The Black Student Union is back on the club scene. Due to dwindling participation, the club went on hiatus for much of the 2010-2011 school year. Now, the BSU is filing to become an Associated Students of Central Oregon Community College sponsored club once again.
“It’s a work in progress,” said Gordon Price, BSU faculty advisor and Director of Student Life at COCC. “I have about 54 names on my list of self-identified African American students at the college. While not all of these students choose to participate, I would say we probably have about 10 active members.”
In order to become an official club, applicants must have at least four student members and a COCC staff advisor. The size of BSU’s membership makes it one of the smaller student-led organizations on campus.
But the BSU is not just limited to students who identify themselves as being African American; all students are allowed to join.
“This is a group for people who are not specifically African American,” explained club participant Maya Sanders. “Understand that not all black people are of African descent. There are Jamaicans, Barbadians, Marooned Indians, Haitians and many others who don’t consider themselves Africans but still see themselves as black. You don’t even have to be dark-skinned to join the BSU, you can be white too.”
Students like Sanders want to make others aware of issues facing the black community at COCC and to promote diversity within our own larger multi-ethnic society.
The BSU, which focuses on black culture, current events and the continuing struggle for civil rights, plans to host potlucks that serve multicultural meals as well as drinks named after famous civil rights leaders. The club meets Wednesdays at 1:30 p.m. in the Multicultural Center, room 217 on the second floor of the Campus Center.