Black Student Union: Creating a Community


DJ Duncan

Club Rush Week was the official premier of the Black Student Union.

Hannah Nelson, Staff Writer

Vista del Lago High School introduced the Black Student Union this year, creating a new opportunity for a united African American community on campus.

“We are a club formed to create a community on campus for black students and black student allies. Our goals are to educate Vista on black culture, be a point for cultural exchange, be a community of caring Vista students, and have fun!” the club website says.

The president of the club, senior Camille Braswell, wanted to create a space for students to experience black culture. “I wanted to share that with people in a more authentic way than the media does,” she said.

Starting this common club at Vista was a stepping stone for students to come closer together and get to know other black students at the school. “I didn’t know any of the underclassmen that are black at this school,” said the vice president, senior David Butler. This was a driving factor in the creation of the Black Student Union.

“It can be hard to start something like this, especially since there aren’t that many black students here. It can be intimidating to think that no one could sign up,” said Braswell.

Vista’s growing student body created the need for more unity among students. The large number of incoming freshman this year brought more minority students onto campus, and these students can now find a welcoming space at school. “I know that coming here and having no one look like me is kind of an alienating feeling,” said Butler, “and I feel like knowing that there is people that look like you and experience the same culture as you on campus is a really nice feeling. It can help you get  through tough times when you need to have someone to talk to about something that is only pertinent to your demographic.”

When it comes to tolerance on Vista’s campus, the officers know that it is an accepting place.

Butler and Braswell both pointed out that educating people is the best way to spread culture and break stereotypes. “I think that some people aren’t knowledgeable that their actions are offensive, whether it’s against black people or other minorities,” said Butler. “Part of the reason why it’s so exciting for me to have other people come to our meetings is because when you educate one person on something, that is going to spread,” said Braswell.

During previous meetings, the club showed an episode of the Netflix original “Dear White People,” a show about black students, and plan to continue watching more episodes. Other future ideas for the meetings include sharing black forms of media, such as music and films.

At the next large meeting, on Nov. 19, there will be a potluck-style event to share foods of all backgrounds and cultures. The officers are encouraging students of all ethnicities and backgrounds to contribute to the event and join the Black Student Union.