VSU NAACP's photostream on Flickr.
By Valencia Williams
Press and Publicity Coordinator
Valdosta State University NAACP College Chapter is kicking off the semester in high gear with a calendar full of numerous activities and events to benefit students on campus! Each one of our committees has worked diligently planning over the summer, including plans and campaigns that will involve the Valdosta community, specifically in the areas of health, education, political action, economic empowerment, and membership.
VSU NAACP quickly got acquainted with incoming students early this school year. Since launching our website, Facebook page, and by means of Twitter all summer, we wanted to take a different approach on communicating and retaining our members and supporters this school year. VSU NAACP plans on reaching out to the students this year like never before by using our social networks as our main platform of information and controlling our own image on campus! We all know that college life is a busy one and if we want NAACP to be a part of the student’s life, we must bring the NAACP to the students like never before. Thanks to the support of our Georgia Youth & College Division led by President Justin Bryant, who also shares the vision of mobilizing the youth across the state through communication and information distribution. With a statewide petition and campaign for Troy Davis and significant cuts in education, this moment has never been a better time to put the youth in a position to change our communities. Our very own chapter President DeAndre Jones said, “There are too many youth out there who have the talents and really do care about their community and their future… They just need somewhere to express themselves. The NAACP should be that organized outlet again.”
During the month of August, the organization participated in the campus Move-In Movement. Despite the blazing South Georgia heat, we served a helping hand to get freshmen settled into their Residence Halls. The opportunity to meet and greet parents and incoming students was a great one and we are sure they appreciated the warm welcome. During the first week of classes we teamed up with our National Pan Hellenic Council in hosting a movie night to watch the hot new release, Jumping the Broom, for “NPHC Week: One Big Happy Family”. In the following week and for the remainder of the month, our Membership Committee led by Storm Richardson launched “75 and Keeping It Alive!” Residence Hall Tour which included visiting 8 Residence Halls on our campus to inform students about the organization, increase membership, and register voters. Continuing on the fast track with no plans to break, our chapter put on our first fundraiser with Chick-Fil-A our first weekend of classes. Members busied themselves filling cups, taking out trash, holding doors, and accepting donations, all while getting the word out about the organization. The next following week, at Valdosta State University we have something called “The Happening”; An event where on-campus organizations including vendors and organizations from all over Valdosta gather on campus to inform the students and get them involved in things “happening” on and off campus. This was the perfect opportunity to attract more interested passerby’s and get them revved up to join. Later that evening we held our first general meeting of the semester with around 80 in attendance and a shortage of seats proving all of the hard work in publicizing VSU NAACP paid off!
One of VSU NAACP’s most important meetings, our Informational/Interest meeting, will be held in September, a month with a plethora of plans to both educate and serve the community. Ashley Howard, our Community Coordinator will serve lead in Adopt-A-Road Clean Up, Second Harvest Food Bank, and participating in Valdosta’s Boys and Girls Club National Day for Kids event. It doesn’t stop there; we have plans to work in conjunction with several other community service groups on campus with other events such as Relay for Life, VSU Heroes, and Lowndes Associated Ministries to People. Bianca Howard, our Education Committee Chair, has also organized a Mentoring Program through our chapter which will be working in the grade schools in Lowndes County. All mentors will be members of our chapter, trained and ready to work with the kids. On campus our first event will be HBCU’s vs. PWI’s Discussion Panel to discuss the pros and cons of attending a historically black college, in comparison to a predominantly white institution. VSU NAACP will also be showing Spike Lee’s well-known film, “Do the Right Thing” and will later discuss the racial and criminal justice issues that are illustrated in the movie greatly. Our Political Action and Economic and Employment Empowerment Committee is fired up and ready to go with getting people registered to vote on campus with the new “This Is My Vote” voter empowerment campaign, “It’s All About the Wealth” Forum, “Marketing Your Future” Workshop, and a debate hosted by our chapter, “Young Democrats and Young Republicans: Where We Stand.” What’s ultimately amazing about all these events and community service projects is that this is just the first half of the Fall semester! There are so many exciting things to look forward to that are in store for the Fall semester, and VSU NAACP urges students on campus and in the community to seize the day and become a part of a significant organization that is determined to make a difference.
Also, check out our new cards floating around campus.