This past week I got to sit down and interview Alicia Maynard, the President of Cabrini’s Black Student Union.
Cabrini BSU’s mission is: “The Black Student Union welcomes people of all races, sexual orientations, and faiths to gain insight and share experiences while seeking to understand the experience of others. BSU celebrates the black cultures of our ancestors and those who have made an impact on society to help disband stereotypes and viewpoints of racism throughout the nations. While we celebrate and explore our own culture, we strive to embrace ourselves along with the perspectives of other cultures. We are composed of different shades of students who seek to build relationships throughout the Cabrini Community to gain respect and retain our virtue as a people.We are committed to making decisions for the betterment of our evolving community.”
Alicia is a senior this year majoring in Accounting with minors in Human Resource Management and Leadership Studies. She provided some insight into what the club is about and what her role as President includes.
What made you want to join BSU in the first place?
Alicia: My freshman year all my friends were in it so I thought, why not join? I was just comfortable being around people that looked like me, and I felt that we could relate to the same things. Marketa, who was the President when I joined, was very helpful, so I just kept going. Everyone was so friendly and I just felt comfortable.
What kind of topics do you guys talk about?
Alicia: We talk about a lot of different things such as self-esteem, current events, life before and after Cabrini, race and racial issues, relationships, finances, etc.
How does BSU connect to you as a person?
Alicia: I think the Black Student Union represents the idea of the underdog, whether you’re referring to the formation of the club or just the members that are in the club. Sometimes you may think that it's just a bunch of black people coming together and talking but I think it’s about all types of people coming together and sharing their experiences and hardships. Being able to share the tough times in your life truly shows growth and ability to take that situation and turn it to help someone else. I am an underdog, using my life daily as an example to help others.
What experiences has this position lead you to?
Alicia: I would say being more open to sharing my story of who I am and using my own experiences to help other people. I’ve done that before but now it’s on a larger scale since I have more people looking up to me.
What do you hope to gain from your role as President?
Alicia: I’m not necessarily looking to gain anything. I really just want to give all that I have. I want leave here knowing that I gave everything I could. One thing that I have gained, though, is networking. I have met various different people through this role and that's really important. Other than that I’m truly looking to give my everything so that the club can really succeed.
What do you hope for others to know about the organization, especially people from the outside looking in?
Alicia: That we’re not perfect and your experience in BSU is what you make it. If you take advantage of the activities that we do and the conversations that we have, then you’ll really gain something from the club. Also, it’s not just for Black people, it’s for everyone. We always want to create an atmosphere that people can come and be themselves, and be accepted. We truly want the members that decide to be a part of BSU to know that we are there for support and we just want the best for them. We’re going to give you everything we have as far as resources. Whatever issues you may have, just bring them up so we can work through it, because you're probably not the only one or we probably have gone through the same thing. We want to give members their own voice to be able to do things on their own freely and get stuff done. The only way that we can create this environment of unity is if people that are different come together. It might be awkward and uncomfortable at first but it'll pass, you just have to hang in there.
BSU has a weekly meeting on Thursdays at 8pm in Iadarola Center Lecture Hall. All are welcome to attend the meetings. For more information on the club, please contact Alicia at email@example.com.