By Quedus Babalola
Editors Note: The writer is a member of BSU.
During the fall 2017 semester, BSU (Black Student Union) implemented a new event “BSU After Dark.” After numerous requests from members of the club in regards to getting more time for their meetings, the president at the time, Motunrayo Olusa decided to host “BSU After Dark” once a month, as a special event. With permission from Campus Life, the club was able to host its first “BSU After Dark” that semester in the basement of the Winnick Student Center.
“Our general meeting time, Wednesday’s during common hour, never used to feel like enough time to discuss all the topics that are brought up by members outside of what we already had planned, so I thought BSU After Dark would be a good chance to pick up where we left off with the regular meetings,” Olusa said.
Although the plan to keep these meetings going once a month didn’t fall through, the executive board members didn’t allow the event to just be forgotten by the student body. The current president, Catrina Dasque, a junior adolescence education major, decided to keep the concept going this year for the same reasons as Olusa.
On Thursday Oct. 25, BSU members and members of the student body met in the basement of the Chapel to discuss issues that were put into a teapot. At the beginning of all of their weekly meetings, a teapot is placed at the front of the room and left there for anyone to anonymously put a topic, question or just general thoughts into the cup.
Replacing the original suggestion box with a teapot helped the concept for this year’s meetings because they meet to “spill the tea,” a phrase popularly known for spilling the truth. Everyone is encouraged to anonymously put anything into the teapot prior to the date set for their next BSU After Dark.
“Without BSU After Dark, a lot of topics that need more time and attention than the time we have during general meetings wouldn’t be brought to the table,” Keolani Williams, a senior forensic science major and member of the club, said. “I’m glad that were able to have these meetings because it allows us to really sit and thoroughly discuss issues.”
Before the “tea was spilled,” the BSU advisor, Nilda Nelson, had an e-board member, Mecca Shomari, read the mission statement of the club in order to remind members and casual visitors of the club’s standards and that any form of disrespect is not tolerated. “We have to remember where we are and that this is supposed to be a safe zone and that’s what this will be,” Nelson said.
More than 20 students gathered in the basement of the chapel in order to share their opinions on issues like politics, intersectionality and even shed light on some of their personal experience within the
topics. With topics ranging from intersectionality, which addresses that people have multiple identities that affect each other rather than being separate, to personal frustrations within their own community,
the attendees listened and spoke for over two hours.
“I’m glad the topic of intersectionality came up because I believe too many people are ignorant when it comes to understanding this concept,” Williams said. “The divide between many of us has to do with people not understanding intersectionality.”
“There was a topic about being black and gay and feeling divided between both communities,” Coivan Makia, a senior business administration major, said. “I believe society makes it harder for family and friends to accept their loved ones for being anything other than what they perceive to be the norm, with a little bit of research and the I believe we could somehow move forward.”
BSU meets every Tuesday during common hour in Hillwood Commons room 221.