The Black Students Union.

The mere name of this organization has led others to identify the group as a faction of biased, discriminatory, narrow-minded and even bigoted black students that produce programs exclusively for black students.

Despite BSU?s many attempts to rectify these misconceptions, there are still many students who feel that BSU?s agenda is to advocate separatist propaganda. However, the purpose of the BSU is to provide to all of the UR community an educational, cultural and social forum, exploring students of African, African-American and African-Caribbean descent.

We strive to do this by providing speakers, films, community service programs, dances and other social activities and discussion forums addressing the previously mentioned issues.

These students? persistence in accusing BSU of promoting bigotry reflects their own dogmatism. The tension between whites and blacks on this campus, as with the rest of the world, has historically been much stronger than with any other groups of color. This perchance explains some students? constant scrutiny and scorn of BSU. The recent acts of discrimination targeted at groups based on the basis of race, sexual orientation and ethnicity are intolerable.

BSU does not promote or condone bigotry, whether it is oral, written or performed promoting hate or separatism. No group or individual deserves to be subjected to any acts expressing ignorance and hate. Any member, speaker or person associated with BSU that does encourage such hatred does not represent the beliefs of BSU.

Furthermore, we commend the administration of UR for their attempt to prohibit acts of harassment and discrimination on this campus.

BSU?s goals are no different or more ill-intended than the other multicultural organizations on campus. Each group states their purpose on the UR organizations? webpage and they are quite similar. BSU delves into the black culture and other multicultural groups examine their own respective cultures.

We agree with UR that ?expressions of racism, homophobia, bigotry and discrimination are destructive? because they impede the advancement of UR as a community.

Students who feel that BSU or any other multicultural group is biased for having the purpose of exploring and celebrating the different cultures should examine their own beliefs and ask why they feel as they do. We should celebrate diversity at UR.

BSU is constantly requesting the involvement of all cultures in the programs we provide. The misconceptions of BSU?s goals are unfortunate. We do not receive the same kind of support that some other multicultural groups receive, despite our efforts to support others? events.

Hopefully, UR?s statement and protocol about intolerance and discrimination will promote a community more open to diversity and learning about other cultures.

Additionally, we hope, having cleared up all misconceptions of BSU and other multicultural organizations, that we inspire more students to unite and be active participants in these organizations. We are open to any and all suggestions on the improvement of BSU. For questions or comments please contact either Co-Presidents Alex Ampadu and Brianna Southerland or Political and Educational Chairperson Monique Terry.

? Monique Terry

Black Students Union Political and Educational ChairpersonClass of 2002

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