Umoja party brings back the ’90s

A. R. Broom,

Umoja brought back the 1990s Friday, April 13 with their decade-themed styled party celebrating the era.

Umoja Scholars Program Coordinator Jamila Stewart was inspired to put on the event after she had noticed a particular interest in 90’s fashion among the Umoja members recently.

“I think a lot of students [here] are born in the 90’s and they like some of the styles of the 90’s so they wanted the 90’s theme,” said Stewart.

LeeAndra Matthews played a major role in the creation of the celebration after noticing students looked like they could use a break.

“Everybody’s been really stressed out this semester and I just wanted a really fun time for people to just take a timeout and not think about school for a second and socialize,” said Matthews.

The Umoja Scholars Program is one of several learning communities on campus, and its focus is to help students better complete their higher education, but it is not the only focus.

“A lot of the activities that we have, and their day-to-day revolves around academics, which is primarily what they’re here for, but they also wanted to have an event which was fun and didn’t have too much to do with their class work,” said Stewart.

Attendees appeared to be excited about the get-together. Major themes for the party were denim, overalls and denim overalls among other looks.

“We’re having a couple of contests, the best dance and the best dressed, in the middle of the event there will be a dance performance by a couple of Umoja students,” said Tashianna Brown.

By about 9:30 p.m., over 30 students were already in attendance, much more than expected and with more still expected to arrive.

In addition to the much-needed break from academics, the party had some other goals. Stewart said it was a way for students and faculty to come together and build community outside of the classroom around things they were interested in.

Stewart also said a lot of the students in the program, even those not actively participating in the club, made an effort to attend the event.

The club has about 20 members, however, Stewart said the Umoja Scholars Program has anywhere between 100 and 150.