TUCSON, Ariz. — If you ask some students at the University of Arizona how they feel about the African American Student Affairs, they'll tell you, it's family.
"It's really comfortable to be in a space where I'm allowed to be myself," said UA sophomore, Maryan Hassan.
"It's become a family to me because it makes me feel safe," added UA freshman, Nailah Shabaka.
After a reported assault on campus, which some say was motivated by racial prejudice. a group of students found support on campus at AASA.
UA freshman, Elijah Manning, has only been in Tucson for a month, he says news of an assault wasn't the welcome he hoped for.
"One thing it really did was make me afraid to tell my mother," Manning said, "my mom is miles away in New Jersey and she stresses just that I'm here."
With doors open all weekend at the Martin Luther King Jr. Center, Elijah changed his original plan to cope with tension on campus.
"I know I'd be sitting in my dorm right now, probably be listening to some sad Drake or something."
"We're students and our main focus should be our education," Hassan said, "but we're out here doing labor that shouldn't be ours."
Like any family, following a difficult period, this one came together, in one place, to strengthen their bond.
"I feel like if it didn't happen then maybe less people would be coming in, less sense of family would happening." Shabaka said.