Annual seminar’s attendance was dismal

Students who attended the third State of the Black Student Summit last Friday were visited by many of hip-hop’s most influential figures.

The summit, held in Gaither Gymnasium, lasted from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., and included many heavyweights in the entertainment and business world, including founder Chuck “Jigsaw” Creekmur, Entertainment Lawyer and entrepreneur Corey D. Boone, and Tony Payton Jr., a state representative of Pennsylvania.

According to the brochure, it was formed to discuss issues that black students and the community face.

Topics were addressed to the speakers from the event’s hosts, and the panelists were then allowed to have an open discussion.

The main topics the speakers covered were the state of the black student, a discussion about hip-hop, and “acting white.”

Students were hoping to hear a discussion about a variety of topics but were slightly disappointed.

They heard stories reminiscent of last year’s event.

Angela Stone, 21, a junior pharmacy student from Miami, was very familiar to the antics.

“This is my second summit and this one said the same thing [as the last one],” said Stone. “I was hoping it would have some more direction for black students.”

Rontel Batie, 20, a junior political science student, also said the range of topics were not broad enough.

“We were able to address some issues, but we did not address as wide [of] a variety as I hoped,” said Batie.

He also said though several issues were brought to the forefront, they were not followed by any closure. There were many questions and topics that went unresolved and unanswered.

“I expected them to also provide solutions,” Batie said.

Although Batie and Stone were left wanting more from the summit, Travis Roberts, 22, said he learned a lot.

He said the discussion about rap artists really stood out.

“Up until this point I didn’t realize that they do more than what we see on T.V.,” said Roberts. “I got a different view of rap artists and the entertainment world.”

Stone, even though she heard most of the subject matter before, said she also acknowledged the high points.

She said the discussion about hip-hop stood out the most for her.

She did not expect the panel, made up of what she called “older” people, to show admiration for the industry.

She said the panelists told the audience that hip-hop helped President Obama win the election.

“That was interesting,” Stone said. “I definitely didn’t expect them to say that.”

Even though some students saw room for improvement, they all agreed that it was a success.

Students were all appreciative that leaders took time out to address important issues.

“I am happy that black leaders came down to talk to us,” Batie said.

Stone, however, also mentioned the fact that more  Rattlers could have been in attendance.

“The turnout was disappointing,” Stone said. “I would like to see it bigger for next year.”