On Aug. 22, 2022, the Witherspoon Student Centers hosted a Block Party. The Block Party was the kickoff to the first week of school. The event took place from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. with festivities occurring on Harris Field and on all three floors. The purpose was to give incoming students a chance to learn about the different organizations and resources that the Witherspoon Student Centers has to offer. Outside of the building, music was provided by WKNC, NC State University’s student radio station. The African American Cultural Center (AACC) and different organizations such as Agromeck and the Technician took to tabling outside, including At the tables, students were presented with a punch card.
The punch card sent students on a scavenger hunt throughout the building, with the reward being a ice cream voucher. The first stop was the Jeffrey Wright Military and Veteran Services office on the first floor of Witherspoon Student Center. In the office was Keyshawn Henry, a third-year majoring in Computer Science. He talked about the purpose of the office and handed out goodies that included bracelets and pencils.
The next stop was the second floor of Witherspoon Student Center. Located here is the African American Cultural Center Library and Gallery. Upon entering the room, students were greeted by angela aay-audre, Director of the African American Cultural Center. Students lined up to participate in a trivia game at the entrance of the gallery. They had the opportunity to spin a wheel and answer questions related to the history of the Witherspoon Student Center and the event taking place. Based on the question, participants could win a prize, including an African American Cultural Center hat or pencil. The gallery was also playing music and gave individuals the opportunity to take pictures.
The next stop was the third floor of the Witherspoon Student Center. Located here was the Student Media Business Office, WKNC and the African American Cultural Center. The Technician, Windover, Agromeck and Nubian Message participated in this event. Visiting any of these organizations counted as the third punch for the card. Agromeck, the universities yearbook, was giving out ice cream as well.
The final stop of the Witherspoon Block Party was the African American Cultural Center. Here students got in line for both shirts and food. The AACC served jollof rice, meat pies, and beverages. Music was being played in the room where the food was served. It was here that Nubian spoke to students about what they thought about the Block Party.
Nubian Message: What has the Block Party shown you about North Carolina State University that you didn’t know before?
Adam Womble, a first-year majoring in Civil Engineering responded: “… I’ve been getting bombarded with people who don’t look like me…Even though I’m used to that, it was something I wasn’t expecting… I will be in a classroom…and literally all the Black people [and] people of color had two seats on either side of us until the room got extremely packed [because] people would not sit next to us. So, to be in a space where I feel seen and represented is honestly awesome.”
NM: How do you feel that this event has impacted how you see North Carolina State University?
Maurice Fuket, a fifth-year majoring in Biochemistry, said: “[The event] is bringing the Black community together, especially at a [Primarily White Institution] because…Black people at a PWI need a sense of community…An event like this, especially being hosted at the beginning of the school year, really helps Black students or minorities as a whole know certain places they can go to find that community.”
After eating, people went to Harris Field to listen to music and mingle. The night commenced with a raffle from the punch cards given at the beginning of the evening.