The Black Student Union, previously known as the African-American Culture Club, met for the first time under their new name during Learn on Feb. 11.
“I felt that our intentions with the [AACC] club wouldn’t stay true to the club’s name,” club vice president and junior Rahwan Moaz said. “The board, with the approval of the members, wanted to steer the direction of the club to become more of a progressive and educational club.”
Another reason for the club to change their image and mission was based around the identity of the club members.
“Some people define themselves more as ‘black’ instead of ‘African-American’ so we wanted to make the club more accessible to everyone,” senior Ayah Idris said.
During February the BSU plans to promote awareness about black history and culture to the student population by displaying black-created art in the C-hall display case and sharing black culture facts during announcements.
BSU is also organizing a water bottle drive to send to impoverished and predominantly black communities who have been severely affected by the water crisis in Flint, Michigan.
“These are our people, these are our issues,” senior Rachel James said.
Future activities planned at the end of February and through March for the BSU include trips into D.C. to places like Busboys and Poets, a restaurant that is part theater and bookstore and a place for black artistic exploration, and attending a basketball game at Howard University, a historically black university.
“Prior to the formation of BSU, I felt as if I was a guest in my own school. This was in part due to the low black population at Marshall and because black history and black culture are rarely commemorated or recognized,” club president and junior Kyle Heard said. “The BSU was created to change these aspects by creating a new environment for not only black students, but all like-minded students to express their opinions on black current events, social and political issues, or other matters concerning the black community.”