The Santos Manuel Student Union (SMSU) and the Black Faculty Staff Student Association have come together to create an open mic night for students and faculty and express themselves in a poetry slam.
Poetry slam is an event where people read their original poems without using props or music. Slam poetry differs from regular poetry because it allows mistakes and helps showcase the rawness of the poets’ feelings. The purpose of events like these is to allow CSUSB students to have the freedom to express themselves and show their talent. There are other similar events on campus such as “Speak Yo Truth.”
A variety of special guests attended the events such as CSUSB’s President Thomas Morales, Eddie Bell, and Lynne Thompson. Eddie Bell is an author, poet, and motivational speaker who is also great friends with President Thomas Morales. Bell shared his poetry and what it meant to him as he wrote his book. Thompson is an author and poet who also read her own poetry. These special guests were part of the first half of the event and therefore helped any students or faculty interested in performing to ease their nerves before they began on the second part of the event.
Amber Giller an English major at CSUSB stated, “Poetry to me means expressing yourself and making sense out of thoughts happening in your head. I write poetry when I need to keep myself calm so seeing events like Poetry Slam makes me enjoy CSUSB more because they are giving students the opportunity to express themselves.” As an English major, Giller has been taught how poetry works and how poetry breaks many rules that different writing styles have.
This event brought a number of students that came to support their fellow Yotes. Jose Rodriguez a student at CSUSB stated, “I enjoy coming to these events and participating in them because you feel welcomed and invited to just be yourself and vibe with other students.”
There was a sign-in sheet designated for the event to allow students to register and express themselves through slam poetry. Rodriguez was close to performing but he became nervous and decided to not write his name on the sign-in sheet.
The SMSU has a ton of events throughout the year to cater to each students. Josh LaBel, a student that attends many of CSUSB events stated, “Events like this one where our school gives students opportunities to express themselves is what keeps CSUSB diverse. Being able to hear and understand peoples thoughts and concerns helps us be better as community.”