Creating a “Village of Love and Joy” at ASA’s Field Day

USF and UC Berkeley Unite from across the Bay for Field Day

While not a typical field day activity, Dominic Jaikaran (left) and Michael Ossie
(right) are focused on their game of giant jenga. Photo by Veston Smith/ SF FOGHORN

Surrounded by pickup ball games and enthusiastic children in the Fillmore’s communal James P. Lang Athletic Field, members of USF’s African Student Association (ASA) played games and enjoyed the sun during their Field Day event on Feb. 10. Planned in partnership with the University of California, Berkeley’s Nigerian Student Association (NSA), this event marked ASA’s first collaboration with an organization from outside of USF. The goal of the event was to unite two Bay Area African culture clubs and find a unique way to honor Black History Month.

“We really wanted to bridge the gap between Black students and African students on campus,” ASA President DaAujana Florence said. “Though we may have different ethnic and cultural identities, we are all Black students, so it’s important that we support one another in our mission to create safe spaces for Black faces and voices.”

Co-hosting with UC Berkeley’s NSA was important to Florence. “We also wanted to let other Black organizations at other universities such as Berkeley know that we see them and we appreciate them,” she said.  

Attendees enjoyed pizza and games, including tug of war, giant Jenga and soccer, under the clear blue sky. All activities were teamwork based, promoting collaboration and friendly competition, as well as encouraging players to get out of their comfort zones. “My favorite part of the event was creating fellowship with other students on campus,” said USF senior advertising major Dominic Jaikaran. 

Florence hopes to see more intentionality in the celebration of Black students on campus, as well as an increase in diverse connectedness across the Bay. “When thinking about the Bay Area, all of the possibilities can be a little intimidating at times,” said Florence. “However, I think that the way we have started in building a strong bond within our own community first, and now branching out and welcoming others into our community, is the best way that we see to continue to move towards inclusivity and mass representation.” 

USF junior biology major Matty Mboweni said, “I thought it was a lot of fun!” Mboweni, who is also ASA’s events coordinator, said, “We were able to play soccer games and some dodgeball games as well… It was just nice after a long stressful week to just hang out with some friends.”

Florence said, “We wanted to allow our members to celebrate their Blackness in a unique way, and we thought the best way to do that was to intentionally share space with other African students in an effort to create our own little village of love and joy.”

ASA has more events planned for the semester, including a screening of the Nigerian and Congolese love story, “The Wedding Party,” on May 5. Tickets will be available soon and more information can be found on the club’s Instagram page, @asaofusf.

Editor-in-Chief: Megan Robertson, Chief Copy Editor: Sophia Siegel, Managing Editor: Jordan Premmer, Scene Editor: Inés Ventura

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *