Here, I think the problem has become a so called ‘war’ on race within race.”
Fields added there seems to be separation and tensions rising between black people with light skin vs. those with darker skin.
“Honestly I feel like I just woke up one day and it was this huge thing,” Fields said.
She added that she hears jokes about this issue from peers and feels that the jokes only enable the growth of the problem and bring negative attention to it.

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