BSU shakes up campus life with annual Culture Jam

By Alexandria Martin

Staff Writer

Denison welcomed the annual spring semester Culture Jam week events. Culture Jam is a week full of events sponsored by the Black Student Union that exemplify the diversity of cultures on campus. There were a lot of steps that went into the planning for Culture Jam, including bi-weekly meetings, a lot of discussion in order to make vital decisions and teamwork.

The co-chairs of the IMG_1730Culture hjhreg Jam committee were Khari Riley ‘15 and Krystle Hall ‘15, both from Chicago.

Riley explained the goals of Culture Jam: “It is our way of acknowledging all of the different cultures we have on campus as well as the talents that come along with them.”

This year, the events included the late night sandwich run, which occurred at midnight on Saturday. The goal of this event was to help feed homeless in Columbus. The Gospel Fest was held on Sunday. Performers included a Chicago gospel group called Divine Purpose and Maurice Griffin, a finalist from BET’s Sunday’s Best.

On Monday night, there was a family night of talking and television in the BSU, study tables in Burton Morgan on Tuesday and the Talent Expo, which featured Tehilah, The Hilltoppers and other performers and artists, on Wednesday. On Thursday, a Dance and Work-Out Explosion was held in Mitchell.

There was a fashion gallery in The Roost, while the Ebony Ball was held in Knobel Hall on Friday. Last but not least, the Culture Jam concert, which was held on Saturday evening, featured The Leather Corduroys and Vic Mensa.

“This time was a time to culminate and display how culture interacts with one another,” Hall said.

It seemed as if Culture Jam had a decent turnout overall. Chicago’s Divine Purpose and Sunday’s Best finalist Maurice Griffin shut down the house with their inspiring words of encouragement through their powerful voices.

“I enjoyed being able to sing, dance and interact with the artists, it was more than a performance; we had church!” said Gracialena Ruffin ’16, also from Chicago.

Another highlight of the week was the Talent Expo. The Roost packed with an audience exuding excitement.

At the end of Culture Jam week, The Leather Corduroy and Vic Mensa, who are both Chicago natives, performed. He incorporated much of his new music with his old music and was still able to maintain the attention of the crowd.

“This week encompassed an area of interest that fit the needs of everyone,” said Gabrielle Rickle ‘15 from Fostoria, Ohio, “especially when it came down to the artist.”

In the words of Khadijah Muhammad ’18 from Chicago, “Overall, Culture Jam was very Chicago-inspired.” As unintentional as this was, she may be right, but even Denisonians who are not from Chicago related to the past week of events.

Photo Courtesy of Hai Nghiem and Linh Nguyen