NAACP encourages students, staff to advance themselves
The University of Houston’s chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People hosted its second general meeting of the semester Tuesday night in the Oberholtzer Ballroom.
With more than 50 students in attendance, current chapter president, Jessie Smith, elaborated on this year’s theme titled, “Redefining the Dream.”
Among encouraging students to vote early, Smith also noted the importance of education.
“We are not just getting a degree in school, but a degree in life,” Smith said.
Students were later separated into groups and asked to discuss their ideas on the stereotypes associated with African Americans and education.
Some students stressed the problems with African Americans and education lies with the lack of ambition and accountablility in black students, a sense of distorted priorities, failure to utilize available resources and a high level of pride that prevents them from asking for assistance.
“I know that I can further my career. It doesn’t have to stop at the undergraduate level. I can get my Ph.D. if I choose,” said exercise science senior Justin Davidson.
Guest speaker Frederick Cooper from the Houston chapter of NAACP challenged students to be more than average.
“Anything worthwhile is worth the struggle,” Cooper said.
The second speaker was Robin Evans, director of Urban Experience — an on-campus program founded in 1994 to help African-American students graduate and attend graduate school.
Evans emphasized the program’s motto, “Lift as you climb,” teaching students to use teamwork as a means to reach their goals.
“I believe it set a good mood,” said English junior Marcus Smith.
“It focused on redefining the students, but we won’t know to what degree the meeting has impacted the students until we move forward. We are in a good position.”
Brief presentations were given by School 2 School, Habitat for Humanity and Finding Me as they talked to students about cyber-bullying, building homes for underprivileged families and staying active and healthy.
“This meeting gave a lot of opportunity for those who want to mentor children. We have plenty of volunteer opportunities for that,” said Ashley White, human development and family studies junior and UH NAACP Community Coordinator.
The meeting adjourned with a round of applause for the students’ eagerness and efforts.
As a sendoff, a quote from NAACP co-founder W.E.B. Du Bois was recited.
“Education is that whole system of human training within and without the school house walls, which molds and develops men.”