The third annual Black Student Welcome will take place today at 6 p.m. in Barfield Drawing Room. Black Student Welcome is an event for new students that is organized by the Baylor branch of the NAACP. It will feature African-American organizations on campus as well as black-owned business owners uniting to encourage new students to get involved in the Baylor community.
“The intent of the event is just to bring everyone together,” said McKinney junior Annette Christie, secretary of the Baylor NAACP. “It’s bringing all of the organizations together so the freshman can see how great black Baylor is.”
Black Student Welcome has established the trend of having a theme that will seize the attention of new students. This year’s theme was inspired by the ‘90s sketch comedy series “In Living Color.” The promo video that was released for the event has caught the attention of many new students. The video features various representatives from participating organizations dancing with colorful lights and silly props as inspired by the show’s intro. The theme perfectly exemplifies the message of the event, said NAACP President Reginald Singletary.
“It’s not a show just for black people. It kind of displays every single aspect, every color wave of the spectrum,” Singletary said.
The event is called “Black Student Welcome” because black organizations are presenting it. However, all students are welcome to attend. The organizations work very hard to publicize it because the goal is to welcome as many people as possible, Singletary said.
“Usually when minority organizations host events, it’s only their minority,” Singletary said. “We don’t want separatism. We want all kinds of people to be highlighted at every single level.”
The NAACP has worked since last spring to prepare for this event. Due to all of the publicity, new students have high expectations. Garland Freshman Micheal Kaptimer started hearing things about Black Student Welcome before he even got to Baylor.
“They’ve been hyping it up since like February, so I have high hopes,” Kaptimer said.
In addition to the DJ, food, performances and administrative speakers, Singletary’s highest hope is for the event to establish a lasting unity amongst the participating organizations. To him, unity is imperative in the midst of an election year and the current struggles of the black community.
“I need incoming freshmen, transfers, all the people that are new and returning to see that we’re sticking together more than ever,” Singletary said.