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K-State Today

March 2, 2012

Simply the best: Black Student Union reclaims title as most outstanding in the Big 12

Submitted by Communications and Marketing


For the fifth time in the last seven years, Kansas State University's Black Student Union has been named the most outstanding black student government council in the Big 12 Conference.

The Black Student Union received the Most Outstanding Council Award at the 35th annual Big 12 Conference on Black Student Government, Feb. 23-25, at the University of Oklahoma, Norman, Okla.

In addition to the group honor, two members of the group also were recognized at the event.

Shahna Campbell, junior in biochemistry, Kansas City, Kan., a conference delegate, was named the most outstanding junior in the Big 12 Conference on Black Government. As a delegate, Campbell is a member of the Black Student Union's executive board.

Lorenza Breckenridge III, junior in marketing, Wichita, was elected to a conference office. He will serve as Historical Committee chair.

Myra Gordon, university associate provost for diversity and adviser to the Black Student Union, credits the organization's consistency, integrity and dedication to advancing the black and multicultural communities on campus for its excellence.

"These students are the most amazing, wonderful ambassadors for the university within the Big 12," Gordon said. "This is an unparalleled accomplishment to be recognized as the most outstanding Black Student Union five times in the last seven years. It's a record others can envy but never emulate."

Bronson Blackwell, senior in finance, Wichita, and president of Black Student Union, said the group made it a goal to reclaim the outstanding council title after not winning it last year. He said the family atmosphere of the organization is a big reason for its success.

"I really think the large family setting we offer allows members to be motivated to do bigger and better things," he said. "Whether it's career development, academic development or personal development, we offer each individual student opportunities to find success in multiple ways."

Blackwell also credits Damien Thompson, the Black Student Union's chief delegate to the Big 12 Conference on Black Student Government, for the organization earning tops honors. Thompson, a senior in life sciences, Lewisville, Texas, coordinated the required award package and application for the honor.

"We wouldn't have won the award without Damien's dedication and leadership," Blackwell said.

The Black Student Union has more than 60 active members, but Blackwell said it's not unusual to have more than 100 people attend the organization's meetings. Among the issues Black Student Union is involved with is student retention, with a focus on helping students excel academically.

"We try to encourage our members that they have a voice in the group and in the community, and that Black Student Union is place of security where they can face challenges," he said.

Activities the group annual sponsors include a welcome back celebration in the fall, Kwanzaa event, Black History Month events and much more.

The Black Student Union is even more motivated to retain its title as the best, Blackwell said, as Kansas State University will be host to the 36th annual Big 12 Conference on Black Student Government in 2013.