Black students meet to discuss issues, solutions for black community at WKU

Trey Crumbie

Representatives from various predominately black organizations on campus met in the Garrett Conference Center on Tuesday night to discuss issues facing black students at WKU.

St. Louis senior Karlos Harbor, a facilitator for the meeting, said there were several concerns facing the black community at WKU.

“To me the main one was brokenness and not being unified,” Harbor said. “So this is just our effort to overcome that.”

Harbor opened up the meeting by asking the council the current state of the black community at WKU. There were various responses ranging from communication, inclusion, and unity. 

Nashville, Tenn., Juan Glenn said the problem couldn’t be pinpointed to one issue.

“Realistically the problem is an accumulation of a lot of things,” Glenn said. “It’s not only communication from organization to the students, it’s a disconnect from the old and young as well.”

Harbor said it is not enough to address the problems, but to come up with solutions as well.

“It goes deeper than communication,” Harbor said. “I think more than anything we lack strategy.”

Louisville senior Josh Miller, another facilitator for the meeting, said implementing change in the community will be a challenge. 

“We’ve come far as a people,” Miller said. “There is still so much further to go.” 

Miller stressed how important it was for the black community to stick together.

“If we don’t watch out for one another, no one else will,” Miller said.

Miller also spoke of the black faculty on campus.

“Our faculty and staff can only do so much,” Miller said. “We have got to start this fire back up. They’ve opened some doorways and created some pathways for us, but we’re not academically sound enough to walk through those pathways. We’re not confident enough to walk through those pathways.”

Saundra Audrey, head of the political science department and director of the African-American Studies Program, said black faculty play a role in helping black students at WKU.

“I see it as our role to help you get academically ready,” Audrey said. “To help you feel comfortable.”

The council discussed goals for the organization, which includes asking questions and getting involved with other campus groups.

Harbor said one of the ways this could be done is by supporting black candidates whom run for the Student Government Association.

In addition to solutions and goals, the council discussed plans to establish a ‘home’. Audrey said the home will not only serve as a place that blacks can call “their own”, but will also serve as an aid to the black community.

“If this works right and they give us the money then you would have a director, a staff, and resources and things like that,” Audrey said. “That would be sort of like your one stop shop.”

Once the meeting concluded, members of the council were told to brainstorm ideas for events on how to facilitate communication within the black community.

Harbor said he thought the meeting went well.

“I think we talked about some issues that we all see, but also some issues that are kind of hidden that we bury beneath the obvious issues,” Harbor said.

The next meeting of Black Student Council will be held on Feb. 11 at 5 p.m. in the ISCR room of Garrett.