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Hartwick College's Student Newspaper

The View From Oyaron Hill

Black Student Alliance (BSA) Start-Up


Jasmin Louis

On this campus there are multicultural organizations with the purpose of promoting the acceptance of people’s differences, but until recently there hasn’t been any club with the purpose of providing the Hartwick community programs that will shine an educational light on the African culture.

In this regard, the Black Student Alliance (BSA) is different from other minority awareness organizations on campus. For example, Society of Sisters United, Brothers United (SOSU/BU) focuses more on community service efforts in Oneonta and in educating the college on worldly issues, while BSA will focus on providing the Hartwick community with opportunities to increase and protect diversity on campus. The President of BSA, Gianni Marrow ’19, a freshman art major, said she started this organization, “because I felt like the Hartwick College community needed an advocacy group for black students.”  

SOSU/BU President Brianna McKenzie ’16 said, “I’m delighted the group has grown so quickly and has received such favorable support in such a short amount of time. To quote Mr. James Brown [R&B singer] ‘I’m Black and I’m proud!” When asked about the challenges she expected to face, Marrow said her biggest concern is “being accepted by the white community.”

Marrow has large aspirations for the Black Student Alliance on this campus, she said, “BSA is planning to bring this campus’ diversity to an all-time high.” She expects to achieve this goal “by letting all races know that are welcomed in BSA.” Other members of BSA agree that they joined this club because they felt under represented as black students on this campus.  

The Associate Dean and Director of Intercultural Affairs Harry Bradshaw Matthews, now the advisor of BSA, said he was very surprised 57 students signed up in support of BSA before it even became an official organization.

Matthews expects that BSA will bring in a higher level of consciousness to the campus so individuals understand that we have to bring more cultural acceptance here at Hartwick College.

The Black Student Alliance has made large strides in the process of becoming a recognized club on this campus in a short amount of time. They have many events scheduled for Black History Month and future months to come in an attempt to reach the goal of increasing diversity and consciousness of black culture on this campus.

The Eboard of this new club consists of: Gianni Marrow ’19 as President, Shaminka Pollard ’18 as Vice President, Dy-Mineke Caver ’18 as Treasurer, Adjoa Asafu-Adjaye ’18 as Black History Month Chair 1, Loverte Larkai ’18 as Black History Month Chair 2, Jasmin Louis ’18 as Internal Affairs, Jaleel Belfor ’17 as Historian.

BSA’s events for the month:

  • Apollo Night Feb. 23 @ 7-9  p.m. in Laura’s Lounge

  • Wild’n’Out Feb. 24 @ 7-9 p.m. in Laura’s Lounge

  • Tray Day (In memory of Trayvon Martin) Feb. 26 – All day students are asked to war hoodies in commemoration.