Recognizing our Black Student Union


The Black Student Union E-Board

Felicity Knabenbauer, Lifestyle Editor

“The purpose of education, therefore, is to educate everyone to think critically and to think intensively.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

Although Black students make up less than 5% of the University of Whitewater campus enrollment, they make a huge impact here on campus. The Black Student Union (BSU) has been working to build up this community and showcase their importance to not only the university but Whitewater itself. 

When BSU was founded, it was a very political organization owing to rules in 1968 that sought to block integration and equality on college campuses in Wisconsin. Today, while BSU responds to and engages contemporary problems and debates, it has focused more on community building and belonging. 

“When I first got to Whitewater, BSU depicted itself as a home away from home. It also serves as an asylum and a place for individuals of color, like myself, to view Whitewater as welcoming,” said BSU President, Keshawn Williams.

BSU recognizes itself as a place for individuals to thrive in an environment that does not necessarily provide the same stability and cultural awareness as their communities back at home do. This presents an isolating problem that many of these students are forced to face.

“Students of color are in a unique position to best understand the challenges they face in a primarily white institution and to help their fellow students. This is a key point related to the difference between equity and equality. When BSU functions well, it is a key tool students have to try to address the equity gap for students of color by offering assistance and a sense of community. The BSU mission is to work towards promoting student success and the organization is able to do this through community building and a variety of programs. How students feel they belong in a college environment is an important factor that determines whether they stay or leave,” said BSU Advisor, Adam Paddock.

If not for BSU, many of these students would feel out of place and lacking opportunities inside the walls of college. Instead, they are able to break out of their molds and get to have the college experience that all students deserve to be exposed to.

“BSU basically changed my life in ways of gaining more opportunities for networking. Without it there are a lot of people that I probably would have never met or had the opportunity to communicate with,” said Williams.

To learn more about the Black Student Union (BSU) visit