Toward a More Perfect Union? (Part III)

[This post was part of a series. You can read the rest here: Part I ¦ Part II ¦ Part IV ¦ Part V ]

Today’s where we’ll look a bit at the background of BSU&MP for those less familiar with it. On Monday, be prepared for potentially offensive language as we move into some specific and not-so-pretty comments of the debate over BSU&MP reform.

What is BSU&MP?

Black Student Union & Multicultural Programming has a long history at FAU, and that’s part of the reason proposals to change the name became a big deal. It began as an FAU club in the early 70s. In 2002 the club was upgraded to the status of “agency,” then again in 2007 to a “program.” Both of those evolutions brought the organization more funding and more recognition, but also brought more complex and sometimes frustrating interaction with SG and administration.

Collene O'Reilly, Student Body VP

Some of SG’s top leaders have started out running BSU(&MP) — including former student body president Ancel Pratt and, more recently, presidential candidate and outgoing VP Collene O’Reilly. One of BSU’s earliest presidents, Wilson Bradshaw, is the current university president of Florida Gulf Coast University.

The organization is best known for its monthly themed programming, which highlights history and culture through movie nights, educational discussions, more creative stuff like the April 14 arsty-craftsy “Cultural Arts Explosion” event in the Breezeway, or by bringing culturally relevant guests to campus.

Wilson Bradshaw, FGCU President

The organization shares a lot of membership with Konbit Kreyol (the Haitian culture group on campus) and often co-sponsors events with them and other cultural groups on campus. Both are among the most proactive groups at FAU.

This year they had $69,000 of student money to spend on freebies and programming. Next year, it will be $91,500.

BSU&MP highlights some more “fun facts” on its Facebook page:

Black Student Union Multicultural Programming consider themselves as the example setters for promoting “Positive Cultural Endeavors” amongst student organizations.

We are student created. student ran, student led and student controlled.

Originally founded June 8,1970 as a club. First black or multicultural organization of any kind on campus. We are the Longest Lasting of theses type and are 2nd oldest organization on the campus

• February 28,2002 became an Agency only the third BSU in the nation to hold such status
• May 15th, 2007 Became a program

I wonder what the oldest organization on campus is. Maybe FAU’s marijuana club, NORML? Apparently that organization formed nationally in 1970, too… Regular commenter Dan might know the answer to that.

Anyhow, check back Monday for more on BSU&MP.

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5 Responses to “Toward a More Perfect Union? (Part III)”

  1. I would gladly answer your question Brandon.

    During my tenure as FAU NORML President we had a speaker named Norm Kent. Mr. Kent is a South Florida criminal defense attorney, publisher and radio talk show host. He is also the founder and publisher of “The Express” (Florida’s largest GLT weekly newspaper). Mr. Kent also serves on the National Board of Directors of the National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) and has contributed articles to High Times Magazine.

    Prior to this meeting with Mr. Kent I assumed that FAU NORML formed in the Fall of 2002 by the President before me. However, Mr. Kent informed us that evening that FAU has had a chapter of NORML on campus as early as 1976 (When I later pressed him on this issue, Mr. Kent was very adamant about the accuracy of his statement). He said, “I have been coming here to FAU NORML meeting since the 70’s and we STILL have not made pot legal!”

    To make a long story short; FAU NORML has held an active status since 2002 but has been a club on campus since at least 1976.

    I am dying to find a way to confirm this (if it is indeed true).

    If it is true, that would make FAU NORML one of the oldest clubs on campus (next to the radio-club “Owl Radio”).

  2. Well if you consider the fact (and yes it is a fact) that the Program Board gears most of its events toward minorities then you’re really talking about several hundred thousand dollars not just $91k going toward cultural programming. Think about it.. Most expensive concert of the year? Freaker’s Ball. Largest Event was the Step Show. Every single year for Homecoming the comedian is a black/Hispanic guy. In fact I challenge you to name the last time the Homecoming headlining comedian was a white guy or the Homecoming musical act wasn’t a one hit wonder hip-hop star… anyway the point is that the minorities probably get most of the funding on campus no matter what their name is.

  3. Lil’ Wayne a few years back, yes hip hop. But def not a one hit wonder. Hes HUGE now.

    Your other points however are spot on. Its up to the leaders you elect to put the people in the places that make these decisions. If you [the students] dont like the results then do something about it, vote differently, complain. Theres always something. Politicians even at the most basic levels hate complaining constituents, especially ones that complain in public.

  4. Jim Breuer headlined the comedy show during Halloween week in either 2000 or 2001. Art Alexakis (Everclear) performed a one man show at FAU during the same week in 2002.

    Challenge met.

    I would also like to note that musical composer Bob Laupin and his Boca Pops play multiple shows every year at FAU; Laupin and the Pops perform more than enough times to fill your “white man quota.” In fact, lots of other white people (old white people) travel from all over the tri-county area just to see them. I went to a show once; it wasn’t that bad (other than the stench of moth balls and formaldehyde).

    FAU and its program board hires who they can afford. Could it be that white performers want more money?

    The best show I have ever seen at FAU was Wyclef Jean in 2004. Hands down. People brought their children and were dancing in the aisles. Nobody cared that Wyclef wasn’t white.

    Should it matter what color or ethnic background an artist is? No. FAU students should be proud that their school graduates a more ethnically diverse student body than 90% of the other public universities in the United States. In fact a lot of companies value employees with experience working with diverse ethnic backgrounds.

    I don’t give a damn what an artists heritage is so long as they are a good performer. I’ll bet that most FAU students feel the same way.

    You should really keep your inner-racist in its cage Dave. That bitch is UG-LAY!

  5. Pitbull is a one-hit-wonder?

    Given your comments I doubt you’ll understand this, but here it goes anyways…

    Dave,

    Usted es un racista ignorante. Cuando abre la boca, tu verguenza de su escuels y sus pares. Por favor, tire de la cabeza de su culo.

    Gracias,

    El alumnado FAU

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