Black Student Union holds series of events to welcome students back to campus


Jordan Plowman/ Sunflower

Wichita State students pies two of the Black Student Union during their Pie a cabinet member event on Aug. 23.

The Black Student Union is joining in on the first two weeks of school fun by holding a series of events this week, all focused on welcoming students back to Wichita State’s campus. They are also celebrating 20 years of being a registered organization on campus.

On Tuesday evening, roughly 20 students gathered together in front of the Rhatigan Student Center for BSU’s scavenger hunt where the winners received various gift cards. The Union also held a meet and greet and open mic night.

Another stand out event was the “Pie a Cabinet Member” event on Monday. Even Wu decided to join in on the fun and pied BSU’s president in the face. 

The President of BSU Omarian Brantley said that the goal for the events is to bring back some fun that students have been missing amidst COVID-19.

“Really, I’m just hoping to have the Black students have fun again on campus, because you know, it’s been so long since they have been able to actually get out and do stuff, so I hope they have fun and hopefully they make new friends,” Brantley said. 

Black Student Union Cabinet member Kynnedy Moore smiles after getting smacked in face with whip topping during the Pie a Cabinet Member event on Aug. 23. (Jordan Plowman/ Sunflower)

Aside from the events, Brantley said that overall BSU’s goal is to serve as a connecting point for all Black WSU students. 

“It’s really the safe haven for all Black identifying students to be able to come somewhere and see somebody who looks like them,” Brantley said. “Not only that but we’re also the connecting point for you know, Black students who may be in engineering, Black students who are involved in Greek life, you know, so they can all come together for Black Student Union.”

Wichita State is a predominately white institution. Out of the roughly 16,000 students, 6% are Black.

“It’s very important that they have a safe haven of sorts, of people who look like them and where they know they can go for help and things like that,” Brantley said.

BSU treasurer Tatum Graham echoed Brantley’s sentiments.

“Personally, I think it’s important to the students here because it gives them another home away from home, they have a bunch of people who are like them,” she said. “It’s important to me because it brings me a family outside of my own family.” 

Graham said she hoped that the week of events brought more students to the union who otherwise wouldn’t know of its existence.

“A goal that I have from this week is probably to bring in more students who did not know about us, word spreads around fast I guess after you throw good events,” Graham said. “I feel like this week we started off strong, started off big, so I want to grow the family some more.”

Junior Maurissa Cunningham has been involved in BSU since her freshman year. She said that the community aspect of the union is why it’s so important on campus.

“It’s important to us because we have each other to lean back on and use for advice and things like that,” Cunningham said. “I’m hoping they will accomplish a lot of networking and meeting new people.”

Sophomore Dacaria Harris attended the events in hopes of gaining more of a college experience that she felt was taken away due to the pandemic.

“Last year, I didn’t have much of a freshman year, so I didn’t get to meet anybody, so I thought this would be a fun way to meet people and engage with the outside world,” Harris said.

Fellow sophomore Lamia Taft also attended the event for similar reasons.

“It’s my sophomore year so I wanted to go and meet new people,” Taft said. “We should have more events like this just so people get out. I know last year, myself, it was hard making friends.”

The Welcome Black Week continues tomorrow with a painting event in the RSC. The week concludes with a cookout at Fairmount Park on Friday.