By RYLEE GLAZNER
Students and staff members at Amarillo College have come together to create the Black Student Union. “It is a group focused on connection, community service, leadership, education, growth, and building intercultural awareness and competencies for students and for staff,” said Melodie Graves, Amarillo College’s associate director of advising, club sponsor and community advocate.
With these goals in mind, BSU intends to reach students by creating safe spaces for students of color, especially those from the Black community, where they can be heard and introduced to role models from around the community at luncheons and meet-ups.
“Because there’s not very many Black employees on campus we’re bringing in Black leaders from the community and they will be able to have lunch with the students,” said Graves. “We can celebrate, we can educate, and we can create a space for more students of color to feel like they have a place here in AC.”
The goal behind the meetups and luncheons is to build up students from the Black community so that they, and those who support them can make positive change within the culture of AC, Graves said.
“I’m hoping to encourage people that want change,” Eva Thomas, data management specialist for the adult education and literacy program said.
“In the last meeting, one of the students that joined talked about her passion, and she said that she wants to be an ally to help clear up the confusion about the things that aren’t going right.,” Thomas said.
Other students said they have similar goals. “We have always had false hope before, so I hope now we can create a space where Black students can be fully themselves, and be able to bring their ‘home face’ to campus and be safe,” Dmonya Neal, a general studies major, said.
In order to reach these goals, BSU holds meetings at 11:45 a.m. every other Thursday in the Ware Student Common, room 207.
Additionally, BSU has made plans to hold an “I see you” event from 11:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Oct. 5, in the first floor of the Ware. The event will serve as an icebreaker between BSU and any interested students who wish to find their place in the club and AC as a whole.