Organization Spotlight: Black Student Union (Proven)
(ABILENE, Texas)–HSU’s Black Student Union was founded last year to “foster a fun and safe environment that engages our students in discussion on issues affecting us and our surrounding communities.”
The BSU goes by the name Proven. “We wanted it to be Proven because we have nothing left to prove,” said A’breanna Harrison ’20, this year’s Treasurer. “We’re not fighting for our rights. We’re already established. We have our human rights, and we know who we are and what we deserve.”
Taylor Woods ’21 is the 2019-20 Event Coordinator. She hopes to add new events this year, including a barbecue, crawfish boil, and lawn party. Last year, Proven hosted a kickball game and a spring splash including a water balloon fight, cannonball contest, food, an egg hunt, and an egg toss. Harrison said this was her favorite event.
“I loved it because there were so many people that we were able to reach out to,” she said. “When I saw all these people of different races and ethnicities in one place, I thought, ‘if we can do this, imagine what we can do for our campus.’”
The group also had movie nights watching The Best of Enemies and The Hate U Give in theatres. After the movies, they would stay in the theatre and discuss the film’s applications to society. Another favorite event is Monday Music Meals. Students gather to listen to music, eat good food, and discuss current topics.
“We have fun and listen to music, but we also talk about deep issues like race and what it means to be a black man or woman in society,” Harrison said. “So many times, people don’t want to talk about things like this, but they need to be spoken about. Everyone is different, so we need to hear from every viewpoint.”
An Inviting Atmosphere
Proven founded the HSU Gospel Choir. The choir performed during Diversity Week and chapel last year and plan to continue performing this year. They were also instrumental in creating HSU’s Latin Student Union, Sangre. The two groups often partner for events.
“We really want to break the discomfort that people have on campus about topics that are hard to discuss,” Woods said. “People have lots of questions about these issues, but they sometimes need the right environment to discuss them.”
Although the organization is called the Black Student Union, all students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to participate in their events. “Our goal for this year is to reach more people,” Harrison said. “Everybody’s welcome.”