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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Black Student Center Brings The Party To School

With the right kind of eyes one could say that the scene outside of the Wheatley Building, from 11am to 3pm, couldn’t have taken place at a commuter school like UMass Boston. An event such as this would be more readily seen at a university with dormitories and a more closely-knit student body, but certainly not one like UMass. “Cultural activities like this that bring students to the quad raise morale and promote diversity”: these words, spoken by theatre arts major JaNae Rachel, could not be truer.

The atmosphere outside of the Wheatley Building was lively and positive despite the inclement weather. The Music Festival, second of a three event student welcome, was hosted by the Black Students Center (BSC). The event began promptly at 11am and by 12pm a dense crowd had gathered in front of the Wheatley Building to partake in the activities. As DJ A.N.T played the latest rap, hip hop, r&b and reggae, students danced and helped themselves to free food. CPCS professor Miriam Spencer, unable to ignore the rhythm of the music, joined the festivities and could be seen dancing. “I like socializing with the students, I enjoy it very much,” said Professor Spencer, and her sense of enjoyment was shared by others.

Although UMass Boston students are mostly known for their love of free food, the impact of the music seemed to have a more penetrating effect. For the hours between 11am and 3pm, the UMass campus appeared as though it had a newfound movement. Not only were the individuals serving food dancing while working, the food line itself seemed to be “bumpin’ and grindin” as it transformed into a makeshift soul train line. The sandy raised pathway between McCormack and Wheatley became a modeling catwalk rendering students powerless against their urge to strut their Thursday lecture hall clothes. Even those students that did not have time to stop and enjoy the event found themselves “crip-walking” into the Wheatley Building and “diddy-popping” through the crowd.

Students that did manage to stop and enjoy received the treat of a live rap performance. The unassuming Gregory Petithomme, dressed in a sharp professional brown ensemble, put down his briefcase only to pick up the microphone. After the completion of his song he put the microphone down, gave the D.J a power handshake, picked up his briefcase and was back to business.

In a way, that one moment succinctly sums up life as a UMass Boston student. It is understood that we all have responsibilities and busy schedules, but we all must take out time to enjoy ourselves. The BSC made it possible for UMass students and faculty to cut loose for a couple of hours and just relax. If anything was learned from this event, it was that we all need to put down our briefcases and pick up a mic once in a while.