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Black ink : Black Student Movement, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. online resource ([Chapel Hill, N.C.]) 1969-current, December 01, 1998, Image 19

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Editorial BSM Yields Mixed Reviews 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 she is. 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 Black Ink 19

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