“Stop complaining and get involved,” warns BSA president


Hannah Davis

BSA President Veronica Williams

Vandy Manyeh, News Editor

The president of the Black Student Association (BSA) believes black students can defy stereotypes by “getting involved.”

“Getting involved” means curbing the big dip in the number of blacks who turnout to vote. For students at College of DuPage (COD), it means taking advantage of the opportunities provided by an organization like the BSA.

This is Veronica Williams’ remedy to rebrand the way America as a whole views black people.

Williams, spoke to a diverse audience on Feb. 1 to kick-start her organization’s first of three events planned for Black History Month.

“The black voter turnout rate declined for the first time in 20 years in a presidential election, falling to 59.6 percent in 2016, after reaching a record-high 66.6 percent in 2012,” according to a Pew Research Center study.  

Williams believes voting in elections is a way to address socio-economic issues within black communities.  

“Stop complaining and get involved,” said Williams. “With our history, they have created an image of black people that see us being like savages. I advocate for black people to get involved in your local government system, since we fought so hard to receive these rights.”

Out of the 435 men and women in the U.S. House of Representatives, 46 are blacks. Three out of 100 men and women in the U.S. Senate are blacks.

Williams also wants students and members of her organization to push towards “black unity.” College of DuPage has a black student population of about 1,800 students; that’s about 7-percent of COD’s population. DuPage County, on the other hand, has a 5.2-percent black population. Although blacks make up a higher percentage of the population at COD than DuPage County overall, very few get involved with the BSA and their activities on campus.

“We want a change to happen, but when we are trying to make things to happen, people don’t show up,” said Williams. “There are a number of reasons why students don’t get involved, but the biggest issue of them all is that the black students at COD just don’t care about certain issues.”

America’s current political climate requires blacks to be more engaged, according to Williams.

“Roughly four-in-10 black adults say working to get more black people elected to office would be a very effective tactic for groups striving to help blacks achieve equality,” concluded another Pew Research Center report in 2016.

The BSA meets every Thursday from noon to 2:00 pm in the SSC 1225.