There is a severe lack of substance in Black History Month events

Every February, communities gather to celebrate Black History Month and recognize the countless accomplishments of Black people in the United States in the face of a country that has continuously discriminated against them. The University of New Haven kicked the month off with a Black Lives Matter flag raising outside of the German Club, which signifies the start of a month full of various events, celebrations and learning about the Black experience. While the flag flying above the Kathy Zolad Stadium serves as a reminder of the importance of the month, it also highlights the shortcomings of the university so far.

This is a time to educate and inform the student body about the accomplishments of Black figures throughout history. Black culture and Black history are American history, weaving the foundation of what it means to be a citizen in this country. Not only this, but it also aims to teach about struggles of Black people against a system slanted against them, an important lesson for those that will never experience such racial discrimination.

This is especially important at a predominantly white institution such as this university, where diversity numbers are largely lacking.

While there are a handful of events going on, the bulk of them are being hosted by the student-led multicultural organizations. These can be found on Charger Connection, but the university administration could be doing much more to highlight these for students.

For example, the Women in Business club hosted a Black Women in Business Panel on Monday, allowing students to hear from Black women in the field of business. This was an opportunity for students to engage and learn from those in the professional world while reflecting the meaning of the month. However, it took a deep dive into Charger Connection or knowing the club itself to be exposed to the event.

The Myatt Center for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is hosting a Digital Racism & Blackface event on Thursday, but yet again it may be hard for students to find this. No emails have been sent about it from the university, nor has it been advertised anywhere on social media. Charger Connection is helpful, but many students may miss it.

Part of the onus falls onto the university to advertise for these events. They should offer these various RSOs the chance to grow, flexing the numerous student-driven initiatives to help enrich the learning experiences on campus.

These events deserve recognition and should all be pushed to students in any and every way possible.

Beyond this, the university itself should be looking for guest speakers to facilitate helpful conversations. While we are not a large school, there is still value in trying to offer this option to students. Whether it be university alumni or outside scholars, it would be a great opportunity for not only present students, but also those interested in attending the school.

These practices should extend beyond just Black History Month. College campuses are areas to welcome guest scholars and speakers that those not in college may not get to see. Students deserve to have this opportunity, giving more representation for minority cultures and experiences through an increased effort in the planning and advertising of events, especially given how expensive tuition is.