The African American Student Alliance (AASA) is an organization that helps increase the retention and productivity of African- American students. AASA also creates community service and volunteer events available to students. Cultural awareness is important to all members of the AASA.
Dr. Jerome Ashford, former Assistant Director in the Student Life department, created AASA 25 years ago to assist minority students on campus. In the late 1980s, when AASA was created, there were few resources to aid minority students.
The AASA’s theme this year for Black History Month is “Globalizing the Black Legacy.” They have put together several events related to this year’s theme. In celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the AASA hosted a forum featuring legendary activist, Dr. Cornel West as the key speaker.
The AASA has organized KSU’s Black History celebration for the past 20 years. The Black History Committee, which includes members of AASA, other KSU, coordinates activities throughout the year. They created the acronym C.O.L.O.R.S, which stands for Cultivating Our Legacy by Overcoming Rigorous Struggles.
Black History is not just a month of celebration with AASA; it is all year. This organization is dedicated to educating the student population through various cultural events.
“We created the acronym C.O.L.O.R.S at the beginning of the year to set the pace for what we wanted to accomplish for the year,” said AASA Vice President Jeremy Tillman.
The Office of Multicultural Student Retention Services (OMSRS) is responsible for facilitating the success of minority students. The OMSRS provides several resources and organizations to maximize the retention of all minority students. The OSMRS plays a key role in the increase of minority representation at KSU. “AASA helps connect the African- American student population by creating these events” said member Stephen Black, “AASA also helps create cultural awareness for the entire campus.”
This semester, AASA is hosting a variety of educational forums and entertaining events. This organization is committed to ensure the success of African-American students. AASA also works directly with other minority organizations, including the OMSRS.
The AASA’s executive board also includes members and leaders in other minority organizations. Together they work diligently to promote awareness throughout campus. The AASA’s main purpose is to create a multicultural college environment from the African Diaspora perspective.
“We expect our members to receive growth, diversify themselves and seek more knowledge about culture,” said Tillman.
The AASA has roughly 110 members. Meetings are held biweekly on Tuesdays each month. Currently, the AASA is working on a special community service project called “Fahrenheit 500.”
“Fahrenheit 500 is a community service project where members of our organization are collectively trying to earn 500 community service hours,” said Tillman, “this semester we have over 200 hours.”
On Feb. 28, the AASA will host their own rendition of Soul Train, which will include dancing, interviews and live performances.
The AASA is not just for African-American students; it is open for anyone to join. Applications for membership can be found at www.aasa1213.wordpress.com.
Members of AASA use MLK weekend to give back to the community at Kennesaw Mountain.
CLUB NAME: African American Student Alliance
CONTACT: Vice President Jeremy Tillman
MORE INFORMATION: www.aasa1213.wordpress.com
UPCOMING EVENT: Rendition of Soul Train on Feb. 28