College Celebrates Black History Month

By Jenna Bloomer, Staff Writer

In years past, Manhattan College’s events for Black History Month were made widely known across campus. This year, things seem different.

Until recently, the limited number of events for Black History Month were not listed on the College’s events calendar or advertised on flyers throughout campus.

John Bennett, the director of Student Activities, said it is clear that there is a diminishing popularity for cultural events, like those usually scheduled for black history.

“I do think there has been a decrease in student interest and that’s very sad,” Bennett said.

According to Bennett, when he started working at Manhattan seven years ago, the National Society of Black Engineers was one of MC’s most popular clubs.

Today, however, this club no longer exists.

A number of students have noticed the lack of black history month events being held on campus this year.

“There are no residence hall events, nor have I seen a poster mentioning Black History Month,” Brianna DelSanto, sophomore, said.

Recently, racism has been a major topic of discussion. Between the strides made with anti-racism groups and the issues surrounding police brutality, Black History Month is extremely pertinent.

According to the Washington Post, schools are more segregated today than in they were in the 1980’s.

Dorian Persaud, senior at MC, believes that the College is not emphasizing the importance of this month.

“We are becoming apathetic to social issues in general today, not addressing the fact that there is an issue,” Persaud said.

Hayden Greene, director of Multicultural Affairs, said that timing of the College’s winter break and Black History Month could be a reason for the lack of events on campus.

“As a result, Black History Month programming abuts the anxiety and pressure of getting the semester started and settling in. For many people the latter two take priority,” Greene said.

Starting this week there are lectures, performances and various other activities to acknowledge this important month.

In a society that is still struggling with race, it is crucial to commemorate black history. Both Bennett and Greene agreed that their goal for upcoming years is to increase popularity for these events, and that starts with increasing the interest among students.