Monthly Archives: November 2011

FIRED UP AND READY TO WORK: TSU students march to the polls

Fired up and ready to work for the second year in a row, Texas Southern University’s chapter of NAACP orchestrated its March To The Polls for Election Day 2011.

Stormy weather throughout the city of Houston did not stop the students and supporters. They met in the student center to go over chants, pass out signs and made sure every supporter had an NAACP t-shirt.

The organization was able to round up of dozens of students, alumni, faculty and staff to walk down to Lockheart Elementary in order to cast their ballot for the local Houston elections.

TSU’s own Miss Texas Southern University 2011-2012, Shartajeye Wright marched down Tierwester, in heels, and representatives of Alpha Phi Alpha and Phi Beta Sigma fraternity and Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority were in attendance.

As they occupied the streets of Houston’s third ward belting out chants of encouragement and a soul stirring rendition of “Lift Every Voice,” they garnered much attention from the local and national media.

Last year’s march for the 2010 midterm election received praise from the national headquarters of NAACP and this year received local television coverage on FOX 26 news.

Several events have been put together specifically to get students registered to vote. Over the last two years they have gotten over 600 students registered to vote.

“We just want to make sure that we take the responsibility to vote so we don’t complain about the issues of the future,” NAACP President Jylise Smith, said.

Founded in 1909, the Youth & College Division of NAACP strives to inform teens and young adults of the problems affecting African Americans and other racial and ethnic groups.

In the Houston area, voting officials said that there were only about 12 percent of registered voters at the polls during this election, according to KHOU.

Despite a lack luster turnout city-wide, TSU’s chapter of NAACP has cultivated a campaign of its own to make sure the community gets out to cast their ballots.

By hosting events and rallies like this, they continue to develop intelligent, militant and effective young leaders.

Keeping the public aware of youth involvement in service projects anchored in political and community activism is of the upmost importance.

Second Vice President of NAACP, Dwayne Adams, explains.

“Voting is a privilege and we just want to make sure that the youth understand that their voice is the voice of change and they have the power to make sure that history never repeats itself,” Adams said.

 

 

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UPC sanctioned under SGA

The 2011-2012 Student Government Association’s elected officials, otherwise known as the “Top-Shelf” administration, came into office with a firestorm of student support and an ambition to improve Texas Southern University.

Lead by President Shekira Dennis, the “Top Shelf” administration has been working hard this summer for their students. Much to the excitement of students, SGA has gotten administration to lower student parking decals to $40 and extended homecoming activities to a full week.

However, not all things have been welcomed with open arms.

This summer SGA officials enacted the “2011 UPC Reorganization Clause,” a new bill resolution restructuring the University Program Council.

The resolution states: “The UPC shall become the official program department for the SGA and shall plan, coordinate, schedule and present cultural and social programs and activities throughout Texas Southern University.”

UPC has long been known for its infectious school spirit and dynamic campus activities that promote student engagement.

Under SGA, all bills and funding requests must be presented to the Student Senate for approval.

While students may question the need for this resolution, SGA stands by its decision and assures that this change is for the better.

“The Student Government Association, as the governing organization of the student body and all student body and all student organizations, believes in firm accountability towards our constituency and this resolution upholds that belief,” said President Dennis.

“Because UPC is funded directly from student fees as SGA is, it should follow the exact same rules as SGA to ensure accountability and uphold our fiduciary responsibility.”

The reorganization clause also states that UPC shall consist of a 15-person committee that will be headed by a chair who is a member of the executive cabinet of SGA and be under the direction of the SGA president.

In addition, the UPC chair will to not only be elected by the general student body during annual elections, but also must have a two-thirds approval of the Student Senate.

Finally, the UPC will be bound to all sections of the SGA Constitution and UPC Reorganization Clause.

Dennis assures the student body that this resolution is not in place to “micro-manage” UPC, but to promote financial accountability.

“We have implemented protocols which will allow for greater transparency of budget transactions and ensure monetary issues of the past are not present in the future.”

A queen and her jewels

A queen’s regalia traditionally consist of a crown, sash and scepter…all outer trappings of royalty.

However, when you see Shartajaye Wright, the 2011-2012 Miss Texas Southern University standing tall on the Tigerwalk, you might notice something different about this campus queen.

It emanates from inside and brings a smile to her face; she has a glow even and a certain confidence.

Wright is on a mission. She is adorning herself, not with the typical glitz, glamour, and bling, but something far more precious – a group of 20 young women whom she regards as her “Crown Jewels.”

The “Crown Jewels” is an initiative Wright created this year that consists of freshman and sophomore girls, who sit in on weekly seminars and workshops, where they discuss a myriad of topics.

“It teaches the young ladies and the next generation to be academically poised, academically prepared, socially grounded and spiritually grounded,” Wright said.

Starting as early as freshman orientation, she recruited various young women to be a part of the “Crown Jewels” program.

Wright enacted an application process to get to know her future jewels. She made sure not to put limits and constraints on the participants.

“What makes it so beautiful is that there are so many walks of life who may have had children already or who have gone through different financial circumstances or who are not necessarily the traditional college student per se,” Wright said.

She considers this dynamic group of young women that she put together to be an extension of her and reflect everything that she believes in.

“Crown jewels [are] traditionally an asset to the queen,” Wright said. “It’s everything that makes her royalty.”

They actually represent Miss TSU and everything I stand for, so that’s why I call them my jewels. Without them you don’t see a platform. You don’t see what I stand for, and you don’t see my character, enthusiasm or my passion.”

 

The queen has a deep connection with her jewels. They stand alongside her in all of her endeavors.

“Whatever event that I have been exclusively invited to on campus, they come as well. There’s always a reserved section for Crown Jewels.”

This program is just another part of Wright’s “G.R.E.A.T.N.E.S.S.” platform.

Even as her “Crown Jewels” engage in weekly two-hour seminars, where they learn about self-esteem and expectations, she has much more in store for them.

“The crown is just a platform to serve, and Miss TSU is a servant at heart,” Wright said.