2016 Annual Poetry Slam

OUABJ’S Poetry Slam Ascends To New Heights, With Students Requesting A Second Event In The Spring

ATHENS– The Ohio University Association of Black Journalists (OUABJ) hosted its 4th annual Poetry Slam on November 4, in the Baker Center Theater and received the largest crowd since the events inception, with students requesting a second slam in the spring.

OUABJ invited Ohio University students to attend the 4th Slam, which expanded from last year’s location at the Bobcat Student Lounge to the Baker Center Theater, a venue that occupies over 150 seats. OUABJ president Jasmine Lambert reserved the coveted venue, and was welcomed with an overwhelming number of attendees, resulting in the event earning over 400 dollars in both ticket and concession sales.

Due to the amassed success of this year’s event, students have lauded about the slam’s production and requested a second slam next semester. OU student Tylor Nixon said that he enjoyed this year’s slam and expressed his anticipation for another event in the spring.

“Yeah I enjoyed it, mainly the guest Siri. Her words really tingled my taste buds. I really hope they do another one next semester,” Nixon said. “I think that would be awesome, especially if they bring Siri back or even another guest.”

However, despite the immense number of students that raved about the success of this year’s Poetry Slam, Lambert said she’s grateful for the support her and OUABJ have received, but that a second event in the spring is doubtful due to conflicting schedules.

“Other organizations have events that are similar to the poetry slam in spring semester and we don’t want to step on anyone’s toes,” said Lambert. “Because no one steps on our toes during fall semester. It’s kind of a respect thing.”

Lambert said rather than creating another slam, OUABJ is focused on continuing to build artistic outlets of this magnitude. Events that will offer all students a chance to express themselves freely, which OUABJ vice president Brea Burks said, helps to broaden both the audience and participant’s views on social, political and racial topics.

“I believe that the Poetry Slam is very important to students that are interested in the art community because it gives students another opportunity to express themselves freely,” Burks said.

The idea of broadening the culture within this institution is one that Burks feels strengthens the Athens community and ultimately, helps to unify the student body. Burks said OUABJ intends on implementing more programs like the Poetry Slam, which creates opportunities to garner the attention of aspiring, black journalists and encourages students to use their voices.

“This Slam is so important for OUABJ because we are able to give voices to our diverse student body,” Burks said. “I hope the organization gains more members to join as well as more opportunities to reach out to our student body with different events that will bring a large crowd.”

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