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CLASS undergraduate president of Black Student Union

Junior Lashone Garrett leading effort to revive BSU on campus

Ms. Garrett

Lashone Garrett wanted three things in the college she attended – proximity to her family in Dallas, an exercise science program, and a culturally diverse campus.

The junior majoring in kinesiology found all of that and more when she enrolled at the University of Houston.

She is part of a core group of students bringing back the Black Student Union to the UH campus. She is the president of the revived organization.

“I liked the idea of being a part of an organization that is dedicated to the promotion of unity on campus,” said Garrett.

The UH’s first Black Student Union was stared in 1971, but the organization has rarely had a consistent, long-term presence on campus, said Dr. Elwyn Lee, Vice President for Community Relations and Institutional Access at University of Houston.

“In the 1960s and ‘70s, we had foundational issues that the BSU addressed,” said Dr. Lee. “Students wanted to establish an African American Studies department, for example, and they wanted to see more African American faculty members. There was a sense of camaraderie around those issues that resulted in the BSU being established.”

The BSU and other student leaders were successful in getting the UH administration to meet those goals. The BSU’s influence faded as students addressed more personal concerns and became more integrated into the social life of the campus, Dr. Lee said.

Garrett says she and the other leaders of the revived version of the organization are committed to ensuring the organization continues for future UH students.

“The focus of BSU is to teach and promote professionalism, along with activities that provide a cultural and educational benefit to students,” said Garrett. “BSU celebrates UH’s diverse population and embraces efforts to collaborate with other organizations promoting ethnic identity.”

The organization does this by hosting “meet and greet” style events so that people can come and connect with the organization and its members, rather than only attending lecture-style meetings. On February 20 the organization is hosting their second general meeting which will be followed by a social mixer. Interested persons can email for more information.

- By Monica Byars