Black Student Union in limbo

President steps down and membership scrambles

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The Black Student Union is currently on hiatus. Although it has not been defunded and is still listed as an active student identity union by the Student Activity Fee Committee, the various activities and proceedings of the BSU have been put on pause. This means that the BSU exists, but in its current state of fractured leadership and low membership, the union’s actions are temporarily halted.

“This is not the first time this has happened, even for BSU, many of the clubs implode in Winter term, and reconstitute in Spring. Many of the serious students left BSU, because they wanted to focus on their studies,” BSU advisor Mark Harris said.

Shawn Goddard, the most recent president of the BSU, stepped down, because at the time he no longer met the GPA requirement to be president. A minimum GPA requirement was instated as part of the union by-laws for all officers when the union decided to stipend officers.

According to Harris, Goddard failed to respond to official communication which stated that he was no longer eligible to be president and was apparently expected to instigate a transfer of power. The final communication attempt was a letter sent in the mail. Goddard says that he received no notices until the letter arrived at his home, and upon receipt. He notified the other officers in a timely manner, recommending a replacement. However, the union did not elect a new president.

In addition, the BSU was having difficulties maintaining membership rates.

Eugene news station KEZI came to Lane Community College in February to report on Lane dissolving the BSU, responding to a claim that the college was responsible for the state of the BSU at the time. The news team decided there was no story to report, . They found the combination of issues surrounding leadership and membership appeared to be the cause of the BSU’s hiatus.

While Goddard has been relinquished of leadership in the BSU, he still holds office as a senator in the Associated Students of Lane Community College. He does not plan to be involved with the reorganization of the BSU. Goddard aims to continue the vision he had during his time as president of the BSU. He issued a funds request to bring P.S. the ReBels, a Kenyan-born hip hop duo, to Lane. The Student Activity Fee Committee approved the request on Feb. 23.

According to Harris, the person(s) that he is currently in contact with regarding the future of the BSU aims to re-establish the union during Spring term, but there is no official plan. The union will be able to resume activities once a quorum has appointed a new president and enough non-officer members are involved in the union.

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