The Black Student Union is one of the registered student organizations on Eastern’s campus that promotes the growth of students academically, through service and with social support.
Senior sociology major Brittany Britton, who is also president, shared the firsthand connection she has felt with BSU.
“I always knew BSU had a strong connection with the school,” Britton said. “What made me join is the connection that they have and how much they do for the campus.”
Britton said as a transfer student in need of building relationships on campus, BSU seemed like a good fit for her. Her Eastern alumni parents who are also former members of BSU encouraged her to find a connection there.
The BSU meetings are normally set up with “hot topics,” which range from politics and entertainment pop culture to subjects prevalent in the African-American community, such as institutional racism.
The RSO also has a segment called “Ask Shirley” where personal questions can be asked anonymously to be talked through in a group setting for the duration of the hour-long meeting.
Members are encouraged to take part in other activities on campus by increasing involvement with other RSOs too.
The BSU is hoping to network with presidents and vice presidents of other RSOs. It already has a solid connection with the NAACP and has future plans to connect with the Office of Civil Engagement and Volunteerism on campus as well.
Britton said COVID-19 has shown the BSU that collaborating with and assisting other organizations and RSOs is a must.
“Because we’re in COVID, it shows how much we have to work together,” Britton said. “So I’ve taken that personal thought and brought that to BSU to say, ‘let’s work with other RSOs,’ because we all need help doing this.”
Because of COVID-19, all RSOs have had to revamp how to continue meeting.
After Eastern went online-only in March earlier this year, BSU decided to host meetings over Instagram live.
Despite new terrain to explore, the RSO took it in stride and had a good turnout over this new platform for meetings.
The two-person format that Instagram live offers with comments on the side allows for less interruption and for individual voices to be heard loud and clear.
“Getting into virtual can be tricky, but it’s nothing that we can’t handle,” Britton said.
The BSU’s goals are to encourage, uplift and get black students involved, Britton said.
“We give them a safe space to talk about whatever it is they want to talk about — to have that connection with people that look like them, people that understand their background, that understand their stories, and also I think the overarching thing for me is just to give people an outlet,” Britton said.
The first whole team meeting with the executive board was held on Sept. 11, and the first general body meeting will be Sept. 28 at 6 p.m. on YouTube Live.
The BSU will also participate in this year’s online PantherPalooza.
Theo Edwards can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]