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Feb. 12 kicked off the first-ever Activity Hour at Radford University. The event was a way for the students at Radford to come together for a Friday of fun, dancing, and to celebrate the end of the week. At other universities, Activity Hour is a bi-weekly event that occurs at specially designated locations at the institution. They are most commonly found at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), but undergraduates here felt that because Radford is a predominately white institution (PWI), having an Activity Hour would make it more common and bring about greater diversity.
“It is an anomaly. Our Greek Life isn’t as prominent as having it at something like this and we need to make sure that this tradition remains here at this PWI. This is an effort for us to bring the community together,” said Lawrence Davin, treasurer of Activity Hour.
The committee that created Activity Hour at Radford, P.L.U.G., is an acronym for Powerful Leaders United for Growth. P.L.U.G. is not simply a single entity founded by its own spontaneous generation, it was a collaborative power move involving multiple organizations: Diversity Awareness Programming, Men of Standards, Pretii Women, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Incorporated, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Incorporated, Black Student Alliance, and The Center for Diversity and Inclusion.
Though an Activity Hour is something students have been trying to implement on campus for years, it is just now taking its first steps at this university.
“Continuing to have events such as these will be key for Radford University to be able to express its appreciation for the underrepresented student organizations, as well as the diverse student body,” said Vice President of the Rho Zeta Chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Michael Facey.
The launch of Activity Hour was supposed to have its initial kick-off in the Mac Courts located at the bottom level of the Student Recreation and Wellness Center. However, due to certain difficulties and differing opinions from officials, the event had to be moved to a different location at the last minute. This shift in scheduling nearly stopped Activity Hour from happening altogether.
“Trying to reserve a space was difficult because the faculty at the Mac Courts gave us a lot of miscommunication. P.L.U.G. was trying to bring diversity to the university and was halted by their staff, so in order to bring the event to light we had to make other arrangements,” BJ Keen, the new president of P.L.U.G. said.
Despite the controversy, the P.L.U.G. committee hosted the premiere event in Muse Banquet Hall from 6-8 p.m., and regardless of being the first of its kind, it turned out to have a tremendous amount of support.
“I thought it was good turnout, hopefully everyone who came out saw it was a good event and I’m thinking they will invite more people to come. It was a great way to unwind on a Friday after an intense week,” added Secretary of Pretii Women Briana Smith.
Featured events during the hour were a miniature bowling contest, plenty of food, and a DJ. Organizations were also given the opportunity to better brand themselves by registering to have a table during the night. It was a chance for executive groups to come together and share ideas with others while announcing upcoming events to all that were in attendance.
The Friday night Activity Hour ended at 8 p.m. with a couple shoutouts from organizations about upcoming events and how people can get further involved. The P.L.U.G. committee plans to host another Activity Hour roughly two weeks from now, but only if they are able to secure ample space on campus for the event who’s mission is to promote unity on Radford’s campus.