Photo by Hillary Ehlen
Photographed: Standing (Left to Right): Ari Newman, Kweku Amusah, Chelaina Daniels, Kiara Jackson; Sitting (Left to Right): Michael Samuel and Frederick Edwards Jr.
I hope this article finds you with a morale as high as the Red River!
Meet the Black Student Association (BSA) of NDSU, a group of stellar students making the campus a safer and more inclusive place for people from every walk of life! They have helped me tremendously in making me feel like I belonged on the NDSU campus. I’m excited to have been able to talk with President Kweku Amusah. I am forever grateful to have my BSA family as a support system in my life.
1) Can you give us a historical background and timeline of the Black Student Association (BSA) at NDSU? What is your mission?
The Black Student Association had been inactive for a few years. It was reactivated by our former president Michael Samuel fall 2017. The mission of the Black Student Association is to help enhance the college experience for minority students by providing support socially and academically, along with informing students about social problems that minorities face in society.
2) Why was this student organization started? What audience do you serve?
The reason this student organization was started was to give students a purpose here on campus, along with graduating. We wanted to build a Bison family that people can depend on when they are away from home. The Black Student Association is open to all NDSU students, but we host events for the community to attend as well.
3) How often do you meet? What events or activities do you do on campus and in the FM area?
We meet on Thursdays at 8 p.m. in the Glenn Hill Center on the NDSU campus. We spend an hour or two either discussing societal topics at NDSU or on controversial topics in society. We also collaborate with Moorhead State and Concordia for some events. Lunde Auto is our biggest supporter and sponsor in the FM area.
4) What are the challenges you face as the BSA?
The major challenges we face with our organization is getting the right recognition in terms of any assistance from NDSU. We, as a group, are dedicated to making sure there is a foundation for diverse students at this university, to graduate not only with a degree but with the right mindset and proper knowledge of the real-world challenges and opportunities. We did not create this organization for money or any kind of recognition or fame. We had a simple goal tied around diverse students and our drastic retention rate collectively as diverse students. They did not feel at home here until BSA began and we’ve been able to really get everybody to understand what we do, why we do it and that BSA is a reason to stay at NDSU.
5) Do you know of the newly started Chamber of Commerce committee Professionals of Color?
News of the POC was brought to BSA by word of mouth but we haven’t been able to really get familiar with that organization yet. We are aware of their purpose and goals for the diverse people of the FM area and we plan to really involve ourselves with their program in the upcoming years.
6) Would you consider making a career in the FM area after graduation?
Being from the Twin Cities, Minn., I often spend summers at home and was, fortunately, able to land an internship with a major company in the United States. That, unfortunately, does not allow me to build a career here in the FM area, but I plan to still be very invested with our BSA organization here as well as the newly introduced POC organization. The goal of graduated alumni is to make sure we are still offering services to this BSA and make sure it only grows stronger.
7) What would you tell to your freshman self before starting college?
Make a plan. Nothing needs to be finalized, but you need a plan for everything. Whether it’s your morning routine, what you need to do in a day and when or how to study for assignments and exams, it is extremely important to have a plan because scrambling causes even more stress.
An example I would give based on what I have been doing is to wake up early, work on developmental tasks such as reading or getting exercise, spend your day knocking down all your tasks hour by hour and spend your evenings taking care of yourself, whether it’s stretching before bed or simply making a plan for the next day. A plan is the key.
President: Kweku Amusah
Vice-President: Kettie Tesfa
Treasurer: Michael Samuel
Public Relations: Dwayne Holloway
Activities Coordinator: Malia Green
Social Media Coordinator: Kiara Jackson
Academics Coordinator: Chelaina Daniels
Chief of Staff: Frederick Edwards Jr.
If you’re interested in learning more about the group, contact [email protected]