By Marsha Cooper Stroman
CHEYNEY University Correspondent
The historical and oldest civil rights organization in existence, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), continue its mission of making certain educational, social, political and economic equality of rights for all persons, eliminating racial hatred and discrimination position at historic Cheney University of Pennsylvania. Cheyney University of Pennsylvania, formerly Cheyney State College, approved the eminent organization extending youth-NAACP memberships, paving ways for African American students to utilize the NAACP as a stepping stone to higher learning and political environments.
Cheyney student government longed-for the oldest civil rights organization to be on its campus. The history of Cheyney University and surrounding corridors of the community, recognize political and inequality that is done to students who desire exercise their right to vote, etc. Reginald Y. Bledsoe, 20, of Newark, N.J., is a Business Administration major and treasurer of Student Government at Cheyney and understand student desires of being involved by becoming members of the NAACP, because of its legacy and its power. “I wanted to get involved because I wanted students to understand the power of blacks voting here at Cheyney,” stated Bledsoe, adding, “with the issues we’re facing in the 21st century, such as fighting for jobs, equality and other issues, there is a new group of people coming into the university.”
Sharon D. Thorn, Director of Student Activities at Cheyney, deals with the mission of working with Cheyney alumni, students and staff via variety of workshops and activities. “We do services where all the student organizations are concerned, we have oversight of student activities, making sure all the organizations are working within the guidelines.” said Thorn adding, “I see the NAACP as advocates and political, all of our students are not politically savvy.”
Ann Frazier, 20, a sophomore from West Philadelphia is President of Cheyney University’s Student NAACP. As president, Frazier helps plan events, fund raisers and oversee student committees including, education, juvenile justice, health, political actions and economic empowerment. “I think I would like to see more people actually engage in things that we do at Cheyney. We do a lot informing students about issues that affect them.” said Frazier.
Cheyney’s students receive some of the best knowledge, guidance and support from its President, to its professors, administrators, student government and the NAACP organization. Marilyn Stevens is coach of Cheyney’s female basketball team, and her Brother, Dominique Stevens, is coach to the male basketball team. Realizing the significance of NAACP, and brought up through the streets of north Philadelphia, the siblings appreciate NAACP on campus for young people to get involved in.
Dantawn Nicholson, 22, a senior from Chicago, IL is proud to be apart of NAACP and Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity. Nicholson is preparing and organizing Cheyney’s Homecoming gala to be held next month. Nicholson is also Governor of Social Affairs at Cheyney, overseeing campus events including May Weekend, and the Miss Cheyney pageant, “I think that it’s definitely an asset to have the NAACP on a black campus. It help us to get ready to vote, I also think that it helps us to unite together as minorities, and in order to act on issues and concerns on campus and within a national level,” stated Nicholson.
Brittani Christian is “Miss Cheyney University” and represents the university locally and abroad. “I feel very grateful that the NAACP is contributing to insuring the continuance of our historically black university. It is import that we invest not just financially, but also mentally, and spiritually with the students of our historically black universities,” said Christian.
Rita Burke, Student Activities office assistant takes pleasure in working with students that come in and out of her office. Burke does scheduling for students in need of use for university facilities, overseeing traditional and non-traditional student event requests. “The NAACP had a very successful campaign to get students to register to vote during the Obama campaign, it was very wonderful,” said Burke.
Gregory Clark, 60, of Collingdale, PA is a non-traditional and transfer student majoring in Journalism. Clark is familiar with the organization, hoping young people will receive positive input from the NAACP at Cheyney. “I ‘hope’ that the NAACP will have a positive impact on their lives,” said Clark.
Professor Felicia Seamon is advisor/director of NAACP for students at Cheyney overseeing functions for Cheyney’s NAACP, including political campaigns, and delights in welcoming students.