By: Lexi Zabel
Black Student Union, also known as BSU, is a club at Graceland University that celebrates diversity on campus through spreading knowledge by holding discussions about the African American culture, hosting unique and fun events, and building a community between students. More specifically, when asked about the goal of Black Student Union, Maniya Watkins, the President of BSU responds with, “for BSU this year we not only want to help integrate our culture more into Graceland, but also just help bring everyone together so it's just a more comfortable environment for not only the African students, but other people on campus as well.”
As February is Black History Month, Watkins and the members of BSU have been doing a variety of things to highlight their culture and share their experience with others. For example, a couple weeks ago BSU put on a spirit week for students and staff. Each day, a different color was worn to represent their unification through colors. Monday was black for the courage African Americans had while they fought for their freedom, Tuesday was yellow for the optimism and prosperity of the back race, Wednesday was red to represent the blood of the lives that have been taken, Thursday was green for community and grasslands of Africa, and lastly, Friday was white for the innocence and the fight for good. BSU also put on a roller-skating night because as Watkins explains, “roller-skating is really big in our culture.” It is also a fun event that everyone can try. Lastly, Watkins mentioned that they held a 2000’s throwback theme at Choices because the atmosphere and the kind of music that was played is very big and has always brought African Americans together as people. Along with this, students were able to connect and be proud of their differences through this event.
Black Student Union has greatly impacted Graceland this year and Watkins “hopes to continue this legacy for BSU and expand it different ways by teaching people more about our culture.” It will be exciting to see the progress and increase in involvement of BSU in the future!