By Natalie Orozco
CHP: When was this organization established and how?
ABSA: I believe it was established in the early 1990s or the late 1980s. The students felt the need for an org geared towards retention, academic support, and social support. Students just came together to start it.
CHP: What does ABSA do?
ABSA: This year we are geared towards retention and political advocacy. We meet once a week to try and accomplish these. We have social events and movie nights off campus.
We keep up and raise awareness on what’s going on with Jena Six, writing letters and sending postcards to the families offering our support. We also get in contact with other ethnic organizations.
CHP: What upcoming events can we expect from you this year?
ABSA: We have an ABSA vs. FSA (Filipino Student Alliance) kickball game, which happens this Saturday, November 17. In the winter time [we host] a dinner with faculty and students. We celebrate Kwanzaa in January and in the spring we host “Say it Loud” — a time where we celebrate our culture and history. That happens towards the end of the year. It’s a celebration of our achievements as a community and of our students. We host a conference called the African Black Coalition, known as the ABC conference as well. It’s UC wide, it’s a weekend conference where we discuss issues going on in the African/Black community.
There are many things in the works like dances and study breaks. Students can expect a lot more stuff from our org this year.
CHP: How often do you meet?
ABSA: Once a week, Wednesdays at 8 p.m. in Conference Room D.
CHP: How many members do you have this quarter?
ABSA: Between 50 to 100 members. But we are looking to increase our membership.We want to reach out to as many community members as possible.
CHP: What is a memorable moment you have with ABSA?
ABSA: Anytime when we all get together and represent. Like last year’s ABC conference, it’s nice to see staff of color available to us. There was good food and good company.
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