By: Shannon Feaganes, Staff Writer
Volunteer State Community College’s annual Unity Day has been moved to March 31 in the Caudill Hall Auditorium and will feature keynote speaker Fred Bailey.
Bailey is the founder of Children Are People, Inc, which provides after-school tutoring services to at-risk children in the community.
Bailey was informed of the schedule change and is still expected to speak at Unity Day. The Student Life and Diversity Initiatives is holding Unity Day in March to allow more time for advertising of the event, drawing a larger-than-hoped-for crowd, not only full of students on campus, but full of people from the surrounding community.
“With the snow days, we really didn’t have time to advertise in the community, and [Unity Day] is going to be a community event,” said Tabitha Sherrell, Coordinator of Student Activities.
Bailey is well known in the community, and Sherrell said she expected a good turnout of people.
Sherrell said she believed that Unity Day will have just as much impact in March as it would have during Black History month.
Due to multiple snow days Sherrell explained that professors felt it would be better to postpone Unity Day so that class time would not be taken up further.
“I think people were kind of distracted,” said Professor Sarah Payne, Professor of Social Science. Payne went on to describe that because of both Martin Luther King Day and the snow day last week, Monday-Wednesday classes have lost an entire week of school, which puts professors’ schedules behind.
“It definitely affected science classes,” said Mia Mason, a Pre-Health major at Volunteer State. “We lost three class days and a lab for my Chemistry class,” said Zachary Trouy, another Pre-Health major at Volunteer State. “We are actually 1/8 of a semester behind already.”
Sherrell’s hope is that because the event will be in March, faculty members can now work it into their schedules so that students in their classes can attend.
Sherrell said she believed that Unity Day goes beyond just Black History Month.
“It’s unity, as in unity and inclusion of all aspects of diversity. Whether it’s race, whether it’s your age, whether it’s disability, whether it’s anything – unity is about everybody coming together, and coming together as one,” Sherrell implored.
Even though Unity Day will not take place during Black History Month, Sherrell noted that Vol State will still hold events celebrating black history on campus.