The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus


‘ONYXX’ debuts April 25

Tabari Stillman, a senior CCPA major, is the creator of “ONYXX,” a newsletter focusing on SMU’s black community. Its premier publication will be distributed in Hughes-Trigg on Tuesday, April 25.

“It’s initially geared towards the African-American community to unify us- and to spread a little diversity to the [SMU] community,” said Stillman.

The newsletter is the culmination of Stillman’s independent studies project, which fulfills the Diversity Education Program (DEP) requirement for living in the Multicultural House.

Stillman chose the title “ONYXX” because “onyx is a black, precious stone that was worn by a lot of royalty back in the Bible days. The extra ‘X’ is just for style.”

ONYXX offers a way to connect black athletes and black students on campus.

According to Ivory Welcome, the publication’s athlete feature writer, most black athletes do not participate in activities hosted by the Association of Black Students (ABS), unlike their non-athlete counterparts. Because the two groups are not exposed to each other, they do not really know one another.

Stillman explained, “I think a lot of problems stem from the fact that we don’t really understand each other.”

“ONYXX” will contain a black student spotlight written by Stillman, an athlete spotlight written by Welcome, an issues column written by Tiffany Turner, a fashion column written Whitney Patterson, a family column written by Tamara McCollough and a recipe.

Stillman is using the spotlight articles to attract a readership, which will allow students to learn about each other and upcoming events.

The first issue will feature Mario Walker, a freshman football player, as the student-athlete. Georgia Tomah, a junior and native of Liberia, is the featured student.

The feature stories “make students see a life other than their own-what others went through,” said Tomah. “I came her from Liberia. The reason why my parents came here was because of the war.”

Also, the first issue contains an article discussing the vote to rebuild New Orleans, an issue pertinent to the black community. The recipe Perfect Peach Cobbler is from a woman at Stillman’s church whose cooking her calls “culinary soul food.” In the future he hopes students will submit their favorite recipes.

“Diversity is just different points of view-different ways of life. Everything is diverse. We can’t be in existence and not be diverse because there are so many people from different walks of life,” said Stillman.

To promote diversity on campus, Stillman sent a draft of the newsletter to majority organizations such as Student Senate and Program Council Monday to receive feedback before the initial publication.

According to Stillman, most people he has pitched the newsletter to seem very excited about it.

When the newsletter debuts, Stillman will distribute it to groups who would not typically hear the African-American voice. He has not decided which organizations he will target.

“[Stillman]’s doing one publication this year for his independent studies project, and then ABS will pick it up for a monthly publication next year,” said Karen L. Click, Stillman’s project contact and staff member for the DEP.

According to Click, the Department of Multicultural Student Affairs covers the cost of all independent studies projects, so she is working with Stillman to discuss ways of keeping the cost of this year’s single publication to a minimum, such as sending it via campus-wide e-mail.

Stillman wants to circulate the newsletter in a mass e-mail to allow readers to view it in full-color in addition to distributing hard copies in the student center and to organizations.

Click and Stillman decided to leave future funding of “ONYXX” up to ABS when it starts the newsletter next school year.

“I think it’s a great opportunity to bridge the cultural differences at SMU,” said Click.

More to Discover