On the ‘Keeping It Real Forum’

In the past the Black Student Union (BSU) has been dedicated to hosting McDaniel College’s annual “Keeping It Real Forum.” It is at this annual forum that students, staff, administrators and professors have the opportunities to address various issues, problems, solutions and suggestions of concern.

Typically the “Keeping It Real Forum” panel consists of a diverse group of staff and students (deans, professors, directors, etc) who adequately represent and contribute assorted perspectives. This year some of the main issues of concern to students were the role of Campus Safety (do they treat ALL students fairly?), diversity (whether McDaniel students consider this campus to be diverse), sanitation of the bathrooms, the flu, how McDaniel handled the situation, relationships and friendships amongst students of various backgrounds, the role of the BSU and the lack of support from the majority of the student body and staff.

For as long as the BSU “Keeping It Real Forum” has been in existence the audience and support of the event has been a homogeneous one—only members of the umbrella organizations and minority students support. It appears that for some reason or another, students continue to be resistant towards the BSU and events sponsored by the BSU.

It is the members of the BSU that often question why we do not receive student and staff support? Why do we have a homogenous membership? Why don’t students attend our events?

However, this lack of support does not halt the true mission and purpose of the BSU: to educate and bring awareness of black history and culture to the campus and community. The BSU will continue to invite students and staff with open arms to all events and forums. On a positive note, this year the “Keeping It Real Forum” was one of the most diverse forums thus far! This year the forum was composed of multiple cultures, races, ages, students and professionals. A lot of good questions were answered, problems were addressed and solutions were offered!

The BSU can only hope that next year will bring an even bigger and more diverse crowd than the year before.