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Black Student Union caters to cravings with cooking competition

While winter is the time many students tire of dining hall fare, Ohio University’s Black Student Union offers a meal with some soul.

Friday, BSU will host Food for the Soul, a combined food competition, game show and banquet.

In the past, BSU has hosted speakers and programs to educate students on the importance of Black History Month. 

This year, however, Stephanie Sheeley, vice president of fundraising for BSU, decided to wrap up the month on a different note.

The group will host a dinner intended to teach attendees and educate students about Black History Month.

“I think it's a good way to get people to come together and share food,” Sheeley said. “People relate and get together over food all of the time. It's more of a fun way to end the month.”

The event is unique because it is multi-layered, Sheeley said. Participants can come and bring their favorite soul food recipes to participate in the cooking contest. The food is then judged and a winner is selected.

There are no restrictions on types of food the contestants may bring, which is an aspect that Meagan Coggins, BSU member and a junior studying education, said is what makes the event unique.

“Everybody gets to bring their own style,” Coggins said. “There are no limitations, which is what makes it a fun event to be a part of.”

For those who are not as confident in the kitchen, they can bring $2 to dine on the prepared soul food.

“I’m looking forward to a good home-cooked meal,” said Richard Moses, a freshman studying theater.

The event also has a game show aspect, where players can learn more about Black History Month.

The different facets of the event allow everyone to get something out of the event, said Sheeley.

“Students can get a good meal, a laugh, facts and a full stomach,” Sheeley said.

Coggins said she hopes to see a good turnout for the event.

“We’re doing it for Black History Month, so hopefully the excitement will still be there, and we can have high attendance rates,” Coggins said.

And though this is only their first stab at a soul food-themed event, Coggins said she hopes similar events will be hosted in the future.

“The event will hopefully allow BSU to get its name out and let it be able to expand to have even more events throughout the year,” Moses said.

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