BSU hosts annual holiday party

BSU+hosted+their+annual+holiday+party+this+year.+They+have+lots+of+goals+for+the+following+semester.+Photo+by+Mandala+Gupta+Verwiebe
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BSU hosts annual holiday party

BSU hosted their annual holiday party this year. They have lots of goals for the following semester. Photo by Mandala Gupta Verwiebe

BSU hosted their annual holiday party this year. They have lots of goals for the following semester. Photo by Mandala Gupta Verwiebe

BSU hosted their annual holiday party this year. They have lots of goals for the following semester. Photo by Mandala Gupta Verwiebe

BSU hosted their annual holiday party this year. They have lots of goals for the following semester. Photo by Mandala Gupta Verwiebe

Wisal El Majbri

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On Friday, Manual’s Black Student Union (BSU) hosted their annual Christmas party right before they all headed off for winter break. Members of the club slowly started to trickle in around 2:30 to be greeted by iconic holiday jams, pizza, sweets and friends.

After talking to friends and eating, they played the equivalent of hot potato white elephant in which gifts were passed around the circle until the music stopped.

To mark the end of the first semester, members of the club reflected on what BSU has come to mean to them this semester and their goals for the semester to come. They all share sentiments of valuing the club for the bonds it’s created among them, the important topics they’ve discussed and the hope for the club to gain new members the following semester.

Many of the members noted that they view the club as more than just a club but rather an outlet and a community they’ve made among themselves in the school.

“BSU is more like a family to me than just like a group that I come to every week just because,” secretary of communications, Kaleb Tinker (10, HSU) said.

About halfway through the event, the ex president of BSU, Kyra Welch, also made an appearance despite having already graduated. She shared a similar sentiments with Tinker.

“It’s a safe place for people in the school where we can see each other more. BSU holds it’s own little culture, and it’s like a family reunion every Friday,” Welch said.

“Freshman year I joined BSU because being that it’s a predominantly white school. I wanted somewhere that I could fit in and really feel as though I’m connected to one another, so that’s why I joined,” head secretary, LaNasia Mason (10, J&C) said. “BSU means a lot to me. It’s sort of like my outlet; it’s the one time a week where I get to be myself with other people who’re like me, and also being on the board means a lot to me because it makes me feel as though I’m a black leader which is something people overlook especially considering I’m so young.”

This feeling of fitting in and connecting to the other members also pushed the president of BSU, Hannah Reece (12, YPAS), to initially join the club and seek out a leadership position.

“I initially joined because BSU offers a place where you can just be yourself and you don’t have to worry about fitting in or saying the wrong thing. It has a very relaxed atmosphere and also we talk about really important issues affecting our community,” Reece said. “Honestly my goal for this year has honestly just been to have fun. We go to Manual, and kids are constantly stressed out. I just wanted us to have a space where we can just relax and chill while also talking about important lifestyle related issues such as how to apply for scholarships, mental health, self care and things like that.”

In BSU meetings, while they do have plenty of food and fun, as Reece mentioned, they also discuss many  topics that are relevant and important in the black community.

“The topic that I’ve liked the most is probably black wealth and racial inequality,” Kaleb Tinker (10, HSU) said. “Next semester we’re going to try to do more outside of school events and get more people involved in BSU.”

Mason also had some goals for next semester.

“We’ve covered music, mental health and masculinity. There haven’t been as many people, but just this many is better than anything. From here on out we just strive to get bigger. Next semester I would like to have more people and have it so people won’t be scared to come, and it’ll be more comforting to be here,” Mason said.

As you can see, all the club members urge others not to shy away from joining the club to help strengthen the black community at Manual.

”I want to see more people. We’re not militant, we just sit and watch movies, and talk, and have conversations and eat pizza,” Reece said. “It’s a very laid back atmosphere so we just want people to come out.”