On the warm, cloudy morning of last Saturday, Nov. 4, excited children zoomed around the intramural field. They kicked soccer balls, shot Nerf guns at a target, giggled and tumbled around. All the while, Trinity student volunteers vigorously cheered them on.
This was the first-ever field day for inner-city children organized by Trinity’s Black Student Union (BSU). The kids were from San Antonio’s West and East sides. The ones running and playing outside ranged in age from eight to 12 years old. A group of teenagers came along later to get a tour of the school and even a demonstration by associate professor Michele Johnson in the biology lab.
In addition to providing a fun and interesting day for both age groups, BSU members hoped to convey an important message.
“I hope the kids get a good view of Trinity and see that people who look like them can go to a place like this,” said Amira Nickerson, sophomore communication and computer science double major.
Kezia Nyarko, sophomore international studies major and community chair of BSU, was in charge of organizing the event.
“At the volunteer fair, I went to go talk to the groups M.E.Y.O [Multi-Educational Youth Organization] and Boys and Girls Club East Side. Once we got into contact, it was just basically getting things approved,” Nyarko said.
Nyarko then reached out to a broad range of Trinity organizations, including cultural groups, Greek life organizations and athletic coaches. She garnered a total of about 20 volunteers for the event.
Senior neuroscience major Elizabeth Broussard got word of the field day through one of her Phi Delta Kappa sorority sisters and decided to volunteer.
“One of my sorority sisters is a part of Trinity Diversity Connection, and so she was promoting the event for BSU,” Broussard said.
Broussard liked that the event gave kids who don’t usually get a chance to have a field day an opportunity to be outside and have a good time. Standing on the field dressed in shorts and a tie-dyed sorority t-shirt, she reported being ready for hours packed full of games.
“We just did a three-legged race, which was a lot of fun. We have Nerf gun target practice, jump roping, an egg relay and lots of other games, like hula hooping and soccer,” Broussard said.
Stacy Davidson, staff advisor for BSU, said that while community outreach has always been one of BSU’s goals, there has not been an outreach event of this scale in her three years at Trinity.
“Kezia has done an amazing job. She came up with this idea and did everything leading up to it. That is leadership; that’s such a great sense of accomplishment for her,” Davidson said.
Davidson also commented on the rarity of an event that brings local kids onto campus as opposed to sending out volunteers.
“We know that TUVAC and a lot of other organizations have done important work out in the community, but we really wanted to bring young people to campus. We want to make higher education accessible and visible to young people in the community who may not think they have access to Trinity University,” Davidson said.
Unlike other BSU events such as the lip-sync battle, field day is not an established tradition “” at least, not yet. BSU members hope the event will become an annual occurrence.
Until the next field day, there will be numerous other ways to connect with BSU including the Nov. 15 club meeting at 7 p.m. in the Waxahachie Room, which will cover the topic “What is good hair?”, and the rent party on Dec. 1 at 6 p.m. in the same location.