As the semester comes to a close, and the weather becomes warmer, many student and campus organizations are hosting events outdoors as a chance for students to relax and enjoy the weather.
Pitt State’s Black Student Association (BSA) hosted a mixer from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Wednesday April 14 in the Oval.
“We wanted to have an end of the semester blow out, handing out free juices, brochures about organizations and a flyer..,” said BSA president and social media chair Kyle Carr, junior in graphic communications. “It’s the end of the year, and we’ve all had our own struggles and I feel like we have… music playing so it creates a fun atmosphere that helps everyone’s vibes feel good.”
BSA had two tables set up around the Oval in order to bring awareness to the organization and were offering free drinks and Tropical Smoothie coupons to students passing by.
“It helps the organization to be seen and it also helps students be able to appreciate…organizations that we want to pass out juice and information for them,” Carr said. “It keeps our face and name out there, especially now that the weather is warmer, we can be out and do things. We all want to be outside and get some sunlight.”
Pamphlets about BSA and the Office of Student Diversity (OSD) were available as well as a flyer with information about local Black owned businesses, how to support them, and other resources relevant the organization.
“The flyer had QR codes that link you to local Black owned businesses like ME’s Place which is a soul food restaurant in Joplin, Missouri; there’s an online marketplace called We Buy Black where Black businesses can put all their information and goods you can buy from them within an affordable cost and also a YouTube series whether you’re within the Black community or outside the Black community you can listen to Millennial’s and Gen Z’s discuss issues pertaining to the Black community and also society in general,” Carr said.
Nilamben Panchal, graduate student in polymer chemistry, stopped by the event and was glad to see student organizations hosting events in person after many events going virtual due to the pandemic.
“It was cool to see people here, because in the COVID we’re not seeing anything going on, on campus,” Panchal said. “I think after COVID this is one of the first on campus (with) something going on, so I and one of my friends thought we would go there and see what it was.”
Panchal believes it is good for student groups to be able to promote their organization with mixers.
“It’s good because we will also know them,” Panchal said. “I like to see the people and what they’re doing; if they’re going to be doing any activities…”
The event also sought to bring awareness about the OSD and the resources available there for students.
“We want people to know about the Office of Student Diversity, not just BSA,” said BSA advisor Emely Flores, assistant director of student diversity programs. “That there is an office, there is a space, where students can come in between classes to just relax, be themselves, enjoy good conversation with one another and it’s kind of a stress-free environment for them.”
Carr hopes that the event provided a way for students to learn more about BSA and the OSD.
“They see that BSA cares about our student body, but also if they, especially Black students, who are not familiar that Pitt State does have a Black Student Association that we’re here on campus..,” Carr said.
Through the event, the BSA hoped to garner interest and gain new members.
“…we’re an organization that is open to new people with new ideas to take the organization to more higher places whether that be social events, more business events, kind of catering to both sides so we welcome fresh new minds and ideas,” Carr said.
Due to the pandemic, Flores said there wasn’t as many opportunities for exposure for the group, so this event served as a way to promote the organization.
“So more than ever we need an event right now at the end of the year to say ‘hey we’re still here’ and we want engagement when all of this is over and we’re back in August so that we have students that join it or support us through the different events we put on throughout the year and that the students alike can form part and have a community within the university so they can form a home outside of home which is really what the student testimonials end up being like, that they end up making a family here,” Flores said.
More information about BSA, their meetings, and events can be found on their Instagram and Facebook @psu_bsa and on Gorilla Engage.