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Audrey McCluskey
Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center

George Vlahakis
IU Media Relations

Last modified: Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Inaugural Black Student Orientation Week taking place at IU Bloomington

Presented by the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center and the Black Scholars Collective

Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center

Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center

Print-Quality Photo

Sept. 5, 2007

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The Neal-Marshal Black Culture Center and the Black Scholars Collective at Indiana University this week are hosting the first Black Student Orientation Week.

The special activities, which planners hope will become annual events, are being held at the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center, 275 N. Jordan Ave., and include a mixture of indoor and outdoor activities.

"The week's events are designed with three objectives in mind: to connect students of African descent with community and university resources that will ease their transition to Bloomington and IU, to enrich their cultural linkages and promote their achievement at all levels of the academic experience," said Audrey T. McCluskey, interim director of the center and associate professor of African American and African Diaspora studies.

"We know that student success is linked to acculturation factors and the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center and the Black Scholars Collective want to be partners in facilitating their success," she added.

The week kicked off Tuesday (Sept. 4) with "Community Night." Various faith-based organizations, black-owned businesses and community agencies introduced their services to students.

Tonight is "University Resources Night." Students will learn about university offices, information and programs that offer students vital academic, career, financial and personal support. It will be held at the Neal-Marshall Center, beginning at 7 p.m.

Thursday is "Black Faculty and Staff Meet and Greet Night." The event will open with a panel discussion, "Black At IU: What You Need to Know to Be Successful at IU." This event will give students an opportunity to meet and interact with black faculty and staff members, ask questions and potentially find future mentors. The event will begin at 7 p.m. in the Bridgwaters Lounge of the Neal-Marshall Center.

The special week of activities will conclude on Friday with "Meet the Greeks and Black Student Organizations Day." Representatives from several organizations will be on hand from noon to 3 p.m. in the Neal-Marshall Center's courtyard to provide information and discuss some of their activities.

Black Student Orientation Week is a direct response to frequent requests by black students for more knowledge of and involvement with the black community in Bloomington. The Black Scholars Collective, an organization of graduate students, based the idea on the unmet needs that they felt when they first arrived in Bloomington.

According to McCluskey, the objective is "to prevent or ease such feelings of isolation and to encourage participation in the broad and diverse social, cultural and intellectual life of the campus and community."