By EVONE HARRIS
When the School Sisters of Notre Dame wrote the mission and the vision statement for their educational institution, they emphasized the “development of the whole person through encouragement of leadership, integrity and a deep sense of social justice arising from a sensitivity to moral values.” With this mission in mind, some students have gathered together to organize and to establish the “Black Student Union,” or “BSU,” Mount Mary University’s newest student organization.
Diana Algee, psychology major in her junior year at Mount Mary, is the founder of the BSU and its first acting president.
“Thinking of the university’s mission statement, I wanted to help deliver on that promise of encouraging women as leaders, and enriching the development of the whole person by providing an organization that fosters to the diversity of the student body,” Algee said.
Although the name of the organization might sound preemptive, Algee stressed that this is not a club solely for black students, that “the organization is open to everyone. Both black and non-black students can join the BSU and serve on the executive board if elected.”
Not only have the students expressed a serious interest for the establishment of a BSU, so have many faculty and staff members.
Tyanna McLaurin, an admissions officer, is the adviser to the BSU, as well as a member of the Diversity Committee. She remembers her college days at Marquette University and how the BSU there played a huge role in her acclimation to the campus.
“Through planned activities, [the BSU] encouraged the development of interpersonal relationships, as well as equipped me with the tools for professional development that helped ease me into the professional workforce,” McLaurin said.
When asked what prompted her to assume the role of adviser to the BSU, McLaurin said it was “an important entity to have on campus for the social support for students.”
Nicole Gahagan, acting dean of student affairs, hopes the establishment will provide inspirational guidance and spark interest in the formation of other cultural organizations, so as to create a campus that can truly cater to the vast diversity of its student body.
Gahagan gave the final stamp of approval for the establishment of the BSU. She sees it as being “in alignment with Mount Mary’s mission and vision as it relates to social justice, and also our general philosophy as it relates to diversity and celebrating diversity.”
General assembly meetings for the Black Student Union will be held every first Thursday of the month beginning in February from noon-1 p.m. in the Alumnae Dining Room. For further information or to express an interest in serving on the executive board, contact Diana Algee at firstname.lastname@example.org.