Black Student Union promotes unity


Kendal Santiago, Staff Writer

Since 1969, The Black Student Union (BSU) has been spreading awareness about the African-American culture. Members of the organization strive to promote diversity and unity on the Utica College campus by hosting both social and educational events.

BSU President Patricia Gortman is very excited and prepared for the upcoming academic year: “This year, BSU plans to do more than we’ve ever done before,” Gortman said.

Gortman is planning ahead for the organization’s popular annual events, such as their Halloween fashion show, “Freight the Fashion,” their Kwanzaa banquet, and “Apollo Night.”

Gortman decided to try something new for her second term as president of BSU. She has created a total of six committees within the organization. This will give members the opportunity to “choose which areas they want to shine in” (Gortman). Each organization will host events according to their committee, ensuring that the organization will have a greater variety of well-planned events.

BSU historian Gi Boone is equally excited for what BSU has to offer this year. As historian, Boone’s job is to take pictures at events hosted by BSU, and keep an organized collection of them for future members.

“To me that is very important because it allows future generations to see how much we evolved,” Boone said.

“I admired the fact that there was actually a group of students who looked like me and faced similar struggles that I went through,” said Boone when asked why she joined BSU. “I also saw the opportunity to make friends, which eventually, I did.”

Boone respects that BSU spreads love and promotes unity on the Utica College campus.

UC senior Alliyah McClellan is a new member of the Black Student Union. After attending a few events hosted by BSU, McClellan decided she wanted to be a part of the organization.

“I had obviously heard about the organization, but I didn’t know much about what they do on campus,” McClellan said. “I attended one of their jeopardy games, and a couple forums they had. I had a great time, and learned a lot at each event.”

McClellan encourages other students to join the organization. She has already made a few friends and has gained some valuable skills. She looks forward to not only learning more from her peers, but teaching her peers at Utica College through her own events.

“Although our organization’s name is ‘Black Student Union,’ we do not single out students. We have events that allow everyone to participate in,” said Gi Boone. The purpose and goal of the Utica College’s Black Student Union is to create a diverse and unified campus.

Regardless of one’s race, religion, or nationality, BSU welcomes everyone with open arms. If you are someone who is interested in the work of the Black Student Union, making friends, or just want to get a better idea of what BSU does, they hold their meeting every Sunday at 2 p.m. in North Hall basement. Be sure to keep a lookout for BSU’s upcoming events.