By Devyn King
On April 9, The Black Student Union hosted “SHU Slam!” For this event, people were invited to email the Black Student Union to sign up with a talent they wanted to perform.
Students gathered into the University Commons and sat in rows of chairs. The DJ began the event by playing upbeat music to get the crowd socializing and excited for the upcoming performances.
There were a total of 15 performances, including dance ensembles, singing, rapping, poetry reading, and instrument playing.
The SHU band got the audience moving with their cover of Drake’s “Hotline Bling,” played with plastic tubes. They also played various beats on plastic and metal trash cans that kept the crowd’s attention.
The MCC showgirls put on an upbeat group dance performance as well.
Each performance was encouraged by the audience, creating a positive environment for both performers and non-performers.
Even those sitting in the audience ended up getting out of their seats to sing and dance along with whoever was on the floor to show support.
According to junior NaCyla Wiley, Black Student Union President, SHU slam was originally not associated with any particular club or organization until it needed to be sustained by a dedicated group. BSU was asked to take over the event and continue to keep the vision alive.
Since BSU’s mission is directed towards unity and community, the club believed taking on the event would relate perfectly to the club’s vision. It is now the third year this event was hosted on campus.
“It’s great to perform in SHU Slam, I like that we can perform in front of other students, and hopefully that will encourage everyone else to do the same,” said sophomore Jess Teixeira, a participant in the event.
Many members of BSU came to support the performers.
“SHU Slam is a place that I feel immersed with culture and diversity. It’s a great experience, and it was nice to see people’s creative outlets,” said sophomore Olivia Okoroafor, a member of Black Student Union.
“It teaches you about other people’s cultures and what they do. You get to become educated on people’s lives and what they do outside of academics,” said freshman Ahjante Rampersad, member of Black Student Union.
According to Sacred Heart University’s website, The Black Student Union is a place to gather and exchange ideas and experiences that students can use to obtain a more comprehensive understanding of how to best serve the community they represent.
The purpose of the Black Student Union is to serve as an organization primarily between students of African descent (and other minorities) and faculty/staff within in Sacred Heart community.
This event was co-founded by alumni Shantel Morris and Kari Williams, Director of dance.
“It is an effort to unify all members of the SHU community through art,” said Wiley. “SHU Slam is designed as an event to bring people together in a setting in which unfiltered self-expression and creativity can take place.”