By Irma Gomez
Black Student Union (BSU) plans to switch it up during its annual Black History Month celebration. During the month of February, BSU will replace its weekly meetings for events that celebrates black culture and pride.
“One thing we talk about is how to have a historically black college experience even though we’re not in one, but implement some of their activities and missions,” said BSU President Brittney Austin.
The kick-off event will be “Identity and Culture” on Feb. 7 where members hope to help broaden the understanding that not all black people go through the same struggles.
“We want to hype knowledge about people of color that are not necessarily talked about or hear about,” said Austin. “We think representation is important for those who identify as black or brown since it is usually not as present.”
Austin said that the event will allow for people to share their individual experiences as people of color.
“In terms of gender, race, religion and socioeconomic status, each person will have different experiences. This particular event will be one of our more serious events where we can sit down and share how we each identify with our blackness or browness,” said Austin.
The following week BSU will celebrate Valentine’s Day by having an open session of “Trap Yoga” in the Goodman Center. While Valentine’s Day brings the thought of relationships and giving love to a significant other, BSU hopes that people in attendance take the time to practice self-love.
On Feb. 21, BSU announced it will continue its collaboration with South Loop Campus Ministries during the group’s “Take it to the Streets” event where members pack food for the homeless and distribute it around in the Loop.
To cap off the month BSU will be hosting a “Melanin Ball” on Feb. 22. This event is open to all students. However, in order to attend the event students should’ve signed up by Feb. 1.
“I’m most excited for the Melanin Masquerade Ball,” says Secretary of BSU, Chanel Easter. “This is RU’s first thing like that and I am super excited to see how it all turns out. Not only will it be a great night of looking cute and dancing, but just another reminder of how fun it is to celebrate black culture.”
Along with the RU student population, BSU has sparked interest among neighboring colleges. Some of the colleges that have asked to attend include: DePaul, Loyola, Columbia and even schools without clubs that celebrate black culture like Robert Morris and Harold Washington, have asked to take part of it.
BSU has also partnered with the organizations Level Up, Power Up and Multicultural Student Support Services to sell tickets for students to see the upcoming film “Black Panther.”
BSU hopes that people are not intimidated to attend these events since most think that Black History Month events or anything with the word black only pertains to black students. “Our mission statement and what we represent is open to all even though we focus on issues of people of color, but we need those who don’t identify (as a person of color) in the conversation as well as long as they are open minded to learn about our culture,” Austin said.