Thursday, May 19, 2022

African Unity stays active during COVID

African Unity has been a part of SUNY Plattsburgh for years now. Since the club began, it has hosted countless shows and events as well as fundraisers. The goal of the club is to spread cultural awareness about African culture.

The group usually meets Monday nights unless there is a specific event that they must meet for. The meetings are usually held in the Angell College Center.

“Based on my experience, the first part of the meeting is for the board to go over planning and business,” Butterfly Boire, an adviser for the club said. “The second half of the meeting is open to the campus and centered on a topic that a member of AU will present on, sometimes in collaboration with one another or others on campus.”

Students can join African Unity by reaching out to a board member and expressing their interest. President of the club, Tiemoko Soumano, was elected last year and will remain so until the end of this school year.

“As president, my number one priority is to continue to serve as Plattsburgh students’ motivation to continue to be themselves and enable them to take pride in their differences and continue to strive forward no matter the obstacle,” Soumano said. “Each of our meetings is geared towards self-actualization and improvement while having a fun twist to ensure their creative side as well.”

“African Unity is not a club geared towards just African students, but all students who want to break out of their shell and learn more about the world,” Soumano said. “Last but not least, establish a working relationship between students, faculty and teachers so there can be effective and ongoing communication moving forward. Also can’t forget about having fun.”

COVID-19 has affected everything since the outbreak, so meetings involving the group did change in order to accommodate protocols.

“Holding Meetings since COVID has definitely been a change due to the fact that we are no longer able to hold face-to-face meetings,”  Soumano said. “We now hold Zoom meetings bi-weekly. The turnout is not what it used to be but it is steadily increasing.”

Soumano feels the new protocols in regard to COVID-19“lessens the impact of certain meetings and events.”

Despite the virus, the club still has plans for the semester going forward.

“We have a couple of ideas in the works, such as a big discussion forum including members from various clubs and organizations tackling various issues and questions, which will be recorded on Instagram Live. Also we will have Pie a Au Member to showcase to the public that we are still fun and active, and we are still deciding more and fun activities for the public.” Soumano said.

African Unity has an impact in the community and brings people together to celebrate African heritage.

“The fashion shows they have are my favorite because of how creative it is,” Nicholas Cousins, an undergraduate student, who is not in the group but attends shows whenever they have them, said. “I also like the performances that they have. They display a lot of talent and I think they’re a really great club for the campus.”

 

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