By: Paxton McLance
There is a new multicultural club on campus. The Black Student Union (BSU) was established fall of 2018 and currently includes over a dozen members of Sacred Heart University’s African-American community. The club meets bi-weekly on Wednesday night’s in SC 234A at 8 p.m. Their advisor is Professor Butler-Sweets.
“Black Student Union was established to help create a safe space for everyone in the African American community here at Sacred Heart, to come together and support one another,” said sophomore Dominique Price, the BSU Secretary.
Feb. 1 marked the beginning of Black History Month. To senior, President and co-founder of the BSU Nacyla Wiley, Black History Month is an important reminder of the accomplishments of the African-American community.
“Often times in America, so much importance is placed in the school system of U.S history without really honing in on the entire history of America,” said Wiley. “Many of the inventions you know and love were created by African Americans, whether it be the doors that make elevators open by the push of a button or the super soaker water guns you loved playing with as a child. There are so many things.”
As a member of the executive board, Price has been with BSU since it was established on campus. She hopes for the organization to gain recognition on campus.
“Our President, Nacyla, as well as our Vice President, Justina, worked very hard to bring this club to campus and as part of the E-Board, I am happy to help achieve this goal and many more,” said Price.
Black History Month was first established by African-American educators and students at Kent State University in 1969. It was created to celebrate the accomplishments of the African-American community. However, Wiley believes that Black History Month is a result of society’s shortcomings.
“As a result of not celebrating the beauty of diversity on a regular basis, we try to fit it all into one month. Every day, we should be actively informing ourselves on black history and striving to be more aware,” said Wiley. “Black History is American history; in my eyes they are not different. That’s why I believe it is so important because it is definitely an undervalued topic in the American education system.”
All February long, Sacred Heart students have the opportunity to celebrate Black History Month. With over a dozen events, guest speakers, and movie screenings, every student on campus has a chance to join in Black History Month.
BSU is hosted a Black Inventors Exhibit, showcasing unique art pieces and memorabilia from across the nation on Feb. 18 at 5 p.m.in the UC. They are also hosting “My Black Is Beautiful: The Evolution of Natural Hair” a conversation taking place on Feb. 21 at 7 p.m. in UC 109, “March of Solidarity,” campus wide on Feb. 26 and “Rep your Flag” on Feb. 28.
As the campus celebrates, BSU is trying to open up conversations about race with their fellow students.
“Black Student Union is necessary to begin to open up conversations about diversity and race that have yet to be discussed. Addressing certain ignorances and being open to ideas we may not even know we are willfully blind to is the first step toward progression,” said Wiley.
“We must all come to an understanding that not one person knows everything and coming from different backgrounds disagreement is inevitable. Just because someone disagrees with you does not invalidate their perspective,” said Wiley. “Small steps can be made to build this divide between communities with opposing views.”