The University of Mary has over 40 organizations students can join, but one group stands out this month.
The Black Student Union is an organization designed to support African American students on campus. The minority population at UMary is 12.7 percent.
Students say the African American population is even less.
“At first, it can be a little bit of a culture shock. A lot of the athletes are coming from places around the country and they might not be used to being in such an environment that is not as diverse,” said Founder Glenn Jordan.
The group was founded in 2020 and has about 100 members today.
Jordan says it’s important to create a safe place for Black students.
“Around the time of the George Floyd incident, some classmates and I really thought there was just a need for an organization like this on campus. We could really improve the inclusion and intercultural relationships on campus,” said Jordan.
Coach Michael Orris serves as an advisor and says it should be more common in local schools.
“I grew up in the south suburbs of Chicago in a predominantly Black community. I’ve been immersed in that culture ever since I could remember. I wanted to be able to be a voice and help these kids with whatever they needed,” said Orris.
All students on campus can join the Black Student Union.
Events like campus cookouts have been held to introduce the organization to the student body.
Brannon Flowers is an active member of UMary’s Black Student Union. He says having a space on campus has been life-changing.
“It’s here to promote cultural and social growth, it’s a safe haven for multicultural students to come and voice their opinions,” Flowers said.
Jordan says having an organization like the Black Student Union to represent minorities on campus encourages students to be involved.
There are many national organizations that were created to support Black students, but UMary’s Black Student Union has made a monumental stride in diversifying universities in the Midwest.