Being a Black Student Union board member

By Troi Patrick
April 1, 2019

I became a member of Black Student Union in my freshmen year. I signed up at the fall involvement fair and knew from then on that I wanted to continue to be a part of this family. When I was told that applications for the new executive board would be sent out, I immediately hopped right on it.

The interview process

I filled out the application and waited to hear back. When I was told that I got an interview with the board about the position that I applied for I was ecstatic. I went to my interview, extremely nervous but with high hopes. I have always been passionate about black unity and liberation, so it was more than just a club for me.

It was an opportunity for me to share my passion with other students on campus who felt the same. It was a way for me to connect with people and learn from them as well as them learning from me. I was interviewed by two former board members.

The setting was professional and I knew that it wasn’t like any other interview. They were trying to get a glimpse of my character in order to understand what kind of leader I would be. After a few weeks, I got the email that I got the position and I would have training soon. I was beyond excited and ready to start.

Stepping into my role

 I didn’t officially step into my role until January of this year, 2019. I knew that taking on the position would be a lot of hard work and very time consuming. Even though it would be challenging being on an E-board of a club I was excited and willing.

Black Student Union Executive Board at first event “Rep your flag” party. Photo submitted by Troi Patrick

Being the Vice President of retention and recruitment is a role that involves a lot of creative thinking and accountability. I have to constantly be thinking of what members want and how to maintain an influx of new members. I am constantly thinking of new ways to keep members happy and fulfilling the mission of the club.

We have member meetings every Thursday which we have to prepare for in advance. We also have meetings for the executive board so that we can communicate with each other about other things we have planned other than member meetings. Black Student Union takes up a good portion of my time, especially when we have events.

Black Student Union member meeting flyer. Graphic by BSU

First event

Black Student Union “Rep your flag” party flyer. Graphic by BSU

Our very first event was a party that we hosted on Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019 at Grace Hall. Before the party there was a lot of preparation that took place. Before being on the executive board and being a member I would go to Black Student Union parties and have a good time. I would get dressed and simply show up.

For the party we hosted I learned to appreciate how much it took for the former board to host successful events. All of the things that you never see play out are the most important parts of an event. I realized that all of the small details could seriously effect the turnout of an event.

Lighting, music, promotion etc., all play a huge part in having a great party. While planning this party we also have to cover all of the small details in events that we have coming up. It takes a lot to a board member, but all of the hard work is worth it.

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Troi Patrick

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