BSA Returns as Black Student Alliance


Mackenzie Hammack

Senior Jalissa White-Jones and juniors Amere Langley and Shaleria Bradley serve as BSA’s chief officers. The officers have been working to overhaul BSA and make it an active campus organization again.

Mackenzie Hammack, Staff Writer

Bridgewater, Va.- Bridgewater College’s BSA is returning with their first interest meeting after being dormant last semester, and the new executive board has plans to overhaul the entire structure of the club.

Previously, BSA stood for Black Student Association. Now, it stands for Black Student Alliance.

Like many other clubs, the pandemic made it hard for BSA to maintain membership and find new officers among members. The new club leaders, who were not active in BSA previously, have been working on reviving the club since the end of fall semester.

“Right now, the only thing that we did was change the name to alliance instead of association and we’re adding a few little rules into our bylaws,” said Jalissa White-Jones, a senior who is part of the club’s new executive board. “We just want students to know this is an open space and for them to feel comfortable talking about whatever they want to.”

While restructuring the club, BSA’s leaders have also taken into consideration how they can make the club last so it does not fall inactive again when current leaders graduate. 

“We’re trying to get every member involved as much as possible to make every member feel included no matter your minority, no matter who you are,” said junior Shaleria Bradley, who is another member of the executive board.

The current executive board will serve as the club’s chief officers, but they’re planning on opening up additional leadership positions as the club develops. Leadership positions will also be open to all members of the club, regardless of their year.

“We’re just here to give you an open space to feel welcome into the club,” said Bradley. “Anybody’s welcome to join, anybody’s welcome to participate, so long as they are participating in a respectful manner.”

The club is planning for their first interest meeting to be March 10 at 7 p.m., although a location has not been set yet. The interest meeting will help club leaders spread the word about the club and gauge interest, but also give interested students a chance to let club leaders know what they want BSA to be like.

“A lot of our events are still in the air,” said junior and executive board member Amere Langley. “We don’t want to unilaterally make things official because we want to have input from people. In light of the meeting, whoever shows up and gives us input on what they want BSA to look like is kinda gonna have to determine how we move forward in terms of projects.” 

Throughout reviving the club, the executive officers have been working closely with Student Life. Assistant Director of Diversity Education and Advocacy Anna Cho, who joined the college in October, is serving as the club’s new advisor.

“I’d say, we really want to make sure all of our students feel included and supported, so I’ve worked with the three of [the club leaders] in different capacities,” said Cho. “This was important to them; I’m just more here to support them, to support students. They’re doing all the work.”