Amplifying Voices!

What the Black Student Union Can Do

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Black Student Unions promote diversity and awareness. Why don’t we have one at Somerset?

Kiera Felix, Staff Writer

What Black Student Unions Can Do

The Black Student Union is not about politics, the BSU is for the students!

Today, many campuses across the United States host Black Student Unions. These play an essential role in creating a safe space that amplifies the voices of young black students. 

It’s Roots

The first black student union was founded in 1966 at San Francisco State University. One of the founders, Jimmy Garret who attended the university at that time, was in search of a group he could be a part of. There were fraternities, sororities, and other groups for African Americans at the college. However, Jimmy did not feel he connected with any of them. Due to this, Jimmy Garret later went on to start the first Black Student Union with Jerry Vernado, another student attending San Francisco at the time. The two created an organization that unified African Americans on the college campus. 

What is the BSU?

Some today view Black Student Unions as going hand in hand with politics, but that is far from the truth. Just because the title has the word “black” in it does not mean it comes with a political agenda tied to it. “BSU is an organization, whose primary concern is to assist students in their educational endeavors. Realizing that students have needs outside the educational institutions, the BSU attempts to provide supportive services, which may or may not be directly educationally related, yet equally important to the educational experience ”, Indiana University’s Division of Diversity Equity and Inclusions says. The Black Student provides a sense of community, at schools and campuses. They also educate members on history and culture. Black Student Unions serve as a place students can go to regarding issues they are having and create a safe space, a community that they may not find in the classroom. Black students are not discriminatory of different races or backgrounds, and anyone can join the union. Everyone should be culturally aware, and the BSU cultivates cultural awareness among students. The BSU is not a group of rioters, a group of racist individuals, or a group of democrats. It’s an organization filled with students who want to be more aware, assist their community, and gain wisdom.

Benefits of Black student Union to Students

Black student unions help and allow students of color who attend a school to feel acknowledged and encouraged, especially in predominantly white institutions. It also helps African American students be represented in a positive light. The organization should push for members to be supported through their academic and personal struggles. It also helps get higher African American acceptance rates into colleges. Members of the union are encouraged to graduate and receive the help they need to graduate. It essentially can serve as a bridge, bringing together African American students and their peers and community. The members of the organization take place in community activities, fundraisers, team activities, and group discussions that could help them grow, become aware, and become involved.

Somerset should have a BSU

Many students at somerset have expressed interest in forming a Black Student Union. As the school continues to grow and allow more opportunities and activities for its students, having a Black Student Union would support this diversity. The Black Student Union can also add to the sense of community at the Canyons, and give off some school spirit. A Black student union’s purpose is to unify and create a community, in which the end goal is students succeeding and growing. A BSU, High School Charter, would support a drive towards diversity and acceptance at Somerset, where unity is necessary.