As one of the main events of the Black History Month, the Outside Speakers Committee and Black Students’ Union had invited cartoonist Aaron McGruder to the UR on Feb. 9.

However, due to a scheduling conflict, the event had to be cancelled at the last minute.” Aaron McGruder’s show was cancelled due to contractual obligations,” Associate Director of Wilson Commons Student Activities Melissia Schmidt said. “As a result, all of his college dates had been cancelled.”

The ticket sales are currently being refunded at the Common Market, where they were first purchased. Students will receive a full refund for their ticket.

According to BSU President and junior Laura Porterfield, the cancellation was due to the new project that McGruder is working on currently.

“His comic strip is being translated to a film, and apparently production is very far behind, so his agent told him that he needed to go to Korea right away,” Porterfield said.

McGruder was not only forced to cancel his show at UR, but also four other shows at various universities across the country.

In his renowned comic strip, “The Boondocks,” McGruder presents issues that deal with race relations, interracial marriage and juvenile crimes. He began publishing the strip in the University of Maryland’s student newspaper, and now the strip is circulated by more than 350 newspapers. Due to his unique approach towards addressing controversial issues like race, McGruder earned many fans and his popularity has grown tremendously. Fox Television will soon be making an animated version of the strip.

“[I am] very upset,” Porterfield said. “I’ve seen him speak before at Emory University and was looking forward to hearing him speak.”

“OSC and BSU have been trying to get him to come here since last year, and it is unfortunate that he had to cancel,” Porterfield said. “Plus it puts OSC and BSU in a bind – we are now left without a speaker for the Black History Month.”

However, this cancellation does not mean that there will be no more speakers coming to UR for the rest of the semester.

“Fortunately we will have the opportunity to have someone else come later this semester,” External Chair of OSC and senior Dan Apfel said.”This person has not been chosen yet.”

According to Apfel, students are encouraged to come to OSC’s weekly meetings.

These are held at 8 p.m. on Wednesdays in Wilson Commons 121.

“The more people who come to our meetings, the wider variety of opinions and voices we have,” Apfel said. “This way, more people will be satisfied with the guests who we have to come visit UR.”

Aoyama can be reached at yaoyama@campustimes.org.



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