With the past year left behind and things starting to return to some normalcy, the Black Student Union at Lincoln High School is entering its second year of activity, and its first year in person.
To those in the BSU, this return to school means growth in numbers. The member count has increased significantly when compared to the previous year, getting everyone excited for the future of the club; but, despite this member increase, some people are still apprehensive about joining.
“I wish people knew it really is for everybody,” Mia Draper, BSU President and founder said. “Whatever you believe in, whoever you are, we want you to come to the BSU.”
So, what should you know about the BSU?
“It’s a safe, non-judgmental place where Black students and their friends can go to discuss issues that are important to them, build friendships with students they may not otherwise have a chance to talk to, and have fun, too.” Kelly Ward, club advisor and LHS English teacher said through e-mail.
“We talk a lot about race…especially the experiences of Black students on campus, and we talk a lot about current events and things like Black history,” Draper said.
Members in the BSU discuss on-campus and off-campus issues that Black people face, with the goal primarily being on creating a safe and supportive community for Black students, rather than education.
“…the BSU isn’t about educating non-Black students, but all students are absolutely welcome to join the meetings, meet new people, or support the club!” Ward said.
Draper explains that Lincoln High School is a Predominantly White Institution (PWI), which makes it hard when pointing out issues on-campus, and even harder for Black students to feel like they have a safe place to go to at school.
“Racism exists on campus,” Draper said. “It’s very prevalent. A lot of teachers, a lot of faculty, and a lot of students just aren’t aware of it, but it is there, and Black students have to deal with it every single day.”
This all makes BSU an important club to have on campus for Black students.
“…it really is important for us to have our own thing, for us to have a space to be ourselves, and to not censor ourselves,” Draper said.
So, what should be the take-away from this article? Well, Draper gives some closing points.
“It’s important to listen to Black people. It’s important to listen to other perspectives, especially when people can have such different experiences.”
If you’re interested in joining BSU, they meet every Wednesday in Mr. Ward’s room (72) from 3:00 to 3:40.