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Audrey T. McCluskey
Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center

Last modified: Tuesday, September 8, 2009

IU Bloomington's Black Student Orientation to focus on academic excellence and community service

Sept. 8, 2009

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The third annual Black Student Orientation at Indiana University Bloomington will take place on Sept. 18, with a focus on academic excellence and service to the community. The event will include representatives from more than 30 campus and community organizations and businesses.

Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center

Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center

Print-Quality Photo

The program will begin at 6 p.m. in the Grand Hall of the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center, 275 N. Jordan Ave.

Black Student Orientation offers new and returning students of African descent the opportunity to identify campus and community resources that will enrich their academic, social and cultural experience at IU and in the Bloomington community. Research has shown that engagement and a sense of belonging promote academic success among African American students.

"We view this as part of our mission to engage students and get them excited about the opportunities that await them both in the classroom and in the community," says Audrey T. McCluskey, director of the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center.

The evening will highlight the many support services that IU has to offer, as well as not-for-profit organizations that provide students with opportunities for volunteerism. The event also will feature a segment on black history in the city of Bloomington presented by Elizabeth Mitchell, representatives from faith-based organizations, black-owned businesses and performances by spoken-word artists, Zeta Phi Beta sorority and Phi Beta Sigma fraternity.

In addition to the fellowship and fun, there will be prize giveaways and drawings throughout the evening.

Black faculty and staff members at IU Bloomington will be present to interact with students and answer their questions along with representatives from several IU offices, including Mentoring Services and Leadership Development, the Diversity Office of the Kelley School of Business and student organizations. They will provide information about their respective organizations and programs for the upcoming year.

Black Student Orientation originated as a response to feelings of isolation and unfamiliarity frequently expressed by black students new to the Bloomington community.

"The orientation is crucial to letting black students know that IU, its faculty, staff and administrators want them to succeed," said Khalil Muhammad, IU professor of American history. "College is more important than ever in a country of shrinking employment, and knowing what resources are available to help you graduate four years later is one step closer to professional success."

For further information about the third Annual Black Student Orientation, call the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center at 812-855-9271.