Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

ONYX prepares to start year off right

Members of the minority student organization ONYX have decided to take a new approach for the upcoming 2011-2012 school year. ONYX started out as a block party hosted by the National Panhellenic Council and Black Student Union that served as a jumpstart into the school year, according to President Courtnee Davis.

“Four students – Jahmir Jones, Cynthia Morgan, Alex Camardelle and myself saw a need to morph the annual block party into an organization,” said Davis, a senior majoring in fashion retailing. “This year, we are having a mini week at the beginning of the school year.”

This year, the ONYX is composed of members from almost every minority organization on campus. These organizations include the National Council of Negro Women, Collegiate 100 Black Men of America and the National Association of Black Accountants.

The mini week will be from Aug. 31 until Sept. 2.

“[ONYX] is a big event for students, if not the biggest,” ONYX vice president Jahmir Jones said. “This year, the other coordinators and I have taken intricate measures to insure that the event goes well and appeals to incoming minority students.”

NPHC Convocation will start off the week, followed by midnight breakfast at Lakeside on Aug. 31. Davis said there will be an eat-off that all minority and greek organizations will be participating in. The annual block party will be the following day where all minority and greek organizations will have tables and performances or presentations. The festivities will wrap up on that Friday night with an NPHC party.

“This has never happened before,” Davis said. “All the greeks doing a party together will be interesting and fun.”

The main focus for ONYX is to engage first year students to build long term relationships.

“This series of premier events is going to be one of the greatest opportunities for minority organizations to showcase themselves to the first year students,” said Alex Camardelle, ONYX vice president of external affairs and president of Future Black Law Students of America. “They are the target, and they are the ones we want to get involved the most. After all, they carry so much weight in the success of our university’s attempts to become a better, more progressive institution.”

Davis said, “The basis of our new organization is to focus on incoming freshman and help them to hopefully get a close look and insight into some of the different organizations on campus.”

ONYX’s theme for this year will be “One.” Camardelle said students will learn and have fun with the organization.

“It’s going to be a very informative event, but the students are going to have a great time as we attempt to reach out to them in a modern, more unique way,” he said. “We have got to further diversify the minds of these incoming students, and ONYX believes that joining these minority organizations will be one of the initial steps.”

In addition to fostering and engaging first year students, the mission of ONYX is “to assist the minority organizations in the development of a common bond that will contribute to the general welfare of the University.”

All minority organizations included are as follows: NAACP, BSU, House of éprouver, FBLSA, National Society of Black Engineers, National Association of Black Accountants, Afro-American Gospel Choir, Collegiate 100 and the NCNW.

The organization can be followed on twitter @ONYXatUA or emailed at [email protected].

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