The Struggle Continues

Photo+courtesy+of+BSU.

Photo courtesy of BSU.

Brianne Williams, Writer

 

UTEP decreased the amount of Black History events on campus and Black student organizations are not happy about it. 

Though Black History Month has come and gone, Black students said they were disappointed with the lack of celebration the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) had to offer this year. 

Kyra Lewis, president of the Black Student Union, in an email to Minero Magazine called the lack of university sponsored celebrations and events, unfortunate.

“In full honesty, we were not expecting much from the university,” Lewis said. “It’s unfortunate, but as a union and executive board, we already anticipate that the university will not celebrate Black History Month in the manner it should.”

In fact, the Black Student Union does not often hear from the University at all, until the month of February, Lewis shared.

“I completely understand (that) they want to look for some direction from the organization, but, to almost completely rely on a student org to dictate the whole university’s celebration of BHM, doesn’t make much sense to me and makes me wonder if that is what happens for other cultural groups and events.” Lewis said.

“There was a week’s worth of stuff for Valentine’s celebrations but nothing memorable for BHM,” Lewis said.  

However, Lewis said, that did not stop the Black Student Union from having their own celebrations or promoting Black History Month (BHM).  

UTEP offers a variety of clubs, organizations, fraternities and sororities that black students can be a part of. These include Black Student Union (BSU), African Student Organization (ASO) and the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. (AKA). 

Black History month is not just meant to recognize the struggles both from the past and present but to celebrate the “successes and accomplishments as well,” Lewis said.  

In recent years, UTEP has hosted various events to commemorate Black History Month, however this year there were only three. A panel discussion, held by the Student Engagement and Learning Center about Juneteenth, indirectly related to Black History Month, a webinar from Ruqaiijah Yearby, J.D., M.P.H, held by UTEP’s African American studies program and an intersectionality panel that was held on March 1.  

Lewis shared that with UTEP being an “educational institution,” there is more that can be done to commemorate Black History, not just in February, but all year long.  

Lewis shared that the Black Student Union operates all year and invites students to join and participate in meetings and events.  

 

Black Student Union meetings are held on Fridays in the Union East Building, and their Instagram can be found @utepbsu