BSU celebrates Black History Month

BSU kicked off Black History Month in the Union and celebrated their 50th anniversary with food and festivities.

ANNA STEVENS

February is Black History Month, and to celebrate, Black Student Union (BSU) has a month full of events. The Kick-Off in Maucker Union on the 1st of February jump started the festivities. “The purpose of the Kick-Off was to shock people into paying attention to the realities of Black lives,” BSU president Laito Zarkpah said. Dressed in black, BSU members walked through Maucker Union with tape over their mouths, symbolizing the ways Black people have been silenced and how their voices and stories are not heard. To top off the day, BSU celebrated their 50th birthday on UNI’s campus on the top level of Maucker Union with food, music and community. 

On Wednesday Feb. 9, the CME hosted Poetry Slam in classroom 109P at 6 p.m. Students delivered their written pieces of poetry, song lyrics or short stories, and prizes were  given to the top three performances. If preferred, contestants were not judged, but were still able to perform. Performances were accepted anytime through the event. 

Gift of Life Church will be preparing and hosting Soul Food Dinner from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 13. Stop by for good food, fellowship, and a good time. Rides will be provided upon request.

For Valentine’s Day BSU will be handing out Candy Grams in Maucker Union. Students had the opportunity to order Candy Grams for friends in the weeks prior. Come through to pick them up between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

The Skate Party will be held on Saturday Feb. 19, in the WRC starting at 6 p.m. No payment is necessary, and skates are provided. The theme is 70s attire. A prize will be given to the skater with the best 70s themed outfit, and to the best overall skater. 

On Monday Feb. 28, come to Lang Hall at 6 p.m. for the Tunnel of Oppression. The purpose is for “people to learn about the experiences of Black people from Black people,” Zarkpah explained. A tour will be given to those who attend. Each room will display an oppression that Black people face.

Last year had rooms showcasing the oppression of hair, dances and a Say Their Name room. A debrief room will be available at the end for those who would like to use it.

BSU will cap off Black History Month with the Toast for Change banquet on Saturday, March 5. Starting at 6 p.m., the event will be held in the Maucker Ballrooms. This banquet serves as a “thank you” to those who helped and sponsored events for Black History Month. Awards will be given to the most promising executive board members, and past Black Student Union presidents will be invited to discuss the history of the organization, as well as celebrate the 50th anniversary. Keep an eye out for an RSVP. Refreshments will be provided.

Black History Month is a time to reflect on the past, as well as celebrate the future. Zarkpah’s goal for the events this month is to “create a space for black and brown students on campus where they feel safe and are heard.” As well, it is a time to educate the other students on campus, but everything that is planned is for the black and brown students that need it. For any questions, email Black Student Union at [email protected]