UB's Black Student Union celebrates Black History Month

Members promote black history, culture Ð Ônot just one month'

The Spectrum

UB's Black Student Union (BSU) has big plans for Black History Month, including birthday celebrations for Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, two pioneers for black equality.

BSU has several events lined up, such as a leadership conference for local high school students, its annual health fair with local health organizations, community service events that will be held every other weekend and a Valentine's Day candy-gram and raffle, according to Christina Dunn, an activities coordinator for the club and a sophomore sociology and communication major.

To conclude the month's festivities, the club will continue its tradition of hosting Black Explosion.

"It's a fashion and cultural show where we take any theme or idea that we want and run wild with it," said President Greg Bellonton, a senior psychology major. "The point of this year's fashion show is to readjust the focus to show that black is beautiful by taking the same ideas [that society has deemed beautiful] and putting our passion into it and showing that black is beautiful."

This year, BSU is switching things up by holding Black Explosion on March 1 instead of in February.

"It's really important to realize that black history is not just one month," Dunn said. "You should know your culture and your people and the way that we appreciate our history."

BSU holds meetings every Wednesday at 5 p.m. in 307 Student Union and welcomes people of every ethnicity and culture.

"You don't have to be black or from the Caribbean or Jamaica to come to our events," Bellonton said. "We can relate to everybody in America and throughout the world on different topics."

Anyone in the UB community can join BSU's progressive thinking by becoming a part of the club, Bellonton said. Even students from other schools, such as Buffalo State College and Erie Community College, attend the meetings, Dunn said.

Vice President Robin Murray said the club focuses less on "fighting against racial pressure" and more on "fighting for progress as youthful individuals."

BSU Treasurer Efun Sade Cadle, a junior finance major, is in her second semester at UB. She transferred to UB in August.

"I went to a historically black high school and 98 percent of the school was black," Cadle said. "UB is huge, and to find a small group of people who share the same interests as you just instills so much in you."

BSU Publicity Coordinator Sean Galette said the club allowed him to find family eight hours away from his home. Being an active BSU member has challenged him to maintain certain standards at school and led him to make multiple sacrifices.

"You really have to be truly dedicated to more than one thing at once," said Noelle Nesbitt, an activities coordinator and a junior biomedical engineering major. "You do have to measure up to the requirements that you actually put yourself up for."

Despite the challenges, Nesbitt said she is thankful for how BSU has provided her with the opportunities to network and grow as a person.

To find out more about the club or its events, Black Student Union is an open group on Facebook.

email: features@ubspectrum.com