Leadership Perspectives

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Hello Tartans,

As president of SPIRIT, a group whose population and objectives are often misinterpreted by the campus community, I’d like to dispel some falsities as well as give you a preview of events we have in store for the year.

SPIRIT was originally founded as the “Black Student Organization,” in which black students could come together to make a positive impact on society as a response to the way the media negatively portrayed African-Americans. Its members later renamed the organization SPIRIT to prevent membership from being limited to a specific group. Today, SPIRIT is unofficially known as a black student organization. This is a misnomer, as the organization is not only for black students. SPIRIT’s primary objective is to promote African-American awareness on campus and throughout Pittsburgh. This is done through social and community service events with and for an array of cultural groups. Being an African-American is not a prerequisite for being a part of SPIRIT nor for joining us in our mission.

This year, we’ll host events that I hope all members of the campus community will attend.

We’ll have a UC Late Night event Oct. 4, which will give the campus community the opportunity to learn about the different committees within SPIRIT and what it is like to be involved in each committee. These include the Activities, Black Awareness, Booth, Buggy, Community Service, Fashion Show, and SPIRIT House committees, each of which will have a table with games, activities, and exercises to engage those in attendance.

We’ll also have a SPIRIT/National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) Date Auction Oct. 24, as well as SPIRIT Week, which will start Oct. 26. The week starts with SPIRIT Cabaret, a talent show where anyone can exhibit his or her talents, ranging from spoken word, poetry, and monologues to singing, dancing, and anything else one can imagine. Other events during SPIRIT Week will include a Carnegie Mellon Faculty Meet and Greet, a SPIRIT general body meeting with a specialized topic, an educational presidential debate, a Spike Lee movie night, and a Halloween party at SPIRIT House.

There will also be several events in November, as well as in the spring, when we’ll have our first annual SPIRIT Play, the SPIRIT Fashion Show, Formal, and the Carnival events of Booth and Buggy.

We encourage students of all cultural backgrounds to share in our activities.