By Shannon AlomarSpecial to the Chronicle
“This was great, but there needs to be more,” said junior Oscar Espinal at the conclusion of the Office of Multicultural and International Student Programs (MISPO) Black History Month reception on Feb. 13. The overall reaction to the reception was positive, but the question of whether Hofstra does enough to honor Black History Month on campus still lingers.
In 1926, Black History Month began as “Negro History Week” and has since expanded from the second week of February to the entire month. This is a historical factor that should be appreciated among communities and schools alike. African Americans have contributed vital threads to the fabric of our society and have helped to move people in ways that were once seen as inconceivable.
Yet, a lack of support for Black History Month on Hofstra’s campus is apparent. Other students, as well as the University in general, need to do more to highlight this month. In the words of the MISPO reception’s keynote speaker Sherley Cherifant, “Once you recognize the issue, when are you going to step up and speak up?”
Diversity is a concept that the University often advocates, but when it is time for the Hofstra community to come together and highlight particular months or cultural events, it falls short. There needs to be more of an effort from students.
When students from organizations such as the Black Student Union and National Association for the Advancement of Colored People work to coordinate events, they often go unnoticed by the campus at large. The promotion is not strong enough to make an impact.
As we approach the end of Black History Month 2013 at Hofstra, we should acknowledge that the events that took place were interesting, but more could have been done for this historical month. It was not thoroughly supported. For a campus that claims to love diversity, there is an element lacking that needs to be addressed.