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In North Las Vegas, CSN rap sessions cover ‘crucial conversations’

Cheers roared from a conference room at the College of Southern Nevada North Las Vegas campus May 9 as students competed during Battle of the Sexes, an event testing the knowledge of male versus female students.

The event was part of the Black Student Union’s rap sessions, which are held every other week.

“For this particular session, we wanted to make it fun since it’s the end of the year,” said Krista Kelly, vice president of the Black Student Union. “But usually we discuss issues that the black community often face — injustice, unequal rights, health and diet, colorisim — issues like that.”

The sessions started in fall 2018, Kelly said. They began as informal discussions. Her sister, Karli Kelly, who served as president of the BSU until April, took the steps to make it a formal group meeting.

“So instead of music and art and that kind of thing, the idea was to have these crucial conversations,” said Ashton Ridley, the primary adviser for the BSU and manager of multicultural affairs at CSN.

“Getting those different perspectives and really being analytical and seeing problems from a different area are important — having other cultures or age brackets to see the struggles that others go through and kind of work through those processes to be more inclusive of others.”

The organization has about 12 sessions each semester, Krista Kelly said.

“In today’s world, everyone’s so quick to say, ‘I have freedom of speech,’ but the moment that right is exercised, it’s like, ‘Oh, no, what you just said is wrong,’” she said. “The space of having a rap session allows the students and faculty members and whoever wants to attend (to) say what they want without being judged.

Contact Mia Sims at msims@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0298. Follow @miasims___ on Twitter.

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