Start with self-love: Black United Students kick off the spring semester

Kent State sorority, Delta Gamma, participates in card making and a group-facilitated discussion about partners at the first Black United Students, Feb. 5, 2020.

Annie Zwisler Reporter

Patrick Ferguson, president of Black United Students, tried to quiet the room as students discussed self-love.

“You are all so passionate,” Ferguson said.

Black United Students gave self-love their own definition at their first meeting of the spring semester.

BUS invited students of all backgrounds to their first meeting in Oscar Ritchie Hall. They were joined by members of Delta Gamma, as well as Vice President of Student Affairs, Dr. Lamar R. Hylton and Dean of Students, Dr. Taléa R. Drummer-Ferrell. 

“This opened a door to such a cultural aspect of college,” said Danielle Dooley, a sophomore fashion merchandising major.

Students participated in a group-facilitated conversation about “black love.” That being love between two people romantically, platonically toward yourself. 

These topics included conversations about open relationships, cheating and non-sexual relationships. Participants were able to weigh in on what they thought of these topics and what self-love means to them. 

“Before you enter a relationship know yourself. If you don’t know yourself, you can’t love yourself,” a participant shouted from the crowd. 

Discussions about sensitive topics like friends with benefits or exes were among the most popular.

“You should be friends anyway before you start dating each other,” said Quintin Cooks, a sophomore communication studies major.

The meeting ended on the topic of self-love and what it means to everyone individually.

“There is no one answer for everybody,” said Qhmaria Monteiro, a senior environmental studies major.

The conversation was sent around the room to every table, where students could voice what they love about themselves. Most said they loved their personality, while others commented on their kindness and their ability to deepen their relationships with others.

“It’s not bragging if it’s self-love,” said Ferguson. “Everyone deserves a moment to say what they love about themselves.”

BUS provides educational, cultural and social programs and activities which relate to the past, present and future aspirations of black people. They put on mass meetings and events like this to further a sense of unity. 

“I love the unity of the mass meetings bringing everyone together,” said Ferguson. “The unification is so important and helps benefit a great cause.”

Students also crafted homemade cards for children with heart disease. February doubles as Black History Month and Heart Disease Awareness Month and this allowed students to channel their creativity into cards by including bright colors, flowers and positive affirmations. 

BUS will be hosting a Love Lottery, an annual charity auction with live performances this Valentine’s Day. All funds collected will be given to a black charity organization. BUS will be sponsoring other events this spring semester.

“I’m most excited for the Love Lottery,” said Ferguson. “It opens the door to the community.”

Contact Annie Zwisler at [email protected].