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Source: Brandon Hall, branhall@k-state.edu
Web site: http://www.k-state.edu/bsu/
Photo available. Contact media@k-state.edu or 785-532-6415.
News release prepared by: Nellie Ryan, 785-532-6415, media@k-state.edu

Thursday, Jan. 28, 2010

PRESIDENT OF K-STATE'S BLACK STUDENT UNION AIMS TO HELP HIS FELLOW STUDENTS HAVE COLLEGIATE SUCCESS

MANHATTAN -- As a first-generation college student, Brandon Hall said he was especially unaware of what it took to transition from high school to college.

Now, with firsthand experience of these difficulties and as president of Kansas State University's Black Student Union, Hall aspires to help his fellow students achieve success in college.

Hall, a junior in marketing, grew up in Overland Park and graduated from Shawnee Mission North High School. He then moved to Houston to attend Texas Southern University, a historically black college. Although he enjoyed his time there, Hall said homesickness and the pricey out-of-state tuition drove him back home to Kansas.

He decided to attend K-State, but said Manhattan was just about as foreign to him as Houston. Although he was from Kansas, Hall said he had never traveled past Lawrence. It did not take him long to adjust to college life at K-State, mainly because of his determination to get involved.

"When I came to school here, I really wanted to connect with the black students and the black community," Hall said.

As a marketing major, Hall decided to join the Multicultural Business Association to help him network and meet other business professionals. He also attended a welcome back celebration hosted by the K-State Black Student Union and was approached to apply to be a delegate for the organization. He was awarded the position and has been active in the Black Student Union ever since, currently serving as the organization's president.

Hall said one of his major passions as the Black Student Union's leader is to help minority students stay in college and earn their degrees.

"I know a lot of students tend to do really poorly and even flunk out their first semester of college," Hall said. "We want to make sure when African-American students come here that they stay at K-State. A lot of students come here from urban neighborhoods and they really want to be connected to the black community and the university in general -- the Black Student Union helps them do that."

Hall encourages members of the Black Student Union to become involved in various other clubs and organizations on campus to help them have a well-rounded college experience and to meet new people. He said the Black Student Union also educates its members on different campus resources to help them with their academics, such as Educational Supportive Services, Upward Bound and the McNair Scholars program.

"My experience so far at K-State has been really good, and I want to share that experience with incoming freshman that are coming from inner-city communities," Hall said. "The Black Student Union gives students an opportunity to meet other students similar to themselves, which can open doors for them. It helps them grow as people and students, and produces leaders throughout campus."

Students interested in the Black Student Union are invited to attend the group's meetings, which are at 7 p.m. Tuesdays in Room 212 of the K-State Student Union. More information also is available by contacting Hall at branhall@k-state.edu.