WOU’s Black Student Union (BSU) is one of several student organizations on campus focused on supporting our students and creating an inclusive space for them to thrive. On the organization’s Engage page, it mentions that “The Black Student Union exists to promote cultural awareness, political awareness, and to provide support for all the students and the community.” We had a chance to speak with the organization’s president, Logan Jackson, who discussed what the organization is and its impact on the campus community. Check out Jackson’s answers below.
Can you explain what your organization does? What is your mission?
BSU as an organization was made to create a safe space for the Black students here on campus. Our mission is to establish a sense of community amongst our students while also providing students the opportunity to learn more about Black culture and get more connected with the community as a whole. While BSU is geared towards Black students, we highly encourage people of other groups to come and attend meetings and events not only to gain knowledge but to also just be there to support their Black classmates.
What is a typical meeting like at the Black Student Union?
We start out by going around and introducing everyone at the meeting by just stating our names, pronouns, and then answering a simple question like, “What made you decide to come to BSU today?” Then we go into our discussion topic for the day. We’ve set up our meetings where one week we may have a lighter topic, like talking about haircare/hairstyles, where its just kind of loud and fun–then the following week, we plan to have a more serious discussion ranging from a variety of topics and we will always end those meetings by leaving time to play some sort of game so that everyone leaves on a little bit of a ‘happier’ note.
How many members do you currently have? Is there a limit to how many members you can have?
We currently have about 10-15 members. There is no limit to how many people can join and we encourage everyone to come.
What events do you hold or have held around campus?
We mostly focus on our weekly general meeting but since the end of last year, we have begun to really try to reach out and connect with as many students as possible by offering different types of event opportunities. We have had two “Campus Kickback” events where we invited people to come listen to music, eat, and play some games. For Black History Month this year, we were really excited to have a variety of different activities and events showcasing Black culture as a whole.
How big is the commitment for a student?
The commitment isn’t bad! We have meetings every week on Tuesdays for just an hour!
What skills do members gain from their participation in the Black Student Union?
Members will gain knowledge on Black culture and experiences while also having the chance to meet and bond with people they might not have had the opportunity to before.
What has been your favorite experience within the Black Student Union, so far?
My favorite experience within the Black Student Union so far has honestly been just being able to meet and connect with more of the Black population here on campus. Only 3% of our university population is Black so being able to come to BSU to find and have that sense of community has been amazing.
They also have a couple of events happening this week as part of their Black History Month celebration.
Tonight (Tuesday, Feb. 25)
Movie Night (5 p.m. in Ackerman, room 141)
Chill out with BSU for a movie night featuring a movie from Reslifecinema
Tomorrow (Wednesday, Feb. 26)
3 Min Black History (7 p.m. in the Richard Woodcock Education Center, room 101)
A series of short presentations about black historical figures, groups, and movements! Come share your mini presentation or learn from others. Message @WOUBSU on Instagram or email JoeHahn at firstname.lastname@example.org to present.