by Tim Tevault
Thanks to a devoted member of the African American Student Alliance now president, the club is looking to the new year with high expectations.
Senior ShaMira DeJurnett, president, is ready and excited for the club’s upcoming events.
“We’re trying to branch out this year and involve more minority clubs on campus,” she said, adding that one way AASA will achieve this is through co-sponsored events.
The first of these, Skate Night, was held last night at Skate Express in Chino in conjunction with Cal Poly Pomona’s Black Student Union.
Also helping AASA become one of the most active clubs on campus is the emphasis DeJurnett and her executive board will put on academics this year.
The board, which consists of Linda Moses, vice president; Ebony Williams, treasurer; LaVenna Ware, assistant treasurer; and Ebony Lofton, public relations representative, will focus on the graduation rate of the University of La Verne’s African American population.
“Our former president did a good job,” DeJurnett said. “This past year, it was really high, but this year we want it higher.”
DeJurnett said a problem she noticed that lowers that graduation rate is that “(some) black males have a tendency to play their sport and leave.”
Because of this, AASA has study groups organized for anyone on campus to join.
At these sessions, people can come at a regular meeting time to just do homework and possibly collaborate and help each other.
“That’s one of our goals — to provide a support group for black males and females on campus,” DeJurnett said.
Ware said that in addition to study groups, one of her goals for AASA is to become known around the community.
To obtain this, she hopes the club can participate in community service around La Verne.
On top of all of the positive things AASA has planned for the year, they will be holding a couple more social events in the near future.
First up is the AASA, Brothers’ Forum and Sister Circle mixer, where each of these groups will be giving information about themselves to those interested.
This is set to take place at 1 p.m. today in the Student Center classroom.
On Oct. 18, the group is selling 55 tickets to take a party bus to Knott’s Scary Farm.
Tickets run for $28 and are available by contacting a member of the executive board.
Ware said that while students know about the Knott’s event and are interested in going, “college kids are kind of penniless right now.”
In November, AASA will be holding a 50/50 drawing, where electronic prizes such as DVD players will be raffled off. The exact date for this event will be announced soon.
DeJurnett, a member of AASA for two and a half years, is really enjoying her time in the club.
Because she did not have an AASA or Black Student Union in her high school, she thought it would be good to join one in college.
“When I got to ULV, the African American community was small, but they seemed united,” she said.
Ware, however, was a member of her BSU in high school for all four years and has been a member of AASA for the three that she has been attending the University.
She joined AASA because “I’m always looking to have a positive influence.”
DeJurnett said all of these events would not have happened if it were not for the hard work all of the members of AASA.
“I’m pretty much the person behind the scenes,” she said. “If it wasn’t for the members, we would not run.”