By Jordan Geriane
This year, Black Student Union (BSU), one of Roosevelt University’s most esteemed organizations, kicked off the academic year by hosting their “Soul Food Social” on Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2018, on the third floor of the Wabash Building. Many prospective club members attended and were able to join. The event included dinner, fun games and created a BSU family tree.
Sariah Bolden, a freshman history major and prospective BSU member, attended the social. “It was nice seeing so many people who were welcoming,” Bolden said. As a freshman, she felt that this club will help her feel more at home. “It will help me feel more accepted here at Roosevelt.” They were also able to meet and mingle with other past members, including this year’s executive board.
Officers on this year’s BSU executive board include: Ta’Tee Etta McBride as the president, Chanel Easter as the vice president, Lavada Talley as the events coordinator, Alex Jackson as the public relations chair, Je’Karia Smith as the secretary and LaToya Gaither as the community service and outreach chairperson.
BSU is an organization that promotes the celebration, acknowledgement and acceptance of black heritage. President Ta’Tee Etta McBride said the club, all its hosted events and meetings are open to every student on campus.
“We pride ourselves on providing a level of awareness for all students about the issues in Black communities,” McBride said. BSU said there are opportunities for community service, educational and career development, as well as more methods to become involved on campus and various spaces in the Chicago. McBride said that BSU is also a safe space for students to be themselves.
“The Executive Board is very excited to be able to meet more students and get them involved in different aspects of awareness. We have so much in store for this school year,” McBride said.
BSU’s first meeting took place on Wednesday, Sept. 26. They had a large group discussion regarding stereotypes, colorism and code-switching. There, many perspectives, experiences and voices were heard from many of the members.
Jayla Lawrence, a sophomore jazz vocal performance major, said she is looking forward for BSU to host activities that will help her be more empowered, and open her eyes to more issues. One specific event she is looking forward to the most is “the Melanin Ball that takes place during Black History month.”
Events where people can come together and find a common ground are just some events that senior marketing major, Imani Hill, is hoping for. “BSU has done so much for me, it’s been my source of refuge and home for me,” Hill said. Going on to say that she has met her best friends here. “These people are like my family.”
BSU’s outreach chairperson, LaToya Gaither, a junior and management/finance double major, said her goal is to build positive relationships with other organizations “through diversification and learning” so they can learn from each other’s differences.
One organization they have already partnered up with is South Loop Campus Ministry. Together, the have already planned their monthly community service outreach program called “Takin’ It To The Streets” and it will be taking place on Oct. 17. The event will involve packing lunches and passing them out to the homeless in the areas around campus.
Members of the executive board are also actively taking event suggestions for this year and highly encourage them as they are making it their duty to create events and meetings based on the interests of the student body.