A perspective on Black Student Union throughout this semester

Black Student Union has been busy in this 2017 year! Despite the cancellation of the poetry slam last week, we continue to roll, with weekly meetings and planning for the future. The eboard recently hosted “Love is Love”, which talked about the love and relationships of black men and women. Also, “Black Boy Joy” and “Black Girl Magic”, which are the topics of an earlier discussion this semester, dealt with the struggles of men and women in society today.

These struggles concerning diversity and race continue, even with Hope College’s emphasis for diversity and inclusion on campus. These issues need to be more transparent to all Hope students so that we can work together to resolve these problems, but the only way to do that is if individuals on campus are aware of BSU’s tireless work on cam- pus. In addition, we are also collecting money as part of the Flint Fundraiser, an initiative to bring clean water to the city of Flint, which continues to suffer under a water crisis despite an abundance of resources available. This is important because everyone, regardless of socioeconomic status, should have access to clean water. This initiative, along with the continued emphasis on strengthening the bonds between minorities and the majority on campus, is why BSU is continuing to shape Hope.

The showing of the movie “Moon- light” was a hit. The movie focuses on the life of a homosexual African- American male and depicts his life from childhood to adulthood. It is a steady evolution of man, and the changes that take place really make the film a must watch. The reason why this movie was chosen was because it is a piece that departs from the preconceived notions of African-American males in society. They are usually portrayed as simple drug dealers or corrupt cops who have little morality or sense of empathy for others. In “Moonlight”, we see that the main character is struggling to find his identity.

His discovery of love is what sets this piece apart and is a teaching point to what Hope is about; love and acceptance of others. This gets lost a lot with the recent unwinding of America because of the turmoil we’ve seen in the last few years. It illustrates that despite everything else that is going on the world, there can be a small piece of morality and empathy for others. BSU has used these experiences to craft more exposure for students and to open their eyes to the world around them. As we continue to craft this, Hope will hope- fully become a more inclusive atmosphere, to which everyone can be more open about the issue of race in America.

As BSU continues to be more influential on campus, we believe that, despite our differences, we can still unite and come together for a common cause. The eboard is hard at work, continuing to shape the image of minority students on campus. However, it does not have to just be minorities; anyone who is willing to fight for the causes of diversity and inclusion can join the team, sit in on meetings, go to social events, get the word out to their friends. The process starts with the students. The administration can do many things to rectify the problems, but the only way that can enact any change is if the students not only speak up, but do something constructive about the issues on campus.

As BSU grows, so do the other Minority Student Organizations (MSOs). We have relationships with Hope’s Asian Perspective Association (HAPA) and the Latin Student Organization (LSO), but in order to positively impact Hope, the work must continue on all fronts to make Hope a better place for all students, regardless of race.

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