SHU’s Black Student Union Cultivates Community

The Black Student Union (BSU) of Sacred Heart University serves as a place where students, faculty, and staff of African descent (and other minorities) of the SHU community can engage with each other and exchange experiences and ideas, according to it SHU Engage page.

Senior Jalen Madison, the athletic correspondent of BSU, said students can get involved with the club by attending the meetings in the Multicultural Center, HC 111, every other Wednesday at 8 p.m.

“Usually, we try to do two fun events and two serious events. For fun events we usually do Jeopardy or have a game night. For serious events I presented on mental health, and for this past Black History Month, we talked about information about Black History Month,” said Madison.

Junior and Co-President Taylor Bell said that BSU is a place where students can meet each other and create meaningful friendships. She said BSU brings students together to discuss different topics and find their own group.

“The goal of the Black Student Union is to bring not only black students, but all underrepresented students together and enjoy ourselves, have different events, but also educate people on Black history and what it means especially at a PWI (predominantly white institution), allowing students to meet new people and find their group,” said Bell.

Bell said that BSU offers a mixture of both education and fun. She said one of the recent meetings have been learning how to line dance, and they are having an upcoming meeting where it is a paint and sip. She said that they also host different events throughout the year that students can be involved in.

“For events, we had the Black Love Gala this past month, which was a gala for Black Love Day. We had food, drinks, music, a DJ, and a photo booth. It was really fun, everyone got to put on their best outfits and have a fun time with their friends,” said Bell.

Bell said that BSU is partnering with the La Hispanidad club for an upcoming event called “Caribbean Night,” where there will be music, Caribbean food and games.

Junior and Co-President Clairdjina Bien-Aime said that the involvement of BSU can make the college transition for students of color a lot easier, especially when they feel like they haven’t fit in yet.

“I think it’s a way for students to form a community and provide a safe space. I think a lot of times, especially for freshmen who are coming into college, especially for black students or people of color, they’re not sure where they fit in, so I feel like the Black Student Union helps in that aspect,” said Bien-Aime.

Bien-Aime said that BSU allows students to create relationships with each other and allows students to feel included. She said many students coming into college can feel lost, and BSU builds a community to make those students feel safe.

“I came from a very diverse high school, so coming here was a different reality for me, so the Black Student Union helps us with that adjustment, it’s a safe community for us to feel included and get to know one another,” said Bien-Aime.

BSU meetings often focus on things happening within a month. BSU has meetings regarding Black History Month, Women’s History Month, and other things going on in the world dealing with issues like colorism and racism.

Students, faculty, and staff can stay up to date with what is going on with the Black Student Union by following @shu_bsu on Instagram to be informed of meetings and other upcoming events.

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