Apathy ails state of N.C. Central, students say

Oct. 24, 2013 @ 10:45 AM

Many of the 100 N.C. Central University students, including senators and class presidents, agreed that one major problem plagued the school during a student-led “State of the Campus” address Wednesday night.

Apathy. No one’s showing up to student organization meetings. There isn’t a strong connection between the campus and the Durham community, and many students aren’t enthusiastic about hands-on community service participation anymore.

The address, held in the NCCU B.N. Duke Auditorium and serving as a way for students to voice their concerns or ask questions, shed light on a “sense of complacency” among students, said NCCU sophomore Deron Perkins, who volunteers with the student organization Collegiate 100 Black Men.

He stood up and told the crowd that he sensed a growing segregation between the college and Durham community.

“I feel like we are the privileged ones. We’re going to college,” Perkins said. “ ...A lot of us have made it to this point and have forgotten where we come from.”

NCCU, which requires full-time students to perform 30 community service hours per year before graduation, will give students more community service hours if they donate blood in the student union than if a student spends two hours out in the community with a “sweaty face,” he said.

“When you give the opportunity to be lazy, they will be lazy,” Perkins added.

“I completely agree with you,” said Stefan Weathers, NCCU student body president, from the stage. “There’s not enough being done. If we are truly about truth and service, why is there no one in McDougald Terrace right now helping out?”

McDougald Terrace is a public housing apartment complex that is a three-minute drive from the heart of campus.

Mahalia Frost, Miss NCCU, said student government leaders have made community service part of their platform.

“But if we don’t come together on one accord for this service mission, then our service has not been done justice at all,” Frost said. “So we charge you to hold us accountable, but also hold yourselves accountable.”

Weathers pointed out the fact there were only about 100 students in the auditorium that evening when the room should have been full. He also showed the audience of students the SGA Instagram website, where they regularly post photos from events and post fliers.

The NCCU Homecoming photos on their Instagram site had nearly 300 “likes,” but photo reminders about an upcoming Student Government Association event only received 10.

“I wanted to show you that to kind of light that fire under all of us,” Weathers said.

Other topics raised by students revolved around replacing World of Wings in the student union food court, slow wi-fi and campus safety.

LA Chesson, a NCCU mass communication junior, said he and other students wanted to know how to set up a free expression graffiti wall somewhere on campus.

He’s been participating in graffiti since he was in ninth grade, and he said he has to visit Duke University’s graffiti tunnel if he wants to share his art.

Another student asked if the Walker Complex, the recreation center on campus, could be open on Saturdays. Due to budget and staffing constraints, that wasn’t a possibility unless students started to volunteer their time to keep it open longer hours.