Students revive UAAS

Samuel Walker, a junior theatre acting major, knew he wanted to be on the big stage ever since the fourth grade. He is the student-head of recruitment for the theatre department, president of the United African-American Society (UAAS), a second year resident advisor and a member of the Student Activities Board.

The Collegian: What is UAAS and what role do you play? How does UAAS help you establish connections between students and the community?

Walker: [In] the United African-American Society I play the role of revitalization coordinator and president because [the organization] was dormant at the time. I revitalized it last February on the mission of informing, educating and empowering the campus of Greensboro College and the surrounding community by sharing the ethical values of each racial group. I believe together- ness is what we need to get further in the world. It’s an organization that is about celebrating each other and celebrating who we are by sharing our similarities and differences.

The Collegian: What have you learned from your experience?

Walker: I got an opportunity to basically put all my leadership skills into one basket, as far as working well with others by creating something, letting other people work on it with you and balanc[ing being] a member of [UAAS] and its leader.

The Collegian: What qualities make you a good leader?

Walker: My communication skills, organization skills and really my willingness to help and work with others.

The Collegian: What inspired you to get involved and choose the United African-American Society?

Walker: I thought we needed everyone to be represented on campus instead of just one group, per se. I think that everyone has a purpose to be in the world so everyone has a purpose to be represented.

The Collegian: Is it an effective organization?

Walker: For the most part I believe that it is. I have gotten all positive feedback and I feel like the United African-American Society has helped give a voice to all students who feel that they are voiceless, don’t have a voice on campus.

The Collegian: What are the most common causes of conflict in the organization and how are they resolved?

Walker: To be honest I think the only reason there is any con- flict is because some fail to get educated on the organization versus just judging it before giving it a chance. It was formerly known as the United Afro-American Society founded by Bill McLain, Rhonda Ryan and Arvel Williams in1973.

The three founded UAAS on the basis of bringing awareness to the campus about other racial groups. In honor of them, the organization goes by The United African-American Society. [Those issues are] resolved by educating and informing people on what [the organization] is.

The Collegian: Why should college students join this organization?

Walker: College students should join because it provides an organization where we all are one and we all are equal. It’s an organization where you learn and grow and find the friends you may know for the rest of your life.

Walker has delegated a number of important roles to other students on UAAS’s executive board, including the group’s historian, Carrisa Washington. Washington is a junior from Harrisonburg, Va. She is an English, communications and media studies and art double major with a focus in 2D art. Aside from her role in UAAS, Washington is an intern in the marketing department under Tom Saitta, the head resident advisor of Greensboro Hall, the Greensboro College cheer captain, a member of the chorale, included in the GCC Fellowship and a volunteer at Village 401 and the art league. Her favorite hobbies include exer- cising, dancing, singing and the arts. She loves that she can be a part of so many groups on campus, but she says time management is key – the calendar app is her best friend.

As UAAS’s historian, Washington is responsible for photography of meetings and events, documenting their achievements and making flyers and shirts. Washington says UAAS focuses on everyone on campus and gives people a safe place to communicate their issues. She encourages students to join the organization and to pursue all the resources and opportunities on campus, including internships, in order to prepare themselves for the future and to foster closer faculty-student relationships.

The United African American Society enjoying a moment of “togetherness.” (Pictured left to right): Samuel Walker, Mikaela Craft, Alan Y. Compean, Macy Smith, Trevor Mason and Carissa Washington.
Samuel Walker and Carissa Washington received resident advisor awards. Photos courtesy of Samuel Walker.

By Jackie Treadway and Imaya Parks