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ariell milner with group

Tiffin Tuesdays featuring Ariell Milner

Ariell Milner, you have been selected for this week’s #TiffinTuesdays for your work with BUS in preparation for the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebrations.

Tell us about BUS and what it means to you?
BUS stands for Black United Students, and it is a chapter of the Black Student Union. Our organization is here to be a voice for students. We also provide various educational and cultural experiences on campus through our events and meetings. For me, BUS is a great way for students to share what makes them unique, voice issues they face, and express their opinions on any topic in a safe and comfortable setting.

Why do you feel that BUS is an important group to be a part of?
BUS is an important group to be a part of because we are here to serve and unify all students. Addressing the needs of students is very important to us. Sometimes this includes having serious conversations about issues that students are facing and the different ways of resolving them. It can also include providing bonding events and opportunities for students to de-stress and come together to have some fun on campus. I think that any group that works to benefit and unify students is important and worth being a part of.

What does BUS mean to Tiffin University?
For Tiffin University, BUS is an outlet for students, especially minorities. When students inform us of issues they face on campus or concerns that they have, we work to help eliminate those problems for them. We are here to be the voice for students and to positively impact the campus.

Why is BUS such a large part of the planning process for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Celebration?
Historically, BUS has always been a part of the planning process for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Celebration. He played a large role in the civil rights movement by working for equality, while preaching nonviolence. Dr. King risked his life and eventually died, as a result of being a civil rights activist because he believed so strongly in the equal rights that every human being deserves. BUS also believes in equality for all people. We aim to serve and unify students to ensure that everyone on Tiffin University’s campus is treated equally and fairly. Dr. King is an excellent role model for our mission, so we honor him for the work that he completed and the influence that he still has on society.

What changes have been made from last year’s celebration to this year?
This year, the celebration has larger educational aspects that will take place the day of the holiday. The service aspect of the celebration will take place on Wednesday, January 17 instead of on the holiday, as it did last year. This is also the first year that classes will not be in session on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, as a way of honoring Dr. King. Members of the campus now have the option to celebrate on-campus or can remain with their family and friends to celebrate this holiday as they please, without having to miss class.

Tell us about the celebration.
The celebration will include several breakout sessions on campus from student organizations, faculty and staff. These sessions will cover a variety of topics and provide an educational experience for the members of the audience. We will also have Nate Washington, who is a former NFL player, as our keynote speaker.

Other than planning, what is your role in the celebration?
The role of the executive board of BUS is to work with the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Committee to make sure that the day runs smoothly. BUS will also be leading an interactive break out session during the celebration.

Who should go to the celebration?
The celebration is open to not only the campus, but the community as well. Anyone who is available should attend the celebration.

What does Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. mean to you?
For me, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. represents much more than himself and all the work that he completed to ensure that everyone is treated equally and fairly. When I think of him, I also think of all the people he influenced, the people who worked for the same goals as him, and all the work that those people completed as well. If it were not for all the brave men and women who have fought and continue to fight for equality, we would not live in a society as we do today. There is still much progress that needs to be made, but people like Dr. King have taken great strides when it comes to equality. Therefore, I am tremendously grateful to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

If you could sit down for lunch with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., what are two questions you would ask him?
1. Since our society has changed so much since the time of your social protests, would your strategy for overcoming inequality also change or remain the same? If it were to change, how so?
2. The civil rights activist or leaders of your time had skill sets that helped them achieve their goals. What are the characteristics or skills that you find to be the most valuable for people who are trying to produce change among their society?