This last semester, Pacific University’s Black Student Union (BSU) actively involved themselves not only on Pacific’s campus, but also in the community. BSU ventured into Portland to donate books they collected to the Boys and Girls Club.
“The whole reason of us creating the foundation with the Boys and Girls Club was so that next year we can have a recurring volunteer service with them, so if anyone that’s in BSU, or knows about BSU wants to volunteer service, they can directly go to them through us,” BSU President Byron Blandford said.
BSU plans on strengthening its ties to the Boys and Girls Club next year by donating even more books.
“We bought some pretty intriguing cultural shirts and dashikis from Africa, it was cool to integrate that with the Pacific experience,” Blandford said.
The dashikis are from a distinct region of Africa, and BSU plans on continuing a tradition of getting items like this, possibly from other regions.
“We want to provide an experience to tell people that this is how we’re feeling about things, but we don’t want it to be watered down,” Blandford said.
One thing BSU has done this year to create this type of experience is their spoken word event, which was a success. The club plans on continuing the event annually.
“We’re not the only club of color, we’re not the only cultural club,” Blandford said.
BSU is looking to work together with other clubs on campus, including working with Campus Public Safety to improve the community and the relationships of all students and clubs.
“We want to show the Black Student Union that business ownership is possible. Schools and clubs like this, they can be models to show how you want to build your dreams,” Blandford said.
BSU aims to continue making Pacific a place where anyone can feel comfortable as they work to better their community and achieve their goals.
“Our mission is to be light-bearers in a world where nobody talks about the things we think about every day,” Blandford said.
BSU wants to get people talking, asking questions and learning the truth about what is actually happening on campus and in today’s society in a productive and empowering way.
“I think this is the most black people I’ve seen in BSU at Pacific and that’s not saying much, so we wanted to spread our word to the people that may be interested in the things that we’re saying,” Blandford said. “We’re focusing on saying things that are on our mind and not really allowing the political atmosphere to hinder what we want to say.”