By Christopher Gillett
The Black Student Union hosted its second-annual VERZUZ, a karaoke event open to all Youngstown State University students, to destress before midterms, on the evening of Feb. 25 in the Rossi Room in Kilcawley Center.
The event gave attendees the opportunity to sing any song they wanted to, compete for prizes, have food and socialize with one another. VERZUZ was the last event the outgoing president hosted. The event acted as a part of a transition in the BSU.
The BSU founder and outgoing President David Hughley III, a senior business administration major, said it’s great to see people perform songs.
“[I enjoy] seeing people perform their songs of any genre — classic, rock, hip hop, R&B [and] soul. It doesn’t matter. It’s just about having fun,” Hughley said.
Incoming BSU President Julian Johnson, a junior political science major, also hosted the event with Hughley and said he was excited to host his first event for the club.
“I’m just excited for the turnout and great vibes from the student body, and also partly hosting my first event,” Johnson said.
Hughley said BSU’s events, like VERZUZ, have changed as the organization has grown.
“[BSU is] a much bigger organization. We volunteer more. We have more funds to do stuff like this — much more leadership, and just, we’re an entirely different organization. We’ve definitely expanded since we started here,” Hughley said.
Johnson also said he was expecting a lot of turnout for VERZUZ because of the club’s outreach.
“For my first time, I’m expecting a good turnout for the event, because we did advertise this really well, and just getting ready to host events and just be a part of Black Student Union as president,” Johnson said.
Johnson said he was ecstatic to assume full-time leadership of the BSU, and to rebrand the club to make it more like a family.
“I’m most excited for the events in the future — to be honest — I’m trying to rebrand [the BSU], to make [the organization] a nice family-type atmosphere,” Johnson said. “We’re gonna have a lot of fun with it. And also the club is not just open to [African Americans], it’s open to everybody to join.”
For many members of the BSU, it was their first time attending VERZUZ. Junior social work major Kani Jones-Thomas, the treasurer for the BSU, was among those attending for the first time. He said he was most excited about meeting and having fun with club members.
“We’ve been having a lot more people coming and getting involved within the club. So, it’d be more exciting to have more people come in or have the same faces come up and get to know them more,” Jones-Thomas said.
The BSU is open to all YSU students, for anyone interested in joining the club, email Johnson at [email protected]