BSU to hold caucus despite lack of support

Despite four months of planning and publicity, the Caucus, an event hosted by the Black Student Union (BSU) to unite student organizations and engage them in a cohesive dialogue this Saturday, has not drawn much interest from other student organizations.

The coordinator of the event, Kamaria Byrd, Student Government Association (SGA) senator at-Large and BSU vice president of Resource Development, said she is disappointed by the lack of interest from SGA. “We haven’t received much of a response,” Byrd said. “I think (we) only have five or six people coming (from SGA).”

Joanna Holguin, SGA senator of Equity and Diversity, said she can see why few SGA members plan on attending. “Since a lot of our membership is really focused on the representative aspect of the Student Government Association, and not necessarily the organization aspects, such as fundraising and recruitment, I was not surprised to see only a few sign up,” she said.

Byrd was also surprised that more members of the Student Finance Board (SFB), the College Republicans and the College Democrats are not attending.

While about 130 people are expected to attend from the College, Byrd thinks the response could have been more enthusiastic. Most of the on-campus support for the event has come from minority organizations, such as Uni?n Latina, PRISM, the Asian American Association and BSU and from fraternity organizations.

Byrd said she did everything possible to drum up publicity for the event. “Annelise (Catanzaro, SGA executive president) allowed me to speak on it at every general board meeting,” she said. “I passed around a sign-in sheet at at least two meetings.” She said she also sent out e-mails to the every person in the organization, stuffed mailboxes, posted fliers, wrote chalk advertisements on the sidewalk and hung a banner in Brower Student Center atrium.

Byrd said she is happy with the response from students attending other schools in the state. She expects about 50 people to attend from Princeton University, Rutgers University, Westminster Choir College and Rowan University.

Byrd said she also received assistance from the College’s administration. While College President R. Barbara Gitenstein will not be able to attend, Beth Paul, acting vice president of Student Life, and Jerusalem Howard, director of Equity and Diversity, will be at the Caucus.

The Caucus will feature workshops including “Dealing with Race Issues on Your College Campus,” hosted by Reverend Reginald Jackson, and a coalition building workshop hosted by the Asian American Student Coalition. Participants will also collaborate in making a “master plan” to help bring campus organizations closer together.