By Marshell Gilmore, Chattanooga, Tenn. —
Minority students on campus have a voice through g such as
Organizations such as Black Student Alliance (BSA), NAACP, Muslim Students Association (MSA), and Hispanic Outreach Leadership Association (HOLA) are groups any student may join.
Brandon Morris, Memphis junior, and a member of BSA said he thinks UTC needs these organizations.
“It’s important that we have these clubs because minorities might think and react differently because of the environments we grew up in,” Morris said.
Morris says this year many different clubs have been trying to bridge the gap in order to make minorities feel more welcome and accepted. One group he said is assisting with BSA efforts is the Student Government Association (SGA).
Ronald Elliot Nashville sophomore, and chief of staff at SGA, has been showing an interest in African American students in particular getting involved with the senate on campus.
“At a predominately white institute, everything is naturally catered to the majority,” Elliot said. “This is not just a black thing, white thing, Hispanic thing, this is an everybody thing and everybody needs to work,” he said.
Esai Navarro, Clarksville senior, said she appreciates HOLA.
“When I got to UTC there were no other Puerto Ricans here, much less Hispanics. I needed this organization to reach out and have a home. I didn’t just hang with them, but if I needed someone to hang out with who understood me they were there,” Navarro said.
Navarro said she is not as involved as she once was and would like to be. She said her need for a Hispanic organization was because she wanted people who could speak the same language as her, and “saw the world the way it was shown to [her] as [she] was growing up.”
She stated that HOLA continues to have events that are for anyone who would like to be apart of them, such as the Latin Dance Competition. She encourages anyone to sign up to participate each year, as well as attend the event.
Brittney King, Little H Mason Singer (LH) advisor, said she has a very open view. “Part of the mission of LH is to make sure that it’s open. We never want people to think it’s just for black people,” said King.
King suggested a visit to the Multicultural Center as well as the Women’s Center on the third floor of the University Center.
“These places make a community and make a safe haven for anyone of any background,” said King.
She said that they had some events such as Take Back the Night that attracted a crowd of all walks of life.
“It’s important that minorities voices are heard, but it’s also important that we support everyone and their hard work as well. I think that’s the first step,” King said.