Since the 1960s, Black Student Unions have brought students together with common beliefs and cultural identities. The College’s chapter meets weekly to engage in conversation and discuss current events while planning activities to raise awareness for the constant battle for equality. Their most recent event was the association’s annual Open Mic Night on Sept. 5th in the Cato Center.
Poetic words of oppression and original songs filled the Cato Center. Kalene Parker, president of the College’s BSU, said she was overly satisfied with the turnout for the Open Mic Night, given the weather was less than ideal. The first year president credits the great turn out to the organization’s use of social media and word of mouth.
Sophomore Alyssa Johnson found out about the event through a friend who regularly attends BSU meetings. Johnson was enthralled by the amount of talent at the show and is excited to attend more of the organization’s programs.
Other students found out about the Open Mic Night simply by being in the right place at the right time. “I was just walking through Cato when I heard some music, so I stopped in,” Nicholas Jeffcoat mentioned. “I’ll definitely be back to more events. I am a big fan of Dexter.”
Freshman Dexter Mitchell was the night’s second act and Charleston’s newest celebrity. Mitchell usually covers artists such as Ed Sheeran and Cage The Elephant, but made his college debut at the Open Mic with a Two Door Cinema Club cover and a catchy original song. He got his start in music early on with piano and viola lessons, but it was not until eighth grade that he started to sing and play guitar. The theatre major claims it was his youth group band that helped him find his undiscovered talents. He is eager to share his music and plans to attend more BSU events.
To become more involved with the BSU, Parker suggests coming to the weekly meetings Tuesday’s at 7 p.m. Members are not required to attend every meeting or pay dues, however, Parker values regular engagement. “In order for us to have a thriving organization, it starts with having dedicated and supportive members who really want to be apart of what the executive board is doing this year,” she shared. The organization’s next event will be held on Oct. 24, where students can participate in a live radio stream to discuss the recent Charleston shootings and related topics.