It was a great experience for the students who were able to attend the 2012 Black Student Union Convention in Chicago, Ill. on Nov. 15 to the Nov. 18. There was great extravagance and smiles all around. The focus was not on the shine of the convention, but on the reason a great group of BSUs from around the nation were able to come together, to talk about common goals, financial solutions and how they would progress in the future.
The whole conference over the weekend was held to inspire students to progress as African Americans. Importance was established on representing student voices. Bellevue College’s Jameshia Brown who attended reflected her experience.
“Our goal was to connect with other BSUs, get information, networking and see how we could better improve ourselves and our leadership skills at Bellevue College for our BSU here.”
Aletash Waakgira, who also attended the event said, “It was one of our first times going out of state for a conference. We wanted to get a better idea of how to expand our BSU to have more involvement with our campus and to grow a little more.”
For many students who attended, this was great first experience. It was a gathering of rich black culture and a time to remember great struggles, as well as the growth that has come from the hard work of BSU’s both small and large.
“We found that we have a lot of privileged facilities and things that we are fortunate to acquire that we don’t always have. But they are still progressing and making a lot of improvements on their BSUs and we have seen ways that we can do the same,” Brown said with an enthusiastic smile.
The trip there would be just as important as the trip home. Many BSU students would spend hours on the airline or bus thinking about what they would talk about, who would they see and influence as well as who would influence them.
Brown commented, “I was inspired, highly inspired, meeting so many other BSU’s that are working towards the same goals that we are like graduating, getting a PhD or MBA degree, being in their senior year in college and going to graduate school. Showing us how far they have progressed with conferences and just being able enrich their BSU to the fullest. Seeing what they can do which shed light in what we can also do to make our BSU shine that much brighter.”
Waakgira commented that some schools do not have that many black students, making it difficult to get finances, funding and support.
It is clear that numbers cannot fully define the spirit and heart that BSUs have around the nation, making this year’s convention a truly rewarding experience. With the strength in mind and heart that every BSU brought to the convention, it’s not a worry that next years convention can be a vibrant one.