Black History Month or National African American month begins February 1st and ends February 28th. It’s meant to celebrate and recognize the achievements of African Americans and their central role in history. Kent State celebrates Black History Month until March 13th when the annual Kent African Night is held. Her Campus wanted to celebrate Black History Month by recognizing some African American students who are doing wonderful things. The last student in our celebration series we’ve been doing is Miss Jasmine James.
Name: Jasmin James
Major: Psychology and Criminology
Hometown: Pontiac, Michigan
Her Campus: What would you say is the best thing about Kent State?
Jasmin James: The plethora of organizations being in a marginalized population here, you need to find a place. Regardless as a student you need to have something other than school. I just love the fact that Kent state offers a host of things to do. Whether it’s getting involved in an organization or being involved in your dorm and going to what KIC hosts or your RA hosts that night. There’s just so much to do on campus that it really surprises me when people think that there is nothing to do in Kent.
HC: What organizations are you involved with on campus?
JJ: Delta Sigma Theta sorority Incorporated, Black United Students, Peer Involvement Advising and I am a Ronald E. McNair scholar.
HC: How big is Delta Sigma Theta and how big is the National Pan-Hellenic Council at Kent State?
JJ: Delta Sigma Theta- Epsilon Mu Chapter currently has 8 members and NPHC is between 40 and 50.
HC: Delta Sigma Theta had their Delta week at the beginning of the semester, what were you raising money for and how much did you raise?
JJ: Proceeds went to Safer Futures Domestic Violence and Resource Center.
HC: Is that Delta Sigma Theta’s national philanthropy?
JJ: We do different initiatives depending on the program. Last semester we raised money for the Ohio cycle cell foundation, but we pick different places depending on what we’re focusing on.
HC: Can you tell Her Campus a little about strolling, what it is and how it started?JJ: Strolling and stepping are traditionally culture things that have come about into a performance aspect. It’s traditionally a celebration. Our organizations work very hard in terms of community service and programming and when we stroll and step it’s a way to celebrate and be united and show our pride in our organization. It’s traditionally African as it stems from African culture and their moves. It has evolved into different steps and we do different things in our strolls than say Kappa Alpha or Zeta Beta
HC: In 2013 there was a Sigma Stroll off at Kent State where various chapters from North East Ohio came to stroll, will there be another stroll of in the near future at Kent State?
JJ: Yes, Delta Sigma Theta is hosting their national non-Greek stroll off. So what you’ll see is groups of students not affiliated with Greeks. They make their own routine similar to NPHC but it doesn’t have the same movements or cause. You’ll see DST do what strolling is from our Greek perspective. So we will have the divine 9 which is NPHC there to represent. This will be April 17th in Michael Schwartz at 7pm and doors open at 6:30 and tickets will be on sale the week before spring break and in April. They will be $5 in advance and $10 at the door.
HC: Where is the money that’s raised from the event going?
JJ: We are deciding between an orphanage in Akron or Safer Futures.
HC: What would you say is a misconception about NPHC?
JJ: That we are not a part of Greek life here at Kent State and that we are unapproachable. Those are the top two and it’s just a lot of different things that we can’t necessarily control. I was in DC for our Delta day’s conference and she made it clear that as far as DST we will never change our style of recruitment. We just have the misinterpretation on campus of “Are we really Greek?” How are we different? The fact that we don’t have philanthropies or raise thousands of dollars. If we could we would. 8 members compared to 200 members is very different in what you can do. I would say that’s the biggest misconception. People just think we are unapproachable and that we are rude and mean that’s not the case.
HC: What is the most important thing you’ve taken away from your involvement in these different organizations at Kent State?
JJ: There is always a new perspective and something to do. I never like to be stagnant; never like to think that people are all the same and doing the same thing. Being in different organizations has allowed me to expand my leadership skills and connect with people I would never thought I would have met in a million years. In NPIA I meet freshmen, sophomores, juniors and there’s a connection and learning about why people come to Kent state why they’re here, what they’re doing, what they’re not. It’s offered a new perspective and allowed me to learn outside of the classroom.
HC: How would you define diversity?
JJ: I think that diversity is obviously a host of different people from different walks of life and that it is composed of all genders, all orientations, all different perceptions and cultures coming together in an area.
HC: What’s your dream job?
JJ: To be a criminal psychologist in a detention center with youth and to hopefully implement my own detention center called a living learning center to work with adolescents.
HC: What has been your most memorable experience at Kent State?
JJ: Probably joining my sorority or another unforgettable experience was meeting the President of the United States. I worked his campaign in 2012.
HC: If you could define Kent State in one word, what would that word be?
HC: What’s something people don’t usually know about you?
JJ: I love eating new wild foods like escargot, alligator fritters, and fried alligator on a stick, pig feet and hog moth, chitins, deer, a lot of its southern delicacies. My favorite thing to eat is pickle sickles. I made it up a long time ago and its frozen pickle juice.
There you have it, Flashes. Jasmin James has had a truly memorable experience here at Kent State that has set her up for success when she graduates this May. She’s a student leader on campus who is inspiring others to get involved and convincing people to try her creation, pickle sickles (they might just be the next big thing).