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New organization seeks to promote diversity, awareness

by Mariah Hirsch, Staff Reporter

INDIANOLA, Iowa — Members of a new organization on campus hope to promote diversity and awareness of the African-American community at Simpson College.

The Black Student Union is an organization that benefits African-Americans as well as the rest of the student body on campus. Formed in November 2016, the BSU strives to provide an intellectual, cultural and social environment for minority students as well as community members.

“When I got here I saw there wasn’t a lot of students like me, but I knew they were on this campus somewhere feeling the same way I was,” said Linda Ramseur, president of the BSU. “Homesick, looking for a friend and just looking to express their emotion on situations somewhere with someone of the same ethnicity.”

“I noticed we haven’t had a black organization in 10-plus years,” she added. “I was fed up with being the minority and not being heard or represented enough on campus, so I decided to create the Black Student Union. From then on it wasn’t just a passion to do this but a survival mechanism to keep sanity and a safe space for people to come and be heard.”

The mission of the BSU is to give minorities a voice as well as provide an educational and cultural program to promote the understanding of the African-American culture.

“We want to be able to bring diversity to this campus and help provide a successful college experience for black students and other minorities,” Ramseur said.

The BSU will provide a support system for all members of the Simpson community by creating an environment that provides and promotes leadership opportunities, uplifts their identity in various ways and encourages diversity on the campus.

“We understand our unique position at this institution, and we will do our best to provide an understanding of our identity and to bring more diversity to campus with new incoming students,” Ramseur said.

Even though the organization puts emphasis on embracing the African-American community, students from all backgrounds and ethnicities are encouraged to join.

“We have alliances with Latinos United, the LGBTQ+ and the Feminists Organization,” said freshman Abby Adika, vice president of the BSU.

Its first event was a pajama party Dec. 3.
Other events that the BSU wants to put on include a Reggae vs Soca party and a cultural fashion show.

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