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The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News


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The Black Student Union provides a welcoming space for students

Cam’ron Hardy

Being the President of the Black Student Union was not on Senior, early childhood major, Ashley Mickens’ lists of things to do coming into her college years. 

Mickens’ freshman year was online because of Covid-19. Finally able to be active on campus her sophomore year, she wanted to be involved within the black community. 

She started as a general body position and made her way to a historian by her junior year. As numbers were decreasing, she still wanted to make an impact on her community. 

Starting her final year with BSU, newly elected President Mickens’ was the right fit for the job and had her expectations for the RSO ready. 

“I want people to look at BSU as a way to branch out and find your niche,” Mickens said. 

The Black Student Union meeting is usually held from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. every Monday in the Mattoon/Charleston Room at the MLK Union. 

BSU meetings are always full of surprises. This week, Dr. Anne Flaherty, vice president of student affairs, came to check in on students and get a taste of how BSU is run. 

“Your mental health and well-being is what is most important, you cannot be your best version of yourself as a student unless you use resources meant for you,” Flaherty said.

Finding different ways for students to be engaged in meetings and to participate is BSU’s mission. BSU members played “Battle of the Aux”. With a little help from Vice President, Hannah Lawerence, a junior nursing major. 

“We tackle trying to find different games to do every time we have a meeting,” Lawrence, junior nursing major stated. “We’re always trying to figure out what to do to really engage everyone.”

The three main goals for meetings are to talk about any active updates on campus and inform students about upcoming events. They also try to incorporate a mental health presentation, so members know they are not alone. Lastly, they always try to have fun!

Lawerence was very adamant on being involved at Eastern. Starting on the University Board, she took all her experience and skills and brought them over to BSU’s elective board. 

President Mickens and Vice President Lawerence alongside the help of Secretary Terrell Steele, Administrative Assistant Marshone Gordan, and Parliamentarian Shavon Edmone help other black students feel welcomed at a predominately white Institution. 


Payton Liggins can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]

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About the Contributors
Payton Liggins
Payton Liggins, Reporter
Payton Liggins is a freshman sports media relations major. This is her first year at The News.
Cam’ron Hardy
Cam’ron Hardy, News Editor
Cam'ron is a junior journalism major. He previously served news editor and campus editor at The News. 

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