Student org spotlight: Association of Black Students

Ariel Themm, Staff Intern

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The Association of Black Students is a student organization on Oakland University’s campus which supports and guides minority students. Led by Danicea Woods-McSwain, this multicultural group hosts events such as health fairs and mentoring programs.

They have coordinated activities such as the CMI/ABS Welcome Back BBQ, where students were able to mingle while having fun.They also provide group and individual tutoring for students. The group meets every Wednesday at 6 p.m. in the Heritage Room at the OC.

The goal of ABS is to encourage black students to create a unified front through social and academic activities. This will also help improve graduation rates among minority students. The organization was founded in the 1960s.

Danicea Woods-McSwain discussed her inspiration for becoming president of ABS. “Coming from a predominantly white high school, where our black student union went through great turmoil to even become existent,” she said. “I knew that it was important for me to be a part of ABS so that not only the organization can prosper, but myself as well.”

Danicea has been with ABS since her freshman year and can see the impact the group has on the campus and its students.

“I believe ABS’ main impact will be through fostering relationships and making connections on campus that otherwise would not have been there,” Woods-McSwain said. “I myself have made so many friends and network connections through ABS so I believe that same impact is possible for every student that comes to an event or gets involved with ABS.”

Omar Brown-El is not only the Center of Multicultural Initiatives advisor for ABS, and he is also the Director for CMI. His role is to assist with academic situations as well as things like marketing for ABS.

ABS is meant for supporting success—not just in the club, but for all its members’ lives.

“I promote strong academic outcome to support the culture, to serve as a leader for inclusiveness and expression of diversity here at OU,” Brown-El states.

“This organization has a voice and provides direct counsel to OU for the population of needs and represents the acknowledgment that they are dedicated to students diversity.”

ABS wants students of all cultural backgrounds to know they are supported and welcomed to the group. ABS is always open to new experiences and backgrounds to expand and improve their group.

If you want to know more about the group follow their Instagram at @abs_ocu or email them at [email protected]