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BSU helps promote awareness, diversity in community

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Photo by Chloe Squires
The Black Student Union met on Tuesday in the avid room. The members gathered together to talk with two special guest speakers from Century College. “This club is an opportunity for people to be themselves,” Joyce Coleman explains.

Every week, a number of different clubs can be found meeting in and around campus. The Black Students Union, or BSU, meets every Tuesday in the main forum from 2:30-4:30 p.m. Typically, they will see 20-30 students ranging from freshman to seniors coming out to talk about experiences of being students of color in a predominantly white school.

The BSU was in the process of being created since the 2016-17 school year and from the start, the students involved in the creation of the club knew they did not want it to be a club where a few close-knit friends come to fool around after school. The BSU board wanted to see students of color more comfortable speaking out and standing up, in order to educate themselves and their peers around issues that they see in our community and in our world today.

They also had in mind the entirely new population in the school that is the freshmen and sophomores, and what they could do to make them feel more comfortable at SAHS. They run much like other clubs that promote diversity such as the Students Promoting Cultural Awareness.

“I think we basically do the same thing, when we were creating it, we had to have a meeting with the SPCA and our club because…we wanted to have something different…we wanted our own space,” junior Alicia Soltero said.

The BSU operates differently from other clubs that promote diversity such as the SPCA or the GSA, in that a lot of its members or their parents are immigrants and come from Nigeria or Ethiopia, meaning they can share firsthand experiences of what they have seen as people of color.

In addition to being a safe space to share experiences, the BSU also exists to educate its members and encourage discussion on certain topics. Certain topics discussed so far this year include dealing with conflicts, standing for the pledge and standing up to bigotry in the school environment or in the world. They also look for projects and ways they can put an end to bigotry.

“We were looking for a project…we recently received one called ‘Speak Up!’ about how you can confront issues of bigotry when you’re around family…in the workplace, at school…it’s a little booklet,” junior Fatima Menawa said.

Alternative Copy Story and Photos by Grant Hieptas

Speak Up!” is an 89 page informational book about how to respond to everyday bigotry. It gives both students and adults the tools to confront all sorts of common bigotry in the school or in their workplace.

Davis, Soltero, Menawa and other members of the BSU board hope to put these ideals into play in everyday life, to hopefully put an end to bigotry faced by students of color in our school and community today. They hope to continue to foster an educational and social club in the BSU that can help the students of color at our school succeed in the future.

As Menawa said, “We want BSU to last.”

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About the Contributors
Ben Valerius, Announcements Editor

Ben is a junior and writes for news. He is the Announcements Editor. Ben enjoys taking part in theater and singing in the Stillwater choir and Vagabonds. In his spare time, he can be found playing piano or jumping on his trampoline!

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Grant Hietpas, Video Editor

Grant Hietpas, Junior, is the filling the position as Camera Editor on the SAHS Newspaper Video team while also writing for two departments, Editorial/Political Opinion and News/Activities. Grant enjoys many hands-on activities such as tinkering, biking, and skiing. In the school community he is active on the mountain bike team, nordic skiing team, and NHS. Grant’s favorite food is pasta!

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7 Comments

7 Responses to “BSU helps promote awareness, diversity in community”

  1. Mya Lysne on December 4th, 2017 4:23 pm

    Great article, Ben! I loved the way you used quotes. I would have liked to have seen more anecdotes– maybe in the lead? Overall, very good article on a very important topic.

  2. Evelyn Young on December 6th, 2017 5:48 pm

    I decided to read this article since I had never heard of BSU before. I found it to be very informative especially in the fact paragraphs. This was helpful since BSU is a new club as of this year. Hearing about what is discussed at meetings was interesting. The last quote made me really think about what makes a club last which is important. It is good to leave a reader thinking about what they have just learned. Overall very good and informative!

  3. Linnea Phillips on December 17th, 2017 8:30 pm

    Clearly explains the factual side of what the club is and then uses interesting quotes to describe the emotions the students in the club feel about it. Well organized, and written without opinion. Good job!

  4. Grant Hietpas on December 17th, 2017 10:06 pm

    I really liked how you pulled together the BSU to show who they really are and what they’re working for. I got to work with them for the alt copy and I loved it. Great article, great story. Good work

  5. Mira LaNasa on December 18th, 2017 7:52 am

    This was one of my favorite article this issue. It really shown light on a new and unrecognized club. Good interviews which clearly displayed lots of information. Good format and easy to read.

  6. Fotini Kloos on December 18th, 2017 8:59 am

    This is a very informative article to help show what goes down in BSU. I love the quotes used to see different students perspective on it and how they feel. It is very interesting how the club is different and more passionate from different clubs. I love the picture too, it really just completes the whole article! Great Job Ben, really enjoyed it!

  7. Rosalie Braun on December 18th, 2017 5:59 pm

    This article was very interesting, informative, and well written. The last fact paragraph and quote were very strong too. Great job!

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