African and Caribbean Student Association makes campus debut

By Lashay Smith
October 4, 2022

Executive board of the African and Caribbean Student Association pictured at involvement fair.
Executive board sitting at table at the involvement fair. Photo by Creese.

As the semester enters its first full month, there are plenty of opportunities for Cabrini students to get involved on campus. One of the newest includes The African and Caribbean Student Association, ACSA.

What inspired ACSA

ACSA President Nikita Kellman, a sophomore health and science major, and ACSA Vice President Fati Diakité, a sophomore public health major, found a hard time making friends and connecting with others, even though they both lived on campus. After noticing students didn’t seem to want to come out of their comfort zone and join clubs, they decided to find a way to make engagement easy for all.

“I feel like there were not enough clubs or events to connect with everyone on campus. The purpose of our club is to bring everyone together to have fun and make new friends, while also teaching our Cabrini community about our cultures and putting a stop to all negative stereotypes and racial discrimination towards Africans and Caribbeans,” Diakité said.

Starting ASCA

Toward the end of their freshman year, the friends sat down with their advisors and asked students and faculty around campus how to start a club. They then pitched their ideas of what the new club would look like.

“It was a very long process. I had this idea since my first semester, but I was very shy. Then I met Fati who found our advisor,” Kellman, said.

President Nakita Kellman and Vice President Fati Diakitè pictured at involvement fair at their table.
President Nikita Kellman and Vice President Fati Diakitè at the Involvement Fair. Photo by Afficia Creese.

Cabrini offers more than 50 clubs and organizations, but being a minority and wanting to feel at home at a predominantly white institution can be challenging. Students and staff at Cabrini were eager to hear about the new club and thought it might be the missing piece on campus.

“If someone does not know about something you cannot do anything about it. If you do not know anything about Caribbean or African descent, you cannot make people from there feel included. I feel like once this idea was brought up, the staff was like, we are running with this, this seems like this will be the club, this is what we as a community need,” ACSA Public Relations Coordinator Afficia Creese, a sophomore marketing major, said.

What to expect

Creese said, “We hope to fulfill all of the school’s hopes and expectations for our club. We are new, and there will be bumps in the road this semester and possibly next semester. Our main goal is to show who we are and to expose everyone to our culture. Whether it be too raunchy or too loud, it is going to be what it is. We are not sugarcoating anything.” 

Get involved

The African and Caribbean Student Association held its first table at this year’s Involvement Fair. After that, 30 people signed up for the club; members of the executive board were pleased. Starting a club can be a hassle, but as long as there is a great team involved and someone to hold that team accountable, it will get done.

To learn more about the African and Caribbean Student Association, visit their Instagram and turn on post notifications after following, to get updates. The club is open to everyone to join, have fun and learn about African and Caribbean culture.

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Lashay Smith

My name is Lashay Smith and I am a senior Digital Communications and Social Media major here at Cabrini University. I am also the first podcast editor for The Loquitur. My favorite things to do outside of class and the Loquitur are shopping, making TikTok's, recording and producing my own podcast, and hanging out with friends and family. A fun fact about me is that I can name all of the presidents of the United States in order. During my time at Cabrini, I joined Social Nexus which is a social media agency ran by students on campus, I also joined the Loquitur as an editor for the 2022-2023 school year. The type of content that I like to report on would be all things entertainment and social justice issues. My goal as an editor for the Loquitur is to create great content while also informing many people about the things that are happening on and off campus.

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