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The MATC Black Student Union Rules

Updated: Apr 26

MATC has an incredible Black Student Union, and everyone should know about them! If you want to join you can on Campus Labs. Before I say anything else about them, I'll let them talk about their year, and a little about what they see for the organization going forward.

Cool logo courtesy of Elijah Holloway

Malcom Kanady - President: "We started off a bit rocky, and the pressure of taking eight classes in the spring to complete my two year program here at MATC weighed heavy on me. There were times I doubted if I was made to be a leader. In those times of doubt I had our advisors Erik Riley, and Janell Berry as well as the rest of our board and Kyle Hayden to fall back on. They collectively let it be known that they believed in my leadership and reassured that they have my back through it all. I owe it all to them, they kept me afloat and whenever I felt like I was sinking they pulled me back up." 

Gabrielle Armon-Wickers - Vice President: “Being a part of BSU has offered me another opportunity to learn what true leadership looks like. It means standing in the gap by connecting the students in need with appropriate resources, being a listening ear for those who feel as if their voices don’t matter and lastly, leadership means that you are dedicated to learning, growing and evolving for the betterment of not only yourself, but the world as a whole.” 

Valencia Nelson - Secretary: “Honestly, I’m super grateful for the BSU. I have come out of my shell since becoming a board member and been able to make genuine connections with the other members! Feels like family! I always felt like I missed the college experience but I’m grateful to finally get to experience it. I love it.”

Janell Berry - Advisor: “I am so proud of them all” she also added that “a mistake that makes you humble is better than an achievement that makes you arrogant.”

Erik Riley - Advisor: “the only thing I would add is the redesign of the BSU Logo, increasing our online presence and engaging with the Blackboard Organization. He also wants to offer Pulse Check surveys monthly to check in on members with their on and off campus experience.

Black Student Unions were an essential part of student organizing during the Black Power movement of the 1960’s, most notably beginning at San Francisco State College. They challenged the racial hegemony of the schools curriculum and have been credited as a major reason why schools today have black studies programs (Ibram X. Kendi) Black student unions were instrumental in transforming predominantly white college spaces in the 1960’s and 70’s, and still exist today doing similar work.

While college’s are more integrated in 2024 than they were in the 1960’s, we should all acknowledge that we have not defeated institutional racism in our society. Black student unions absolutely have a role to play in that fight for student equity, because when we are together we are stronger than we are alone. Black student unions work to develop unity among black students on campus so that they may advocate for their needs and concerns with greater strength.

The MATC Black Student Union is the liaison for African-American students on campus. If you are experiencing discrimination on campus, or have concerns for your safety or success at MATC the BSU is your strongest ally. A black student union also serves as a social organization, giving a dedicated space for students to network with each other, while creating an atmosphere of self respect. (Florida State University)

The best way to get involved in the BSU, as well as any other group on campus is utilizing Campus Labs. You can learn more about that here

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