On most occasions, I would have used this opportunity to inform the campus about the latest undertakings of the Student Government Association, by virtue of being vice-president. I will, however, use this outlet to share my most significant experience at Ball State.
Since I ventured to Ball State from Washington, D.C., three years ago, I have never experienced such a week of pensive yet inspirational thought as I did during Unity Week 2002 (Jan. 21-26).
On Monday, I had the opportunity to enjoy the "fruits of my labor" because the MLK Jr. Observance Resolution was the first piece of legislation passed by University Senate during the Rector administration. For the first time, since being at BSU, I had the privilege to reflect on the legacy and charge of Martin Luther King Jr. without the interference of classes or meetings.
On Tuesday, my most poignant day of the week, I was able to witness and enjoy the words of the Rev. Bernice King, of the direct lineage of Martin Luther King, Jr. I was tested beyond description by the seven characteristics of a great leader (integrity, courage, commitment, sacrifice, problem-solving, enlightenment and spirituality) because I still have many to embody.
On Thursday, I attended a panel discussion on diversity and race relations at Ball State. A representative panel of students and faculty addressed questions varying from their personal experiences to their projections of the status of race at Ball State. After listening to the panel's input, I realized that even though we have conquered the racial hills of injustice and segregation, we (as a university) still have the mountains to climb.
Unity Week 2002 concluded on Saturday with the Miss Unity Pageant. Eight BSU students showcased their talents, beauty and intelligence for a coveted scholarship. I was most moved by the depth of the talent segment that included African dance, oratorical skills and interpretive poetry. To be able to witness the talent of others prompted me to appreciate my own talents even more.
As the week ended, I told many that if this week was the only event I encountered at Ball State, then traversing 600 miles to study here was worth the trip. I am sure everyone reading these statements may not have experienced as much as I did. But, I encourage every reader to reminisce and hold onto one memory from this historic week of events. As my mother says, "No experience is ever lost."
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