I felt it was important to close the year with a discussion on affirmative action to open the discussion on the BSU’s mission.

As cited by James Finklea, the critical challenge for the future is to establish the social networks that can cultivate black talent and connect it with opportunities.  There are two main strategies.  One is to develop parallel networks within the black community. The second is to infiltrate existing systems and ensure equal access. While the latter strategy would be preferred, it would be naive in today’s world to rely solely upon it. Both strategies will be necessary in the medium term to elevate more African Americans to the professional class.

The role of the Black Student Union will be to pursue both strategies. As a pool of considerable talent, the organization is well placed to provide the gateway for members to connect with existing networks. Individuals will also need to pursue this themselves, but their success should be utilized to also encourage the new link to connect with other black students.

Second, the organization’s growing network of professionals, city officials, and faculty  should be leveraged to connect BSU members with black members of the professional class for mentorship and advice. Large community service initiatives will help ease this process and aid in engaging others. As we show an interest in cultivating the talent of our younger brothers and sisters, members of the community will take a stronger interest in our organization, first to aid our efforts, and second to aid us. This will create a virtuous cycle that will uplift everyone involved.

I have dedicated considerable effort during my BSU presidency toward these goals, and I believe they will have the chance to bear fruit during the capable administration of Mwende Muindi and Nicholas Brady. Further, The Brotherhood will provide a chance for many more members to get involved and aid the process. I wish all of you the best of luck, and would like to encourage members to help the committees by helping all of the chairs communicate with helpful outsiders. Domonique, Michael, and Nora will especially need your help as their roles grow to include far more interaction.


Nicholas Chidiac


Black Student Union