By: Ricza Lopez (Buffalo State College)
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On Friday, April 9th, 2010 the Caribbean Students Organization held their weekly General Interest Meeting. When it comes to student organizations, depending on how many positions there, everyone has an agenda. This General Interest Meeting however was not like the rest. The organization touched on the top Caribbean news that has been circling the airwaves for the past few weeks: Jamaican artists Beenie Man, Adonia, Mavado, Bounty Killer and selector Ricky Trooper had their visas revoked by the US.
CSO definitely took this issue and branched off into matters that are affecting both the Caribbean and people as a whole. Issues such as obtaining a visa, the process of immigration, and illegal immigration were discussed. CSO also educated the membership that afternoon on these topics to debunk the myths that were probably instilled from within. Many members also shared personal experiences that touched them directly, indirectly or situations that affected people that they knew.
One female definitely sparked up a controversial question which was: why is it that immigrants come to the US to inhabit a country that isn’t there and take up all the jobs? To summarize what three people said, for one, immigrants come to the US for a better life period. They come here because of the perception that life will be easier than it was at home but most of all for an opportunity at life, making money and higher education. On top of that, immigrants make up a lot of the population of the United States. Compared to people that were born here, immigrants that come to the US are willing to do the dirty work, low wage jobs and work for money off the books because they need to do whatever for the means of survival, but most of all living for the American Dream
Another matter that was touched on was with these big artists having their visa revoked, it raised several question. One of the obvious ones was of course why. There were also speculations of these artists being linked with a drug ring, breaching a treaty that the US had with Jamaica and blackmail. The membership interacted with the Executive Board in sharing their thoughts and coming up with ideas as to how this matter is going to affect the Dancehall industry in the long run. Matter such as this make it very difficult to not only witness the person behind the music but also have a broader audience get exposed to this music.
Founded in 1985, the Caribbean Students Organization lives up to its mission statement of enlightening and bringing awareness to the college community of anything and everything Caribbean. While one doesn’t have to be Caribbean to join, we have members from all over taking part of our organization to enlighten us and others as people, which what our organization strives for to coincide with the college’s mission to provide student life outside of the classroom. The Caribbean Students Organization takes pride in many events and programs that we are known for such as our Caribbean Awareness Week, Dollar Jam, Caribash, Island Inclusives, Entertainment Explosions and Culture Shows. For more information on the Caribbean Students Organization, check out their Facebook page at : http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/group.php?gid=2203083189&ref=ts