By Genevia Kanu
What does the Black Student Alliance do?
The Black Student Alliance (BSA), formerly called the Black Student Association, is a cultural organization for Black students and allies. Though the name specifically addresses the Black diaspora (meaning it is for Black people from all over the world), it exists to create a safe space for allies as well. The organization achieves their vision through collaboration and education during their bi-weekly meetings. BSA’s staple meeting, called “The Check-In”, provides students an opportunity to socialize. It is literally a party among close friends. Members eat together, listen to music, and talk to one another about issues that affect them personally. During their other monthly gatherings, students will either learn about a particular subject that affects the black community or do a service related task with a local organization (usually run by the Black community). The desire is to not only have fun, but be educated and engaged with other organizations within the Austin area.
What do you get out of participating in BSA?
According to Social Chair, Alex Miles “the members all have something in common: we either are part of the black community and/or care about the black community and it’s struggles. So we can all come together for support, friendship, and a sense of community.” For non-members and/or curious people, she says you can receive education on important issues. Either way, everyone has something to gain from attending a BSA event.
The Black Student Alliance gives members an opportunity to not only connect with one another, but decompress during such a difficult time in students’ lives. It also allows students to learn about issues that affect either their own community or a community that is important to them. After recent political turmoil, BSA sponsored an event entitled “How to Be an Ally.” Professionals from various fields led a discussion on how to effectively support all marginalized communities. BSA not only provides a space to nurture students, but gives them the tools to deal with difficult things that may arise in their day-to-day lives.
What does BSA contribute to the St. Edward’s community?
For members, BSA provides a sense of community and space where they are accepted. For non-members, you can come and educate yourself on important issues that affect the Black community, or even issues that may affect you.
How can students get involved?