By Eduardo Madrigal
Flapjack Chronicle Staff
The DJ dropped out. Only 20 more minute and the event has to begin. But Anthony Flucker, 20, a journalism major does not worry. He has a network of friends and connections he can rely on. And those are benefits he wants to share with his community.
HSU’s African American community gathered in the Kate Buchanan Room on Oct. 3. The purpose of the titled African American Community Reception was to build a sense of community, start friendships and let the hundred or so participants get to know helpful faculty members.
The event was sponsored by Humboldt State’s Multicultural Center with the intent of bringing in the African American community into a more unified base. One of a series of many events held to bring students closer together.
“There are events for everybody, but we try to get freshmen and first-year students involved as soon as possible,” said Mona Mazzotti, one of the event planners.
“Because of the new electronic sign-in equipment implemented, I don’t have a clear idea of the specific attendance but I believe our events have been well-attended,” she said.
Flucker, African American Community Building Coordinator, spoke to students about forming a sense of community and being happy with who you are.
“There are very few of us on campus, we need to come together if we plan on doing anything,” said Flucker. “The main goal is that we want you all to be unashamed to be black, and we want to create our own culture on campus, whatever that entails, whatever it may be, we control that. Why? Because we created it.”
Flucker also discussed some of the obstacles facing the African American community on campus.
“It is a bit hard sometimes to come from mainly urban areas with a high percentage of African Americans and go into an area that has a low percentage of African American people,” he said. “The main challenge is to allow people to be as comfortable as they possibly can while being in such different surroundings.”
Flucker showed commitment to his position as a coordinator by arduously organizing and improvising on solutions to some problems that were presented before the reception took place.
The event had a warm welcoming committee composed of faculty. The committee greeted attendants as they walked through the door. The faculty introduced themselves and made sure attendants knew they can count on them anytime they need help.
The attendants participated in icebreaking activities. In one the attendants had to choose between two interests and go to the right or left side of the room depending on their pick. These included music, dress style, celebrities or dishes. Participants then introduced themselves to a new person and talked about their common interests.
“Every single person in here has something in common with someone else, one thing that for sure we have in common is that we love ourselves, we love us and we need to think about that. That is the plan for the day,” said Flucker.
Stereotypes and solutions to this problem were discussed with great participation from the audience and faculty who encouraged students to take helpful courses they offered on campus that dealt with such matters.
Dinner was provided to the attendants courtesy of Mazzotti’s Italian restaurant. Attendants had a choice between vegan spaghetti, fried chicken or Pizza and treats such as peach cobbler and sweet potato pie.
During the dinner time attendants got to know one another and enjoy the music.
“Tonight’s event was very helpful,” said attendant Brianna Boyd, 20, an anthropology major who also is treasurer of the Black Student Union.
“A lot of people didn’t even know there were other black students on campus, everyone is getting to meet new people, make connections and meet the faculty as well, I hope we have more events like this,” she said.
This reaction was not unique as everybody seemed to enjoy new company.
“I would like to meet every black student on campus,” said Job René, 18, an undeclared major.
“I think it’d be interesting to know everyone, get more connections, it’s helpful for oneself and others, for example they might have something you need and you might have something they need.”
Flucker was satisfied with the night’s event.
“The attendance was smaller than expected but I feel that those who did come got a lot out of it,” he said.
Flucker encouraged the African American community to participate in more of its coming events.
“African Americans who do not come are missing out and are not being part of something that is going to help them meet people and make connections,” he said. “It doesn’t mean that it is too late, please come to our next events.”