The Black Student Organization (BSO) is an organization at Valpo where students can find themselves surrounded by others who are just like them, even if they find themselves in the minority population. BSO is where African Americans can come and associate with other students of the same race.
“We hope that it will bring community with in,” said Jen Stanton, activities coordinator.
BSO is a part of the multicultural program, a program comprised of different organizations made up of people different ethnicities. BSO in particular is meant for the socialization of African American students and to bring diversity to those who enter. Their aim is to inform students on campus on the rich culture of black history. They also give the opportunity for learned traditions in the African American community to be passed down so they won’t be forgotten.
The BSO meetings are held every other week and are meant to discuss topics involving matters in the black community such as police brutality and on going African American trials. The group also takes a look at African American history to help them connect better with their culture. Closer to finals week, meetings are a place where members can play trivia games and jeopardy to help students let off steam while they are studying.
BSO is heavily involved with Black History Month and organizes many activities on campus to inform students and help get them involved. To kick off the month, they will hold their annual Gospel Fest in the Chapel of Resurrection. They will also hold a Soul Food Dinner and a trip to the African American Museum in Chicago. To end the month, they will hold their annual Black History Month Dinner.
The purpose of organizing these events is so students can experience black culture and get and idea of where African American history originated from.
“Black History Month is an opportunity for our campus to celebrate the culture and experiences of african american students,” said Janelle Love, assistant director of the Office of Multicultural Programs (OMP).
It’s the BSO’s job to educate not just the African American students about Black History Month, but also other people on what it means to be a black student on a college campus.
“[We] want Black History Month to be a month to remember the past but prepare for the future,” said BSO President Shayne Barron when asked about the hopes they have for their traditions in the future.
If you are interested in getting involved with BSO or want to learn more about their Black History Month events, you can stop by their office in the Student Organizations Suite.