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ASU Fall Fest invites all to explore African culture

by Zach Wagner - Copy Editor
Thu, Nov 21st 2019 01:00 pm
The African Student Union (ASU) held its annual Fall Festival. This year's theme was Afro Fest and models followed the theme with their clothing.
The African Student Union (ASU) held its annual Fall Festival. This year's theme was Afro Fest and models followed the theme with their clothing.

The African Student Union (ASU) hosted its annual Fall Festival in the Seymour Union Ballroom on Friday, Nov. 15. Students were able to enjoy a fashion show encompassed by African culture and influential music. 

Planning for the event started back in May of 2018, with a lot of moving parts needed to pull everything together.

“The fall festival is always just an event where we like to showcase different aspects of African culture,” ASU President Imani Coaxum. “We order food, we have a fashion show, we have musical performances and a performance from our dance team.”

Coaxum and the rest of the members of ASU brought in vendors from outside of campus to provide African themed food like Lamb, different fruits and hors d’oeuvres for students to try. Kamara’s Closet and The Gold Collection were present at the event showing off their African attire and beads, which were showcased in the fashion shows throughout the event.

Dancer from Buffalo State University, Kevin Prum made an appearance, showing off his break dancing moves that made the crowd applaud. Prum was involved with helping choreograph the dances on Chris Brown’s last tour. ASU also brought in a guest DJ, DJ Sam-i-am. Coaxum and the members of ASU hope this event gives students a better perspective on what African culture is really about. The way the culture is depicted in current society may not always be the most accurate and Coaxum hopes this event will give students a better idea of what the heritage and tradition consist of.

“I know you see [African culture] in media, you see it online and to see how other people interrupt it physically in front of you is interesting,” Coaxum said.

The Fall Festival received a lot of support from the campus community, clubs like Organization of Students of African Descent (OSAD), Caribbean Student Association (CSA), Association of Latinx American Students (ALAS) and Men of Color (MOC) came out to show their support for their friends and everyone involved in the event. The Ballroom became so packed; more chairs were needed to make sure everyone had somewhere to sit. During the fashion shows and performances the crowd was quite engaged, cheering on all the models and performers with everything they had, making for a very welcoming environment.

Alumnus Marcus Watts came to show his support for people he knew in the event while encouraging current students to get involved on campus before it is too late, weighing in on the resources available to help locate different events.

“I know a few people that are participating and I’m just here for support,” Watts said. “Supporting your local Brockport family is important — definitely reach out to [myBROCKPORT] because it has all the lists of all the presidents, treasurers, you can always reach out to them if you want any information.” 

Junior Ann Olowu, native of Nigeria was very passionate about what the event entails. She sees the event as a way to spread the positive vibes and share African culture with everyone, not just students of African descent.

“I am Nigerian, I was born in Nigeria, the reason we are promoting this event is to promote African culture and you don’t even have to be African to be a part of the African culture — everything is just about being who you are in life,” Olowu said.

For students that may not know the event or may just be timid to come, Olowu and the people who attend annually welcome newcomers with open arms.

“Everyone is welcome, you see different shows, different people, different clothes, the culture and music it’s all inviting, it’s all exciting,” Olowu said. “Not everyone knows about the African culture, people who are aware and probably heard about and wasn’t sure if they could come — trust me it’s an event you don’t wanna miss.” 

The Fall Festival panned out accordingly and made for a good time for most who attended the event. Although Fall Festival is fun and exciting, it is also very educational and a good opportunity to get familiar with African culture.

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Taken by Vincent Croce:
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