Black Student Union

Of all the months of the year, February is the shortest. It is also the only month officially dedicated to recognizing the contributions of African- Americans to this country. To some, this Black History Month is the only time set aside for celebrating African- American culture, but to the Black Student Union (BSU), celebrating African- American heritage is a year- round affair.

“Black Student Union is a national group, and throughout the year we have several events we go to,” said Carlmont BSU president Reginald Chatman, Jr.

According to an official BSU website, the Black Student Union is “a student organization committed to the stimulation and development of cultural diversity” through “participation in and sponsorship of educational, cultural, and social events.”

There are several Black Student Union clubs from across the country that convene annually in their respective regional conferences, as well as a national conference. The BSU conferences mainly consist of educational workshops and speakers from the African- American community.

We learn about leadership and embracing our heritage,” said Chatman. “They’re a lot of fun.” These conferences are usually held at hotels, and also have large feasts, as well as booths where different groups can showcase cultural projects they have been working on.

High school BSU is an offshoot of the original collegiate- level Black Student Unions which are present at countless campuses around the United States. These Black Student Unions were created to enrich and help the African-American youth connect with their culture and achieve success. The high school version of these groups reflects such a message.

Many of the Carlmont Black Student Union’s meetings have to do with fundraising, in addition to organizing other BSU- related events on campus.

This fundraising is necessary in order to raise the funds required to attend the conferences. BSU also has special gatherings only for club members.

“We had a potluck and a celebration for Kwanzaa,” said Chatman. “We also have to plan what we’re going to do for the Heritage Fair and Club Fair. We’re trying to have ribs. We want to get the Armadillo Willy’s Road Hog.” The Road Hog is a mobile barbecue van equipped to sell food in a similar fashion to ice cream trucks.

To commemorate Black History Month itself, BSU has guest speakers coming in every Tuesday, including the vice president of Apple. BSU will also be organizing a school- wide African American trivia contest, to test the knowledge of Carlmont students about important African American figures and events.

It should be noted that although BSU was created to celebrate African-American heritage, people of any race or ethnicity are allowed and encouraged to join. Registration for this year’s national conference has passed, but anyone wishing to join BSU this year can still do so.