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I, Too, Am A Saint: A Letter from the BSU Executive Board

The Black Student Union cannot speak for or express the plurality of black voices on the Emmanuel College campus or off of it. We cannot speak for those who do not make their voices heard.

The Black Student Union is one of the longest running organizations on campus with 40+years under its belt along with change, progression, and problems – the biggest issue being the very question, “Is BSU inclusive to all students, who do not identify as black?”

The mission of BSU is, “to create an informative and comfortable atmosphere for students at Emmanuel College. We host activities that increase unity among students and create awareness of the African American Culture, while enhancing the academic experience of its members.”

The goal this year and from years prior was to create an environment for black students, students of color, white allies and students who are unaware of the issues plaguing the African American diaspora—to convene and discuss.

Issues plaguing the African American community are not limited to police brutality, racism, or micro-aggressions. Issues touch upon, colorism, black identity, bi-racial identity or even struggle, cultural appropriation, mental illness, LGBTQA issues, hair, music, fashion – the list goes on and on.

The Executive Board of the Black Student Union is aware that some students regardless of their race are unaware or do not understand the climate that is affecting some students of color—but they choose not to attend meetings.

There are students of color who have not had the same experiences we have had on campus. There are students of color who have not had to encounter blatant racism or micro-aggressions. There are students of color who feel welcomed and included on campus. There are students of color who feel Emmanuel College has responded accurately to issues happening in the world and while we respect these fortunate students, we must not forget about the significant amount of students of color that feel the complete opposite.

Occupying the President’s office and delivering a new list of demands was not meant to stigmatize and demean the stance of the individuals who have not experienced racial discrimination and injustices, it was meant to uplift and strengthen the students who have by giving them a voice and an opportunity to create change for the future students of color who will attend Emmanuel College and who could unfortunately have the same experiences.

What the Black Student Union and its allies has managed to do is something that takes courage, strength and determination. We do not seek intimidation, mockery, insults, exclusion, and incivility – it simply finds us when we state our personal experiences on campus. The plight is not over.

For any student who identifies as a student of color and does not identify as black or brown but feels frustrations with the list of demands presented, please attend our meeting tomorrow.

For any white student who feels frustrations with the list of demands presented, please attend our meeting tomorrow.

Our meetings have always been open.

Our discussions, conversations and events have always been open.

We do not presume to speak for all black students and/or all students of color, and you should not assume we do.

Executive Board of the Black Student Union

Posted by on December 2, 2015. Filed under I Too Am A Saint. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

3 Responses to I, Too, Am A Saint: A Letter from the BSU Executive Board

  1. StopTheIdentityPolitics

    December 2, 2015 at 11:03 pm

    While I appreciate you addressing the fact that you cannot (logically) speak for all students I feel that you have neglected to hear or try to understand the students whose beliefs do not align with yours. You say that you want to be inclusive and discuss issues, but in my experiences, you have dismissed arguments that deviate from your narrative by simply saying things like “this minority has experienced it so this is more important to uplift them”.

    I agree that people’s voices should be uplifted, but I think that if on a whole you see that most students (or students of color specifically) are not experiencing that type of situation then perhaps the issues that the minority are having are anecdotal, individualized, and should be addressed as such not blanketed as “institutionalized racism”.

    I find it ironic that you say that you “do not seek intimidation” while simultaneously asserting a list of DEMANDS with (essentially) threats if your demands aren’t met.

    Lastly, if you want people to attend your meetings, especially if you want more students from various backgrounds to attend your meetings, you should state the time and location clearly. Having “open” meetings doesn’t mean anything if the students don’t know where they are being held.

    • BSU E-board

      December 3, 2015 at 10:20 am

      Please come to our meeting today at 12:15-1:30 in WSC 107. We would love to hear from you. If this does not work for you, please feel free to contact any member of the Executive Board as we would love to hear your concerns and address these “issues”.

      • StopTheIdentityPolitics

        December 3, 2015 at 7:54 pm

        I thank you for your invitation. I was unable to attend but had friends that went. They said that you were able to better explained many of your points and you were vastly different than the BSU that we have experienced in that past.
        I think in the future, directing people to a website or place where you provide more information on the justifications for your actions and events would be a helpful way to communicate to students who may not attend your meetings.