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By Davene’ Swinson
A few weeks ago, I began to wonder how
other students on campus viewed the
Black Student Movement (BSM). 1
decided to find out by conducting a random sur
vey around campus, and the results that I received
were varied and inspiring.
While the majority of the students 1 ques
tioned knew what the BSM was, most of the stu
dents did not know what the purpose of the BSM
really was. Many students felt that the BSM was
just a social club that simply allowed the Black
students on campus to get together. The Preamble
of the Constitution of the Black Student
Movement reads, “It is the goal of this organiza
tion to strive for the continued existence of the
unity among all its members; to voice the con
cerns and grievances of its members to the
University, to offer outlets for expressing Black
ideals and culture, and finally, to insure that the
Black Student Movement members never lose
contact with the Black community.
The other students’ ideas made me wonder
if other ethnic organizations supported unity or
segregation. The Preamble calls for unity among
all of the members, but is it intended for that unity
to extend to all non-members as well? With these
questions racing through my mind, I attended last
week’s BSM meeting. In the small survey that I
conducted, I noticed that several students said
they would willingly join an ethnic organization.
However, at the meeting, I saw that only a few
non-Black students make up our organization. Is
this a reflection of the way the movement is run?
Should this make the organization focus on
recruiting students of other races? Or has the
BSM already reached out to these students and
received no reply?
As a freshman member of the BSM, I
would like to think that the organization serves
two purposes: one, to give support to the African-
American students on campus and two, to educate
others as an effort to improve society. With these
two purposes in mind, I believe the organization
should make an active effort to bring more people
into “our family” than people of African descent.
While it is true that most Black people are
not fully aware of their heritage, the main group
that would benefit from learning about the African
culture is the group that is not of African descent.
This is true because most Black people accept
their race; however, if you are of another race,
then you are less willing to accept something that
you do not know. Learning about any culture
allows a person to get past the color of another’s
skin and to get to know that person for who he or
I understand that it is easier to talk about
something than to do it, but I am a firm believer in
the phrase “Don’t talk about it, be about it.” As an
organization dedicated to improving the life of the
Black student, we should be dedicated to improv
ing the overall life. Almost every Black student
faces some sort of racial incident during their col
lege career. The only way to change this is to
See “Mixed Reviews” on page 21