Black Student Union Expresses School Diversity


Annelise Stone

President William Waters featured on the left.

Noah Karesh , Staff Writer

For many students, the school is a place where they are able to be around diverse people of all different races, religions and beliefs. Clubs such as the Jewish Student Union and the Gay Straight Alliance have helped students with similar as well as different characteristics come together to hang out and celebrate themselves. The Black Student Union (BSU), however, has made a unique impact on the school for the better.

In BSU, we bring together different people of different backgrounds, and even different ethnicities,” senior president William Waters said. “As a club we have been committed to continuing the club past our senior year and looking to the future for ways to make the club persevere past our time at West.”

Held after school in room A2036 the club currently has over 30 members and have meetings almost every Wednesday.  In meetings, the members discuss topics such as important events happening in the black community throughout the country, as well as more serious topics about negative issues affecting the black community and what the students can do to help solve these problems. The club also has guest speakers such as Mr. Man and events outside of school such as a basketball tournament. Senior member Yohannes Assefa talked about what makes BSU stand out compared to other clubs at West.

“We like to include everyone,” Yohannes said. “We always say bring your friends so we can have a unique and fun discussion.”

Senior member Yosyas Assefa made it clear that having people of different races in BSU is the key to having a successful club.

“The common misconception everyone has about the club is that you have to be black to join it but that is not true,” Yosyas said. “We want to hear from all different races of people and know what they are thinking so we can have a diverse discussion.”

BSU has also helped members learn valuable life lessons and made  Yohannes also talked about how BSU has been more than just a club to him.

“The biggest lesson I have learned from BSU has been respect,” Yohannes said. “Respecting everyone’s culture and not promoting anything negative towards them.”

At recent meetings, students have been discussing current events.

“We recently talked about the black-face controversy and what we can do as a club to prevent something like this from happening again,” Yohannes said.

BSU allows students to offer their personal opinions on the topics they discuss which helps make for different perspectives on some issues.

“Sometimes our discussions can get intense between members,” Assefa said. “But the council members are always able to make sure that the argument does not get out of hand.”

According to Waters, being a part of BSU means more than being in a club.

“I want everyone in the club to understand that it is an open space where we can have discussions about our lives and how we are affected by our racial identities,” Waters said. “Despite where we each come from, everyone in our community will look after one another at Plano West and beyond.”