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Eye Opener Dinner

Eye Opener Dinner

October 13, 2013
By Siphamandla Simelane

Sometimes you never know what you are missing out until someone tells you about the benefits of being part of the group. Last year the Black Student Union was shut down due to lack of interest from students. I was part of the group of students that were never interested in joining BSU until I attended the black alumni dinner.

During the dinner, the founding fathers of BSU told us the purpose of BSU in their time and the impact it had in their lives. Being a minority group on campus, BSU provided the platform for black students to discuss issues that they encountered and helped each other in overcoming obstacles. They  would assign each black  freshman to a responsible upper classman who would guide and give the freshman the required tools to be successful both academically and socially here at Luther College. Additionally, it was an organization where black students could socialize freely, i.e play and dance to their favorite tunes of music. Through BSU, the minority groups that were represented across campus were able to add their music genre in the music system in Dante, the place today known as Marty’s. Having their genre at Dante, this provided another pleasant place for them to relax. BSU provided the platform where the students would talk, dance and do other activities without the fear of being judged or stepping on other people’s toes. BSU provided something that the black students could identify themselves with.

After the dinner I had a talk with one alumni that graduated 2011. Prior to meeting him at the dinner, I had never talked to him about anything of substance while he was in college. Even though I am still a student at Luther College we discussed problems that we have in the different communities that we come from and we discovered that there are the same.  That night I went to bed asking myself why I didn’t start this conversation a long time ago with him. All I discovered was that the stereotypes I have towards African Americans stopped me from having some conversation with them.

After different conversations I concluded that we might be from different parts of the world but we are fighting the same battles. Our attitudes towards each other, black or white, African American or African, determines the outcome of the battles at hand. We cannot look at the surface and allow these differences keep us apart, we can do more if we look deep down in our hearts and see that our differences can help us come together and help each other in winning the challenges we are faced with.

 I am glad that there are students who have seen the need of BSU and are doing all they can to revive it. This will be a platform that I will make good use of while I am still at Luther College.

Off course, I also made great connections.

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