Move Black Alumni Reunion during the 2016-2017 Academic Year
This petition made change with 700 supporters!
As a small minority of Ohio University, our needs and concerns were and are specific and highly particular. Black Alumni Reunion (BAR), or also known as Black Alumni Weekend (BAW), serves as a tremendous opportunity for the university to bridge the gap between Alumni and reconnect about triumps from our experiences, but also gives us an opportunity to connect and network with current Ohio University students who may be going through similar situations and serve as mentors and new friends to help them along in their experiences.
This longstanding and highly revered homecoming weekend is OHIO's largest formal alumni reunion, drawing hundreds of alumni back to campus. BAR provides a space to foster much needed mentor-ship, networking and connection building, among the African American populations at Ohio University and within its specialized alumni groups.
As Ohio University's first black Alumni John Templeton stated in 1829, " [It is important to] recognize our kinship and the inextricable bond between my basis and their present day existence." Holding BAR during the summer months as currently proposed for the next reunion (July 28-31, 2016) when a majority of undergraduate students are not in Athens is an unacceptable proposed date as it is a major disservice not only to Alumni, but to current students as well for the following reasons:
1. The purpose of BAR is to commemorate Dr. Bill Allen for his dedication to creating and maintaining the LINKS program which many African American students past and present attribute to the successful completion of their degrees
2. It takes away the opportunity for said networking and new friendships for current African American students with Alumni
3. It strips other students who may not identify as African American, of learning about African American student's rich history at Ohio University
4. While we acknowledge it is difficult to plan large scale events, it puts the burden on the African American population (current students and Alumni) to be accommodating while other major events for Ohio University populations such as Halloween, Mom's Weekend, festival season, etc get top priority.
5. Finally, it does not take into account that majority of African American Alumni are against the new dates of the BAR.
The purpose of BAR is to acknowledge and celebrate the significance and impact of African American populations to Ohio University as a whole. BAR also serves a significant visual indicator of this rich tradition, as hundreds of prominent, successful, and contributing alumni flood the streets of Athens, all bound by their love of the University and their commitment to its continued progression as a place where African American students can thrive as young adults and scholars in their quest to attain a college degree.
In order to ensure that BAR continues to make a significant impact on the University as a whole, and if the Ohio University Alumni Association's purpose is to represent the concerns of all Alumni, they should heed our request and change the dates to be held during the 2016-2017 Fall or Spring Semester. African American Alumni, as always, have a lot to offer Ohio University students, and this potential can only be realized if BAR is held during the academic year.
Sign this petition to demand that BAR be held during the 2016-2017 academic year where it will be most beneficial to students and Alumni!
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