The Black Student Union (BSU) at Case Western Reserve University is a student organization that was founded in 2017 with the goal of providing a safe space and a resource for members of the African diaspora on campus, while simultaneously encouraging unity and cohesion between the other black organizations on campus. BSU essentially operates as an umbrella organization; ensuring that fellow black organizations are provided with enough resources, exposure, and support necessary to continue successful operation throughout the school year. We do this by encouraging joint events between the organizations, hosting a joint black history month week, advertising the numerous events that each organization has at any given time, as well as hosting monthly meetings between the presidents of the other organizations to discuss any updates or problems.
We want to ensure that the black CWRU community is aware that there are people and organizations here designed to make life in college and at CWRU more manageable. Being an African American, African, or a member of the African diaspora on a predominately white campus can be a daunting experience, especially as a freshman. It is quite easy to feel isolated, disjointed, and disconnected from the majority of the student body because of this. The BSU at CWRU serves as a gateway to numerous black organizations on campus that are filled with individuals who understand this struggle to fit in and are familiar with the black experience in a majority white setting. The BSU understands that fostering an inclusive and understanding community is essential to ensuring that black students on campus feel comfortable and accepted. Additionally, students are encouraged to join the BSU and partake in events associated with our organization.
Typically, in the beginning of the school year, our organization hosts an event called the “Black to School Barbeque.” This is a cookout hosted and funded by us that usually takes place at the end of the first week of classes. This event serves as an opportunity for current, past, and new students to chat and mingle with each other and to introduce the new exec members for the school year. Aside from this, we host a myriad of other events and/or dialogues throughout the year based on various topics. These topics have included harmful stereotypes of African Americans and Africans, colorism within our community, financial literacy, imprisonment rates of African American males, and many others.
We have also collaborated with other cultural organizations on campus with the goal of fostering mutual understanding between our two groups. As recently as this November 2020, we collaborated with the Korean American Student Association (KASA) on a dialogue detailing the nature and history of tensions between our two cultural groups and how these tensions might have affected each of us.
At the end of the year, we host a very special event called Black Graduation. As the name suggests, it is a graduation event celebrating the black students at CWRU who are graduating that year. The event is an opportunity for black students and their family members to congregate and celebrate the accomplishments of the current graduating class. We continuously advocate and support our fellow black undergraduate, graduate students, and faculty throughout their tenure at CWRU while also providing awareness about issues and topics that affect the black community. We are very active on our Instagram page and on Campus Groups! Please feel free to email us as well at email@example.com.