By Justice Santa Cruz Skyline Student Life and Politics Correspondent
ALPINE- February is Black History Month. To help celebrate, the Skyline interviewed two students about some of their experiences at Sul Ross as African-American co-eds.
Cierra Noel, Senior film major said, “When I first came to Sul Ross, I was not at all excited. This was a humongous change for me, coming all the way from Houston.” Noel continued, “That changed pretty quickly. Everyone was really welcoming, and there was a huge community of POCs [persons of color] on campus. I felt right at home.”
Tokosh “TK” Wheeler, a Sul Ross Junior kinesiology major explained his first days at Sul Ross immediately offered completely new and unique experiences. “One of my first experiences at SRSU was hiking to The Desk. I’d never been hiking before.”
“It was welcoming, only because it made me get out my comfort zone and interact with fellow students,” said Wheeler.
Noel agreed with the welcoming nature of the campus. “I’ve only had welcoming experiences here on campus. Lobo Days is what made me realize I’d be okay out here in West Texas. I made friends because of it and found a community with all kinds of majors,” Noel said.
When asked if it was easy to get along with other students, Wheeler said, “I think it’s easy to get along with anybody. There’s always a time and a place for everything.”
“It has been pretty easy for me, personally. Everyone is really kind for the most part,” Noel said.
On the subject of specific moments when they felt especially connected to the university or community, Wheeler pointed out that the community on the Hill is what connects him stating, “Connected to the [Alpine] community, no, not at all, but to the university, yes. The RAs host events for the students to do things. There’s bingo night, Fall on the Mall, etc.”
Noel agreed that it’s all about the campus activities. “Yes,” she exclaimed of the moments that stick out, explaining, “Any dorm games we played. Once, Lobo Villages I and II played hide as seek together. I’ll never forget it—it was so much fun. She added that the theatre activities really stand out for her as bringing together the Alpine community and that of the campus. “Also, the plays! Every single time I was in a play, the school and the community showed up and out for us. I couldn’t think of a better place to do college theatre,” Noel said.
When asked if there were aspects of the African-American experience on campus they would wish to change, especially in how students interact with one another, Wheeler responded, “No, I don’t want to change anything. How other people act is their decision.”
Noel’s take was a bit more critical. She said, “I don’t know. Maybe we should all just treat each other with more love and kindness.”
Sul Ross is known for its accepting and diverse campus, but to echo Noel, we all, indeed, can use some more love and kindness. And what a fitting sentiment for Sul Ross’ celebration of Black History Month.