Derek Hamilton, Staff Writer
The Black Student Union recently turned 50 years old. In all the time BSU has existed on campus, the UC community has changed both in the student and faculty base and in the environment surrounding the campus.
BSU was founded in 1969 by a several UC students who were part of the United Students organization. Their original mission was “to inform both black and white students of the Negro in this society and, hopefully, promote more humanitarian attitudes toward the Negro in America.” This statement was recorded from the original founders.
During the founding of the BSU, six students decided to hold a sit-in in the computer lab in the basement of the library. Soon after, agreements were reached with the college president of the time, Dr. J. Kenneth Donahue, to create the official campus organization BSU.
The current BSU is active and can be seen around campus holding events and being a voice of change for those of African American descent in the college community.
Part of BSU’s original mission was to have lectures by prominent black speakers on the campus to inform and educate the college, along with courses on African American history and achievements. They also wished to establish a cultural center on campus for African Americans and have the college make a more concentrated effort to recruit minority students to the college.
Though the state of racial equality has changed over the years across America, including UC, members of the campus community still cite issues.
The current president of BSU Chynna Sang said, “During my time being a member of The Black Student Union I’ve seen many changes, recently we’ve gotten the black student union room re-done and many changes have been set in place about the way that organizations run things and we’ve also seen a change in administration meaning the administration of color.
Taniese Wigfall a junior on the E-board of the BSU said, “There have been many things that have happened since BSU was founded many groundbreaking events we were able to give the students of color a voice which is one of the reasons BSU was founded and we were able to keep BSU going strong for 50 years after it was founded.”
Wigfall spoke further, “Some changes I’ve seen in BSU are the renovation of the BSU room in North Hall basement, I’ve to see BSU grow as an organization itself and I’ve seen many of the administrators admire and recognize BSU as one of the well-known organizations on campus and as a leader for diversity on this campus.”
BSU continues to raise awareness and lead several protests over the years and speaking directly with faculty and staff to initiate communication and spark change.