BSU Ready to Go
“The Black Student Union has the potential to be one of the most influential groups on this campus,” says BSU Vice-President Charles Simon. It’s surprising that the club is only a year old given how established it’s become on campus, sponsoring some of the most popular events in the 2014-15 year.
The BSU began for the first time last year. Vice President Charles Simon saw a need for the group on campus and with the help of many administrators and students, decided to make it happen. Simon’s mother created a similar group on her campus, making him feel like it was something important that he could bring to the table. After a lot of work and partnering with the local chapter of the NAACP, BSU has done a lot for SFUAD. Their Black History Show and Woman’s Appreciation Show were some of the most popular events last year, bringing a lot of excitement and awareness to campus.
Both President Tikia “Fame” Hudson and Simon want to see BSU grow even more this year, with a focus on educational events. Along with the Black History Show, BSU wants to foster learning in the community. This desire stems from ignorance around Black History in the education system. Hudson grew up in Texas and while her high school taught black history, many schools in the state do not and even plan to erase the already limited amount of black history from their upcoming textbooks. One of her plans for BSU is to reach out to those behind the rewrite to stop it. “We’re going to do our research to see how we can reach out to them; how we can write letters [and] petitions… We need this. We already don’t have enough information in the books,” Hudson says.
Hudson and Simon have fostered a strong relationship between the BSU and the local chapter of the NAACP. Simon is incredibly inspired by the meetings they’ve had with the organization. “Everyone is so supportive,” he says. “No one ever said ‘Who are these young guys on the block trying to do something?’ They were like, ‘We’re overjoyed that you’re doing something like this!’ ” He feels at very home in the long established group. “All you want to do is sit under them and soak up all the game you can,” he says. “Going to those meetings really helps you refine your spot in time.”
While the BSU is focused primarily on African American issues on campus, the club wants to branch out to tackle other minority problems as well. Both Hudson and Simon desire to reach out to other minority groups on campus such as COLORS and The Indigenous Cultures Club. The BSU collaborated last year with the ICC on both the Woman’s Appreciation Show and the ICC’s Cultural Gathering event. The BSU is asking the question “What is it to be a minority on campus?” and with that “How can we help each other?”
Simon is also excited to start his own project sponsored by the BSU this year. After a little soul searching, the business arts major recently became inspired by Buddhist and Hindu self realization practice. “Throughout my life I always felt like there was something to figure out and there was something to find and as I’ve gotten older I’ve figured out that that person and that thing is me,” Simon expressed, having dealt with depression for much of his life. Now he wants to use what he’s learned help others with their own self realization. He plans to start a support group that will meet once a month starting Oct. 15. He hopes to help others “lift their heads up.”
The club has other events planned for this year as well. The Black History Show will be even bigger this year with hopes of moving into the Greer Garson Theatre. “We want to make it more theatrical this year,” Hudson says who will also head the Woman’s Appreciation Show once again this spring. BSU is also excited about having STD education and HIV testing on campus as well as a Breast Cancer Awareness event in later the fall.
The BSU holds meetings every Thursday at 9 p.m. in Benildus 105 and is welcome to students of all backgrounds who are dedicated to making an impact on campus.