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BSU Hosts 2017 Umoja Ball

By Amy Ahern
On March 2, 2017

Some of the members in BSU. 
Photo Courtesy of James Kemp


On February 24, Black Student Union held their annual ball at Concord University welcoming  students, faculty, and community members to join. Incorporating Kwanzaa, the students came to the theme of, Umoja. 

    This year, Concord University hosted the BSU Umoja Ball in the ballroom with a crowded house, populated with students. Prior to the event, students were able to purchase tickets downstairs in the student center with singles costing $7, and couples $10. All of the money collected from the night was presented to the organization for recruitment, brotherhoods, and future BSU sponsored campus events. 

    Tickets were then collected by the front entrance by members in the organization, proceeding into the ballroom filled by colorful strobe lights and Concord’s very own DJ. During the event, students danced the night away with some of today’s top hits, along with some forever good oldies. 

    In attendance in the ball, sophomore, Damon Akers was honored to be able to have the opportunity to work the night as security. “My favorite part of the night would have to be seeing people coming together and having a great time. It was great to see some people forget their everyday stresses and have a much needed, fun ball to go to,” Akers says. “I had a great time working the ball, someone has to do it, and I was honored.” He states that although less crowd than originally expected attended, the night remained fun as ever with plans to attend next year. He also encourages fellow peers to come out for the annual ball next time. 

    Halfway through the night the organization took the opportunity to incorporate an educational element. John Bailey, member of BSU, took the time to explain the meaning of “Umoja” to those in attendance. Further explaining, he stated that during Kwanzaa, (a secular festival observed by many African Americans, from December 26 to January 1 as a celebration for their culture and heritage), Umoja means, “Unity”—to strive for and maintain unity in family, community, nation and race. The overall mission for the ball was to represent the importance of community, and coming together in unity. By representing this significance, anyone was invited to attend. 

    Former President, James Riley was present at the ball and loved being able to see everyone come out and enjoy themselves. “I loved being able to come back to Concord and catch up with some friends. It was great to see so many different people come out and have a great time, and overall just enjoy themselves being there,” Riley says. “I have to say, BSU has grown in size since my presidency. There are a few things that will be changing in the near future, but I’ll have to let the current president speak to that,” he says. Riley also encourages anyone to come out next year and be sure to invite any friends who may want to dress up, and dance all night long. Vice President of BSU, Jessica Chavez, made the comment, “I loved being able to see everyone dressed up. It was so much fun seeing what everyone came dressed in.” Along with Chavez, President Jonathan Gore also stated he loved seeing everyone dressed up and having smiles across their face for the night. 

    Brady Meadows, senior at Concord and member of BSU, says, “My favorite part of the night was just being able to see how happy everyone was, and being able to see my classmates all dressed up and having the time of their lives and being stress free for at least a night.”

    Concluding the night, students of all race and nationality came together for a single night having a great time, and with great company. The night was to represent Unity in community, and BSU made an outstanding job in representing that. The night stayed true to theme and made a lasting impression one not to forget. As Treasurer, James Kemp, says, “I saw students from all walks of life come together for an event. It was a perfect representation of Umoja.” 

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