CHRIS HART-WILLIAMS | Editor-in-Chief
Blacks in Wax gave participants an opportunity to experience history in a different way. Unlike lectures and out of touch textbooks, volunteers made up of students, and alumni portrayed history live.
Jasmine Cannon, a junior in Women’s and Gender Studies, said to see the hundreds of faces and witness visitors learn something new is uplifting.
Cannon portrayed civil and human rights activist Ella Baker, whom she admires. Baker attended Shaw University in Raleigh. In 1927 she graduated as class valedictorian at the age of 24.
The African American Cultural Center hosted hundreds throughout last Saturday morning and afternoon on Feb. 21. One group alone contained more than 200 people, according to program director, Toni Thorpe.
“We want to enhance the curriculum. We want to bring some equality to the curriculum,”Thorpe told one group.
“If you look at the history, books often many stories are omitted. You don’t see the stories of people that look like me, and if you do they are sometimes halfway told or incorrect.”
Harriet Tubman was the first character visitors were introduced to. She spoke of enslavement and the underground railroad she helped conduct. The other characters, from President Barack Obama to Ray Charles spoke of being black in America, and highlighted their life’s struggles.
“We get up and we go through our day , we walk into the classroom and sit any place we want and don’t remember those who came before us and were spat on,” said Thorpe. “The goal is to make you aware.”
Both educating and entertaining, the museum encouraged participants to consider seeing themselves as global citizens despite identity.
There’s only one history said Thorpe.
“There’s not an African-American history, Asian history, Native American history, and Eurocentric history, there’s one globe, so theres one history,” Thorpe said.
“We all have to understand that we have a call to justice and a responsibility to see our self as global citizens.”
Referring to the impact the day ‘s experience had on young visitors, such as the school-aged children, Cannon said that them just seeing someone who looks like them, around their age doing something great means a lot.
“Instead of watching TV they came to a college campus and got to see student leaders exhibiting and showing how great their history is,” Cannon said.
Saint Mary’s School, N.C. State’s SKEMA program and the NC-MSEN Pre-College Program were a few of the groups who visited the museum.
Interview with Student Body President Candidate Khari Cyrus
‘Uniting the Pack’: Cyrus’ message supports diversity and pushes for inclusion
CHRIS HART-WILLIAMS | Editor-in-Chief
Khari Cyrus said he’s had conversations with peers who’ve shared with him that they won’t be coming back the next semester, whether it’s because the university doesn’t carry their major, they simply can’t afford school or they don’t feel welcomed or comfortable at N.C. State.
“This is something that has bothered me extremely and I wanted to run so that I could address theses issues, through my platform,” said Cyrus one of three candidates running for Student Body President.
Cyrus’s platform addresses affordability, support and collaboration, and student life. He said he believes his platform and goals as president are all encompassing and inclusive of the entire student body. He identifies support and collaboration, and improving student life as top priorities.
According to Cyrus, a goal of he and his running mate Nate Bridgers, candidate for vice president, is to instill a passion for improving life on campus and making everyone feel safe and comfortable.
“Looking back at NC State’s history of student body presidents the last black president that we’ve had was Tony Caravano which was back in 2004-2005, and of course if elected I wont be the student body president for black students on campus, I’ll be the student body president for all students on campus, but I also think its important to realize that all of my experiences will definitely help me be able to connect with people across campus on a more personal level”
Cyrus said his experiences on campus as a student and leaders have made him confident that he can ensure that students feel comfortable and that there voices are being heard and someone is advocating for them to the board of trustees and administration.
“Every year people talk about their concerns regarding a rise in student fees”, said Cyrus.
“It’s our goal to make sure tuition and fees stay low as possible, but also recognizing student fees go to great things like the counseling center and the health center.”
Cyrus said he would like to implement hosting town hall councils so students can come in and see where their fees are going.
He said he and Bridgers would like to work with administration and communicate to them where students think funds needs to be going. Making it a more student involved process in determining how our money is being spent.
Cyrus said financially ending support for some initiatives might be necessary in the future. His position is that programs that serve students the least should seek more money from outside resources so Student Government funds can be used for its other initiatives.
“We’re really just trying to find a way to maximize the student dollar and take it as far as we can go and that includes maybe withdrawing a little Student Government support from programs and initiatives across campus and encouraging them explore other options, which is one thing they already do.”
Cyrus and Bridgers are the most st Veteran Candidates in the Student Body President/Vice President Elections, according to their website. Cyrus has served as Student Government Leadership Development chair and Bridgers, Secretary of Tuition and Fees. Bridgers is a sophomore studying accounting. Cyrus currently studies biological sciences, but has added political science to his course load because he no longer has plans to become a doctor like he once did. “I got here and I realized there were so many other opportunities.”
Cyrus said now his goal after graduation is to attend law school and practice law in N.C., he wants to focus on public health and public policy.
“For me I’ve been involved with leadership positions for a long time now, I’ve been fortunate enough to be in theses positions and have learned from leadership training and making mistakes.”
Cyrus said as a student leader he’s developed skills, such as time management, delegating tasks and active listening.
The Park scholar said serving as president of his fraternity the Kappa Lambda Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. has helped him grow as a leader and understand what students want.
“There’s no point in hosting programs and initiatives just for the sake of hosting them and its something students have expressed to me before,” said Cyrus.
He said one of the things he’s learned in his leadership positions is that you can’t have a leader without people behind them supporting them.
“Something I like to say when I discuss leadership is a leader is somebody who can inspire shared vision amongst the group and instill in them enough passions so that even when that person is removed from the situation they are still willing to go out and do what needs to be done,” Cyrus said. “That’s the approach I’m looking at Student Body President with.”
Seven candidates share why they are running for Student Government
Voting for the Student Government Spring 2015 Election starts at 8:00 p.m. Mon., Mar. 2, up to 8:00 p.m. Tuesday, Mar. 3.
Student Senate Division of Academic and Student Affairs
“I am running because being a part of student government is a great step into making a positive difference in our community. A lot of times our community doesn’t take the initiative of being informed on what’s going on and I’m the first say I haven’t done the best so I want to start making that change. I believe having underrepresented groups in these positions such as student government and student senate will allow us to be informed about what’s going on a larger scale, create a more diverse mindset in student government thus combating things like misunderstandings of our community and micro-aggressions, and empowering our community to continue to be in these positions to foster change for the future.”
Bria Cofield, elementary education
Student Senate College of Education
“First and foremost, I am running because I believe that I have what it takes to represent and advocate for the needs of the students in the College of Education. We are a small College on the huge campus of NC State, but we are some of the most passionate, dedicated and determined individuals that I have ever met. I want to represent my peers in the College of Education and make sure that Student Government is doing everything possible to meet the needs of all students. Beyond just the needs of the students in the College of Education, I have other things I would like to accomplish as well if I were elected senator. I want to move beyond conversations of making campus an inclusive environment and make these conversations reality. I want these things to happen and be apart of our campus culture. In light of national and local tragedies, I want to make sure that everyone on this campus feels like they are apart of the family that is the Wolfpack.”
Jonique Lyles, textile technology
Student Senate College of Textiles
“I am pursing the role of Student Senator due to my piqued interest from my growing engagement and student leadership on campus. It is often times very noticeable that student power and voice is very limited on the ground level. Even often times, access to those who can make a difference is very slim, especially when it comes to underrepresented students. I would like to become apart of the Student Senate to advocate for students to better help and serve their needs and concerns in a formal more impactful stance in student government and higher university administration. I am open and willing to talk to those with concerns and I seek to create the best benefits for all in an easy and accessible way.”
Khari Cyrus, biological sciences
Student Body President
“I’m running for Student Body President because I believe that I can serve as the best student representative on the board of trustees. From my experiences with multiple backgrounds, including Greek life, Park Scholarship, AASAC organizations, and Student Government, I know what students across the university need and I’m committed to making sure the administration hears our concerns. Finally, I want to take all steps necessary to Unite the Pack and change the climate on campus.”
O’Licia Parker-Smith, communication
Student Senate College of Humanities & Social Sciences, sophomore
“I am running for this position to continue my career as a Senator in Student Government. I love being a voice of representation for diverse communities across campus.”
Morgan Davis, biological sciences
Student Senate College of Sciences
“I’m running for this position because there are many problems within the college of science department that need improvement. It’s already hard to pursue a major in the sciences, but it’s especially hard when you don’t have many students in your classes you can relate to. I feel like I could be a strong voice for underrepresented groups on campus that face these daily challenges.”
Renee Jones, psychology
College of Humanities &
Social Sciences, senior
“I am running for a spot in the student senate to serve as a voice for my college, (CHASS) and also to communicate the issues, concerns, and ideas of the people within it. I would also like to develop, discuss, and consider ways that the Student Government can better address the needs of the student body as a whole. While embracing the principle of diversity, I plan to use my voice as a means to hopefully improve the many areas of interest on campus.” Read more