The Chronicle’s View: Support Black Awareness Month next time around

February is set aside for more than a celebration of love and marriage. It is recognized nationwide as Black Awareness Month. Many U-sponsored events were held on campus and throughout the community to promote diversity and black awareness. Unfortunately, not many U students and faculty attended the events.

The concept of bringing to public view the history and contributions of a certain culture is an important one and should receive public support. Granted, Martin Luther King Jr. Day is set aside in January to help accomplish this end. But too many of us consider it a day off work or school and do not take the time to really ponder the meaning of the day and how the actions of King and the contributions of black Americans in general affect us all.

So it is not excessive to devote another period to the study and remembrance of black Americans.

The U made the right decision to expand the events of Black Awareness Month into the Salt Lake community and not restrict activities to the U campus alone. A very small percentage of Utah’s black population attends or is employed at the U, so it makes sense to make the events more accessible to the rest of the city.

This can be a marketer’s nightmare, however, especially when one has a relatively low budget from which to draw. In the future, it would be wise to solicit funds from various community groups to help foot the bill and potentially increase exposure to the events.

Another factor that contributed to the low turnout was the time events-especially speeches-were scheduled. Many activities took place in the late-morning and early afternoon hours, when students are in class and others are at work and unable to attend. Holding more events in the evening hours may have drawn a larger crowd.

Other student groups can learn from the successes and failures of Black Awareness Month. When events are planned that benefit large amounts of students and U community members, efforts should be made to inform individuals and groups from different advertising angles. And events should be planned during peak hours of the day, when the greatest number of people can benefit from all that is offered.