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Communication Studies majors play an important role in Black History Month planning

Posted Feb. 18, 2014

By Mary Rogers, COMM practicum Student

Communication Studies majors are playing vital roles in this year’s Black History Month celebration at Kent State University.

Roslynn Porch, Dairia Harvin, Mary Rogers, Dwain Ross and Olivia Thompson are executive board members of Black United Students (BUS). Founded in 1968, BUS is one of the oldest student organizations on campus.

Porch, BUS president, planned the “Your Black is Beautiful” event, which is scheduled to take place later this month in the Kent Student Center. BUS members will pass out candy attached to notes of encouragement to students.
“As a student leader, I just wanted to let our African-American community know that we do appreciate them, and hear them, and see what they’re doing,” Porch said.

Porch says having a concentration in organizational communication helps her to plan events as well as interact with people in different areas of society.
“My organizational communication major definitely plays into everything that I do, from working with BUS to serving as a resident assistant,” Porch said.

Porch also thinks taking courses in communication studies helps her understand different hierarchies such as her Residence Services position and involvement with the African-American community.

Harvin, BUS programmer, also planned a major event for Black History Month. Harvin organized the “All Black Everything Showcase” which took place on Feb. 20. The showcase highlighted minority organizations on campus through various forms of art.

Harvin said that her concentration in applied communication has helped her organize large scale events such as BUS’s annual comedy show and Renaissance Ball. She looks forward to implementing her communication skills in future endeavors. Harvin’s next event with BUS will be the Ebony Achievement Awards on April 30 in the Kent Student Center Ballroom. The Ebony Awards Show highlights the academic and athletic achievements of the African-American, Latino-American and Native American (AALANA) community.

BUS’s vice president, Rogers, has two things in common with Harvin. Rogers is in the applied communication concentration, and she is helping to plan the Ebony Achievement Awards.
Her contributions to the organization include overseeing the BUS Executive Board with Porch. Rogers is currently planning the organization’s spelling bee, which is set for April 2.

Rogers credits her position with BUS to her track in applied communications.

“Being a part of such a large and historical organization such as BUS, definitely requires a broad understanding of communication," Rogers said. "Working with people of different genders and ideas of how a group should operate are all things that I learned in courses like Gender Communication and Organizational Communication.”

Every member of BUS plays a vital role, but Ross, who serves as the director of public relations, keeps the audience’s attention. Ross, also an applied communication major, is responsible for publicizing the organization’s events. Ross creates fliers, updates social media, and is currently working on the release of Black Watch.

Black Watch, is a news publication produced by members and contributors of BUS.

Thompson, BUS secretary, is a global communication major. Her main role in the organization is to keep records of board meetings.

"My communication studies major has helped me develop my verbal and non-verbal skills when communicating with those on a more professional level," Thompson said.