This year, Eastern Michigan University will be having its first Black Homecoming celebration. The week of events was created to encourage voter registration and raise educational awareness for African-American students, as well as other EMU students. The events are being presented by Celebrating Your Opportunity to Unite in alliance with a few other organizations including Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Xi Chapter, Students for Obama, EMU Black Alumni Chapter and more.
It is a “dream that is now reality,” event cofounder Brittany Galloway said. The idea of the event was presented at last year’s LeaderShape, which is a boot camp for EMU leaders. Part of the message Galloway wants to share is that as students “their voice can be heard,” and when people tell you that you can’t do something that “should be motivation” to do it.
“We never lowered our standards for this event,” Galloway said.
Galloway is the president of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and a member of EMU’s Honors College. She is also involved in many other committees and organizations here on campus.
“I am also running for Homecoming Queen,” Galloway said.
The celebration will kick off on Wednesday, Oct. 3 with the Young and Successful entrepreneur panel event at 7 p.m. in the Student Center.
The next day, Thursday, Oct. 4, will be the Gotta Vote Summit at 8 p.m. in Pease Auditorium. This event will be a live concert where you must either register to vote to get in or sign a pledge to vote if you are already registered. The goal is to register 3,000 voters.
EMU sophomore Michelle Knott said, “There will be so many young adults registering. Yet, even by registering we still must promote to get them out there and actually vote, because registering is just not enough.”
This time of year, many students are focusing on the upcoming presidential election.
“We really hope to reach our goal of registering voters,” said committee chairman Shantanik Green. “[The] main focus is to engage freshman and alumni with the university.”
On Friday, Oct. 5, the Yard Showcase will be held at 7 p.m. at Big Bob’s Lake House and will feature live music and the night will be highlighted with a step show presented by Celebrating Y.O.U., RHA, the National Pan-Hellenic Council and Residential Life.
On the final day, Saturday, Oct. 6, the event will conclude with a tailgate party starting at 11 a.m. in Tailgate Town near Rynearson Stadium until the Homecoming football game starts at 1 p.m. when the Eagles will go up against Kent State University.
EMU has been very supportive and the students and faculty have been more than willing to help pull this event together, said event cofounder and chairman Trevis Harrold.
Many people worked hard to bring this new tradition to life. To raise money, the committee did things such as holding a date auction Sept. 24 in the Student Center where students came out and bid on volunteer students to take out on a date. The bids started at $8 and increased by $2.
The Black Homecoming event is open to everyone.
“The [four] day event is really cool because with getting a chance to meet with alumni, us students can get so much advice about life after college,” Knott said.
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