By Quedus Babalola
Motunrayo Olusa, a senior business administration major from Middletown, New York has been a member of the Black Student Union on campus since she transferred to LIU Post from SUNY Orange in Middletown, N.Y. in her sophomore year.
Olusa joined BSU as a regular member, became treasurer in 2016 and then president 2017. In the past three years the club has held events including Black Excellence, BSU Karaoke, a 90’s social, and game night.
On Friday, Oct. 27, Olusa and her e-board members along with the runway club, ran a Halloween social event to raise money. They were able to raise over 200 dollars, items such as water, clothes and toiletries were donated to help those affected by the hurricane in Puerto Rico.
Q: As the newly elected BSU president this semster, what are some plans you have for this school year?
A: My plan for this school year is to make sure BSU continues to grow and to move in a positive direction through creating a more diverse and inviting environment for those on campus whether they identify as black or not.
Q: It’s 2017 and race is still a huge topic in today’s society; how have you been able to bring that discussion into your meetings without discriminating against others?
A: With the help of my eboard members, we have been able to carefully create discussions that are informational and engaging and relevant to the current events, such as the 2016 election, Colin Kaepernick taking a knee during the national anthem, the Orlando shooting, the concept of white privilege, identity, and how we can move forward with allies and not enemies.
Q: Backlash against the club and maybe even yourself is something I would assume comes very often, am I right? And if so, how did you handle it?
A: Honestly, backlash is inevitable and in the position I’m in, I have to handle things tactfully and efficiently. I do all this to make sure that none of my members see me react in a way that could possibly affect their perspective of the people on this campus and that we continue to be examples of excellence.
Q: What makes you different from the prior presidents of BSU?
A: I have a bit of an international perspective on things due to my study abroad experience while I was in high school in Nigeria, so it aids in me seeing things than people who haven’t had the experience and that helps me being able to relate to a broader group of people than before.
Q: This year the club is bigger than ever, were you surprised at the turnout?
A: Oh yes! I was certainly surprised at the turnout because we started off as a small club with 10-15 members regularly attending to a present average to about 30-40 members regularly attending this semester. I am grateful for the growth and hopeful that it continues even after I graduate.
Q: As a senior graduating in May, what are some tools you’ve gathered from this club that you can apply into your career and life?
A: The ability to work with anybody regardless of position, race, and background because during my last year on e-board I’ve had to do these things whether I was working with other clubs or campus life. I plan on becoming a corporate lawyer and plan to use the skills that I’ve acquired during my time in college as treasurer and president of this club to navigate through my career. I have also been working on being an example of black excellence for not only my academic life but also my personal life so that those looking up to me can follow on the right path.