Armstrong throws sweet block party

By Julianne Field, Staff Writer

Armstrong is home to a variety of clubs and organizations. They do everything from hiring entertainment acts, performing community services, creating bible study groups, and even teaching international cultures. These groups are built by students, and made for students.

These organizations aim to give undergrads unique opportunities, whether it’s to improve future careers or to have a little fun in college. So where can a new student find one of these clubs? A good way to find them is through school events, in particular, Block Party.

Block Party is an annual campus event that showcases organizations and gives them a chance to meet students, give out their information, and represent what they do. This year, held on the walkway of Residential Plaza, undergrads wandered among booths, checking out prospective groups to join. Every booth was decorated with a club logo, most had pictures of past projects. Group leaders eagerly waited to greet students.

Sigma Tau chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated founded in 1908, came to Armstrong in April of 2005. It is an international sorority that mainly focuses on community service and helping people in need.

Christian Upkins, senior and President of Sigma Tau explained her chapter’s work for the community, “We work with Old Savannah City Mission. Every first Monday of the month we go to homeless shelters and feed the homeless. Every year we hold a shoe drive, we collect children or adult shoes, and send them to Second Harvest. We also collect canned goods. We clean up our streets too, so we do a lot for the community.”

Upkins goes onto explain how Block Party provides exposure to AKA, “We try to get our name out there as much as possible because many people don’t know we’re on campus, so any chance we get we represent ourselves.” AKA offers a graduate chapter after undergrad school. Audrey Singleton, graduate advisor for AKA has been in the organization for 45 years. She aids Upkins and the chapter in performing community services.

Elly Estrada, Secretary of the Student Government Association, explains the Armstrong organizations of SGA and CUB “The Student Government consists of two branches, Senate and CUB, both are student led. The Senate deals with student issues and CUBS focuses on student programing. The Senate listens to the voice of the students and any concerns. We advocate for the student’s problems and try to fix them.”

Elly specified on the nursing problem that Senate dealt with this year. There were student mothers who needed a safe and comfortable place to nurse. The Senate remedied this by creating the new lactation rooms, in the Student Union building and the Armstrong Center.

Elly also commented on Senate changing the Learning Commons opening time, “Last semester the Learning Commons used to open at 10 am, now it opens at 8 am. We went to the Learning Commons and we voiced the concerns of the students, they weren’t getting enough time. And so we changed the time.”

CUB, who hosted Beach Bash, brings in comedians, public speakers, bands and organizes parties for student entertainment.

Jessica Mitchell, Communication Disorders and Sciences major represents the International Student Organization. ISO is geared toward international students but is open to everyone.

Mitchell explained, “The main focus is basically to get out cultural awareness as well as help foreign students coming to America feel a little bit more comfortable and start to associate with what it is to be American in America. But it literally is for everyone to join, because it’s culture and everyone has that.”

The organization holds cultural outings to experience different foods and practices to understand differing cultures. “Our really big thing is international week during the fall semester.” Mitchell said, “We take one day every week and dive into the culture of one of the continents. We look at everything from food, to customs, to celebrations and bring it to life on the Armstrong campus.”