Back to School with the Black Student Union

Spotlight on one of HFU’s newest clubs that’s ready to make a splash on campus.

It is not always easy to find your place on a college campus. The Black Student Union, or BSU, is looking to make it a little easier for Black students and interested allies to have a space where they can belong. I conducted an interview with BSU president, Desiree Draper, to find out more about the club and its mission.

When and where does the BSU meet?

BSU usually meets in 115 in the Campus Center for our general body meeting, or they may vary for certain events we might host. We try our best to accommodate everybody’s time and their class schedule so we meet based on where everyone can have a chance to attend a meeting/ event.

What is BSU’s mission statement? Why would you say it was established?

BSU was created last November in 2021. BSU’s mission is for Black/African American students to have a safe space in the school environment and for the Black growing population to have a voice in this university. We want to create a safe space where people can become comfortable and be able to be vulnerable in the club with what they say or share. Our goal was to create a safe space in Holy Family University where the Black/African American students can be themselves. A space where they are able to vent about their experiences on and off campus and to be able to get advice and comfort. One of our goals is to continue to spread awareness, unify, and instill partnership in the Holy Family school community, and allow all of our allies or anyone who would like to join us in helping us spread awareness and experience. Being the President of BSU has been a great experience and has shaped me even more as a person. With the help of my previous and current executive board members Korryn Braxton-Young, Kharon Randolph, and our new and amazing secretary, Kimoya Henry-Ellis, I don’t know where the club will be, and I am extremely grateful for my team and the experience.

Does the BSU have any upcoming events you would like to talk about?

We are partnered with student Engagement with a Sip and Paint Party on September 24th from 6-8pm. We invite everyone to come out! It’s going to be a good time! We are also planning a trip to the African American Museum in Washington D.C soon. We are also planning to celebrate the club’s one-year anniversary in November.

What would you like to tell interested members?

For any new interested members, just come and meet new people and enjoy yourself! It is open to everyone! We are also looking for new executive board members for the club and if anyone is interested, they can reach out to us and we will be sending out a link in our upcoming email to the student in the university.

While it is a bit shocking that an organization that is featured on nearly every college campus was only added to HFU in the past year, this seems to be integral to the club’s importance. There is an urgency to the need for this space. College campuses function on the premise of student voice. Students, with the guidance of faculty, create the culture, and the culture should be reflective of all students on campus. The Black Student Union is helping to create a more open culture on campus and opening the door for more Black students to flex their voices.

Abbi Tobin – Senior at Holy Family University and member of Holy Family’s Folio team