BSU needs to get its act together

By Kiara Herring

Generally on large college campuses like NIU, a lot of minority groups may feel underrepresented. Luckily for NIU, minority students have organizations such as Black Student Union (BSU) to help alleviate some of the problems they face on a daily basis and provide the university with an accurate minority voice.

In theory, that is.

In reality, unfortunately, NIU’s BSU does none of the above. In fact, some minority students feel misrepresented by this organization. BSU has crumbled under dirty politics, financial discrepancies and turmoil within the organization as a whole, resulting in a current BSU suspension and leaving the very students they were elected to serve with empty promises.

“If they don’t have the support from the students and student organizations, then there is no BSU,” said junior communication major Tasha Greene.

BSU has tainted its own name, and some students have taken notice, especially the students who needed them the most. What has BSU contributed to this campus lately? Even the current BSU President was hesitant to speak on what BSU has done in the past.

“BSU has hosted a few programs to raise black awareness such as a Night of Black Elegance and a few mass meetings, but that’s all I recall personally,” said Darren Howard, BSU President.

Howard was not involved with BSU before he ran for office; therefore he was not aware of many programs hosted in previous years. As this is Howard’s first active year in BSU, some students feel unsure of his ability to deliver.

“I really feel like their president should be more experienced,” said Chris Pitts, senior political science major. “He should be experienced in at least one other organization just so he can know what really happens.”

Pitts later explained with the money BSU is given to distribute, they need an extremely responsible leader because if something goes wrong, it affects the entire black community.

With the circus that BSU has become, one would question the necessity of an organization like it. Do black students need a figurehead like BSU? My answer is undoubtedly yes, but if and only if the organization can do what it is supposed to do. My advice to BSU: Get it together.

More than anything, BSU has to reach out to its students and serve them the best way it can. Hosting galas and having black awareness seminars at the end of the day doesn’t better the lives of the black students at NIU.

Hold programs that actually mean something and can make life a little easier for the black community. You not only are the governing glue that keeps us all together, but the face of the black student body. When you look bad, we all do.

Now is the time to change. You are the strong black voice this campus needs, but with your reputation as of right now, who’s really listening?