By Brianna Hamblin
The new executive board for Black Student Alliance has been elected for the 2016-2017 year, and it looks like some new faces with fresh new ideas will be running things. Second year College student Bryanna Miller was elected President of BSA, and will be the only reoccurring executive member. Cameron Stokes, a first year Curry student, was elected as Vice President. Second years in the College, Brianna Hamblin and Haden Parish, were elected as Directors of Communications. First year College student, Lauryn Major, was elected Director of Finance. Director of Membership will be second year in the College, Chandra Asare. Directors of Programming will be second years in the College, Isaiah Walker and Kayla Vincent. Wes Gobar, a second year in the College, is the new Political Advisor. And the new secretary will be first year in the College, Bryanna Rather.
The new BSA executive board came together before elections to run as a team, known as the TRUST team. TRUST stands for transparency, representation, unity, sustainability, and transformation. TRUST is the basis for how this new team wants to come together to form a stronger Black community. Bryanna Miller felt that it was important to give BSA a fresh start.
“The BSA that’s going to exist next year is going to be so different than the one that we’ve experienced so far, in good ways,” Miller said. “And so I would love for people to look at this transition as really a rebranding and a re-launching of BSA, because I think that that’s what our community really needs and what the organization needs, and that’s why the TRUST team exists, because we all agree that BSA has to be transformed, and that BSA is an important vehicle for spreading change within our community.”
Cameron Stokes is one of the first years that were brave enough to run for an executive position. His perspective as a first year is really what made him want to run.
Stokes said, “Coming in first year I was like ‘okay BSA that sounds so cool. Black Student Alliance, there’s only 6% of us, so it would be cool to get involved.’ And it just wasn’t what I thought it would be… So I was like let me take initiative. Like my mom said, if I don’t like something, instead of just talking about it, complaining, just go ahead and try, so that’s what I did.”
Being White on the executive board of BSA, Haden Parish knows that he plays a special roll on the board that he will not take for granted.
“As an ally I know I have a unique role to play,” Parish said. Many people see BSA as an exclusive group, but that has never been my experience. I hope to help open doors for other allies that want to get involved in events and know more about the black community and BSA specifically, while also maintaining the safe space that I see BSA to be.”
Everyone on the new executive board is excited for the future of BSA. Miller believes the new team will work well together and all have something special to offer.
“This executive board kind of came together in a really organic way, and so I think the benefit of that is that we have so many people with different strengths, different backgrounds, different ways of looking at their cultural background and also different ways of looking at the community. And so I feel like having that balance of perspectives is going to help us a lot with decision making and making sure that we make the right choices for our community.”
The Black community, minority CIOs, and allies should all be on the lookout for exciting things to come from BSA this upcoming school year.