On Monday night at the Maverick Activities Center, Multicultural Affairs director Melanie Johnson led a group of freshmen in an activity where they wrote themselves a letter listing their semester goals. The students were gathered for the annual Black Maverick Welcome event.

“Write that letter to yourself,” she said. “Who do you want to be in December?”

Johnson said she would mail their letters to them at the end of the semester so they can hold themselves accountable to achieve their goals.

This event was a chance for students to feel that camaraderie and “home away from home” feeling, she said.

Unlike previous years where the event was held like a lecture, each organization set up tables to allow students to get more information and express an interest in joining, Johnson said. While some browsed the tables, others danced to the DJ’s music.

Students can get a taste of the culture as a whole on campus, but also specifically the African Amercian student culture, said UTA NAACP president Akram Abbadi. This is their first opportunity to engage with people within the black community.

“A year ago, I was walking into this event and didn’t know anybody, and now a year later, I’m the one hosting this event,” he said.

Computer Science freshman Christian Jones came to the event looking for a place to find friends. He said he was interested in joining the National Society of Black Engineers.

Other organizations that participated were the Black Student Association, Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, African Student Organization, and the National Association of Colored Women’s Club UTA Chapter.

Kaylai Lewis, nursing senior and Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority member, said her goal is to let students know there are organizations with people that look like them and can show them around to help them feel more comfortable.

Abbadi said at the end of the day, he wants students to walk away having learned about something they’re interested in or met someone they can have a lasting relationship with.

@DianteMarigny

features-editor.shorthorn@uta.edu

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