By: Bria Horsley, News Editor (@autobriagraphy)
Howard University welcomed 2,300 new freshmen with open arms and a twist on the annual “All White Party.” The Howard University Student Association (HUSA) and Undergraduate Student Assembly (UGSA) have made it their mission to connect with the student body on a personal level. Despite the progression of social media, these organizations intend to make their mark through face-to-face interactions.
UGSA, whose role is to be the campus’ “premier programming body,” has already begun to switch things up. The legendary event that sets the tone for the Fall semester differed from past years’ layouts. The Yard featured a large tent with a clear ceiling accompanied by circus performers and a photo booth.
UGSA Public Relations Director Raegan Robinson said, “This year, we’re rebuilding our brand and showing students just how interactive we are.”
In addition to planning First Fridays, UGSA is diversifying its event calendar. The group plans to host education panels and workshops to encompass the versatility of the Howard student. The main priority is to cater to the needs of the student body through getting to know them.
The Vice-Coordinator of UGSA, Mikaela Armstead, said, “While we want to engage with students on social media, we really want to be with them on the Yard. We want to meet them in person versus in GroupMe.This year’s goal is to restore the culture. We want to make students feel the family atmosphere that Howard is.”
Connectivity is at the forefront of the actions made by these organizations. This year, HUSA is led by Jade Agudosi and Quentin Mansfield-Harris. They serve as the liaison between the students and the administration to serve the student body in any capacity. Phoebe Moore, the director of communications for HUSA 57, emphasized the importance of being transparent with students.
Moore said, “This year’s administration is interested in keeping lines of communication open so that students feel adequately represented. The cabinet is strong because we’re all passionate about the impact and the change that HUSA can bring to campus.”
The UGSA staff agreed, saying, “We are open to critical feedback. We don’t shy from feedback and strive to fix any issues that may arise.”
For now both organizations are keeping quiet on any upcoming events. The two have already collaborated on events, including “Taste of Howard” and the “Rep Your City” party. Robinson hinted at an exciting semester with new events around Homecoming. Without a doubt, students felt the impact of the passion of their newly admitted student leaders.
Roxie Pugh, the UGSA executive coordinator, said, “We have a great opportunity to connect with all of the students while building on an existing legacy.”