The Afrikan/Black Student Alliance is now the Black Student Union (BSU), following internal discussions of the organization’s connection to the communities it serves.
Active BSUs exist at other UC campuses and universities around the world, from New York University to Oxford, England. The organization believes the name change aligns UC Santa Cruz’s BSU with these organizations, connecting the BSU with Black people across the nation and the greater diaspora.
“We are not in alliance with each other, because we are one,” said BSU president and second-year Basheera Ali-El.
The name change has been in the works since
last fall, alongside discussions of revamping the organization’s constitution. Members of the organization felt Black identification best encompassed the entirety of the communities they serve. Last spring’s Kerr Hall reclamation empowered the BSU to take the next steps in making these changes.
Changes to the group’s structure include a single president and vice president rather than two co- chairs and a constitution that prioritizes individual roles over shared responsibilities. Ali-El elaborated that this change helps the organization be more efficient.
As for the group’s mission, nothing has changed.
“We’re here to uplift, protect and make Black people feel safe,” Ali-El said.