Black Student Union aims to foster sense of community

From bake sales and study tables to fashion shows and game nights, the Black Student Union is all about building community.

The group, which has about 65 members, puts on a number of events throughout the year. But most importantly, it hosts weekly meetings to discuss controversial topics or bring up anything that’s happened on campus, allowing people to speak openly and honestly, free of judgement.

“BSU is here to ensure a safe place for Black students to be themselves and keep them moti- vated, since we are the minority on campus,” Zack Cotton, the group’s president, said in an interview.

Cotton said an organization like this is important because it can help motivate Black students to push through and finish their college degrees, as it’s sometimes difficult for them to get and remain in college.

He aims to get more black people involved, being that there are more on campus than previous years.

Some activities that they have done include a bake sale fundraiser, with the hopes of being able to purchase BSU t-shirts for the group. They have also hosted study tables, and volunteered with the Titan Equity Nourish Network, another organization on campus, where they helped deliver goods to the nearby community and helped plant fruits and vegetables.

In the future, BSU plans on doing a lot more to get noticed on campus.

On October 19th, BSU will host another bake sale. In November, there will be an open mic night geared towards poets, singers and writers of all kinds, as well as “Frans-giving” before Thanksgiving Break.

Plans that are already in the works for next semester include a partner- ship with the businesses on Livernois. In the spirit of Black History Month, BSU wants to host a fashion show here on campus promoting the clothes from black-owned business- es, as well as a pop-up shop to show their support.

Jada Manns, a senior biochemistry major, has been involved with BSU the past two years. She is Jamaican, Brazilian, and has some Egyptian in her bloodline as well and said she enjoyed participating in the bake sale last year.

Hailey Ambers, a sophomore majoring in Health Services Administration, and Favour Nwaneri, a sophomore nursing major, both joined a little over a year ago.

So far, they both have participated in the game night collab with fraternities, attended all the weekly meetings, and bought goods at the bake sale fundraiser. Ambers is African American, and Nwaneri is African.

They both are really involved in BSU, as well as many other groups on campus, such as UDM Pride. Cotton emphasized how hard it is to do things within the organization because of how busy everyone is. “A lot of people are busy in BSU be- cause they have to afford to go here so they have to work, and make sure their grades are good,” he said.