The BSU: Coordinating something bigger


The BSU at Pace

Mae Martinez

“The Goals of B(lack) S(tudent) U(nion) are to facilitate a campus-wide community on the relationship among Black students, and embracing our deeply interconnected histories and experiences,” said the BSU on their orgsync page. “We attempt to achieve this through regular meetings, coordinated events with social and informational values, collaborative programming with departments and other student organizations, and inviting scholars as speakers.  We look to serve as a liaison between students of color on campus and administration to relay all detailed needs and recommendations for improvement.”

The Pace Press sat down with Evelyn Sikati from the BSU with the help of Wesley Goodrich, Amir Maxwell, Chris Darbassie, and Karina Roca.

Pace University/ Black Student Union
Pace University/ Black Student Union

Mae Martinez: What is your name, major, and year?

Evelyn Sikati: My name is Evelyn Sikati, I am currently a sophomore majoring in Marketing.

MM: How did you find out/start getting involved with the Black Student Union?

ES: I found out about BSU during freshman orientation, I knew I would definitely go to the meetings because I commute and wanted to find my niche.

MM: Why did you want to take up a leadership position in the club?

ES: I quickly grew a bond with the current EBoard, and they all admired the potential I showed as a leader, so they convinced me to run for a position on the executive board. I could not say no because I knew the kind of impact they had on me and I wanted to have that kind of positive impact on other black students at Pace.

MM: What is your title and what do you?

ES: I am the Event Coordinator, I help plan all of the events such as the AfroCultural Affair, the Martin Luther King Jr. Lecture, and the All Black Affair. I also run all of our social media accounts along with our Secretary Amir Maxwell. I also send out all of our mass emails and design all of our posters.

MM: What other leadership positions are available?

ES: Besides Event Coordinator and Secretary (as previously mentioned) students are able to run for President, Vice President, Treasurer, and Central Committee, which is a subcommittee of the Executive Board.

MM: What is your favorite part about being in BSU?

ES: My favorite part of BSU is honestly having a safe space to talk about being a black person in a predominantly white space, free from judgment and shame. In our meetings, students are often at their most vulnerable and it’s a beautiful experience to share that vulnerability with people who truly understand your plight.

MM: What advice would you give students who are interested in getting involved?

ES: I would say to just go for it. There is nothing stopping you from being involved on campus, you don’t necessarily have to be a student leader, but there are so many clubs and committees to join. For me being a commuter student, I thought it would be hard for me to be involved because I am not on campus as much as students who dorm, but I make the time and it makes the college experience more worthwhile.

MM: How has being a part of BSU affected your student experience?

ES: Being a part of BSU has made me feel like I am a part of something bigger than myself. I have people looking out for me, and I do so in return for others. My leadership position has allowed me to connect so many people with each other, and I have been able to connect with many staff members to work on various projects. BSU has definitely pushed me to have a higher standard for myself, with everything I do whether it be academically, professionally, or anything in between.

MM: Are y’all doing any events this semester you’d like to advertise?

ES: This semester we will be having our MLK Lecture as previously mentioned, our All Black Affair and Art Symposium. These events are open to the entire student body, the MLK lecture is opened to outside guests as well.

MM: What do you do during an average meeting and when/where are they?

ES: During an average meeting, we have a main discussion based on either something trending on social media or in politics, or an issue pressing into the black community. Sometimes these discussions become intense, or we digress onto other topics, but nonetheless, students leave our meetings feeling enriched with knowledge.

MM: What kind of ways is BSU commemorating Black History Month this year?

ES: BSU is commemorating Black History Month every month! But this month our Secretary Amir Maxwell initiated a beautiful social media campaign, where black students embraced their blackness. (Be sure to follow us @bsupace!) Additionally, we have our annual All Black Affair on Feb. 28, which is a panel discussion on Sexual Education and Black Liberation along with food, music, dancing and good vibes.

MM: Any closing remarks/anything else you’d like to add?

ES: We want all students to know they are welcome to come to BSU meetings every Tuesday from 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. in room W616. Not only is BSU a safe space, but an inclusive one, and we ask all of our members to come to meetings with an open mind willing to learn from others, that is the only we can begin to see real change in our environments!