BSU wins one group, two individual awards at Big 12 Conference

Marcus Bragg, freshman in industrial engineering and Deborah Muhwezi, senior in mass communications, pose with their awards for Outstanding Freshman and Senior respectively, which they received at the 33rd Big 12 Conference. (Lisle Alderton)

K-State acquired its very own Black Student Union in the fall of 1969. This year, the group won the Clarence Wine Most Outstanding Council Award for the Big 12 conference for the third time in a row and fourth time in the last five years. Students also received Most Outstanding Freshman and Most Outstanding Senior Awards.

BSU’s History

The time of the group’s formation, the 60s and 70s, was a time of high racial tension. K-State’s BSU had two goals in mind, which are still active today, said Brandon Hall, BSU president and junior in marketing. Recruitment and retention, Hall said, is the will of BSU.

“Back when it was first created, they wanted blacks to join together,” he said. “It was more militant and serious then, going to high schools and talking to potential black students to come to K-State and join BSU.”

Many black students were uninterested in college, flunked out or dropped out. Hall said BSU is here to keep black students unified and in school with a 3.0 GPA or higher.

To achieve this, Hall said they have study sessions and social programs, like bowling, to adhere to both fun and the academics. BSU also hosts a series of four events every year.

In the beginning of the school year, BSU hosts an event to help freshmen move in the dorms. Setting up groups at Derby and Kramer, BSU advertises the welcome back barbeque. Current and new students get together to reunite or meet new people.

The BSU leaders throw a party for members every year to celebrate Kwanzaa. They also organize a series of events during Black History Month in February. At the end of the school year, Hall said they have a Multicultural Student Organization Ball.

Big 12 Conference

This year marked the 33rd Annual Big 12 Conference on Black Student Government. Hosted in Austin, Texas at the University of Texas, schools from as far as Arizona and Massachusetts showed up.

The executive board of the conference aims at but it’s not limited to African American students in Big 12. There is no other conference like it in the nation, Hall said.

“This award is given in two ways,” Hall said, “Most Outstanding Council in the Big 12 and Non-Big 12.”

K-State’s BSU performed a skit, while other groups sent in videos. The group also presented a delegate book, consisting of all the group’s activities, articles written about the group, executive board pictures, the groups’ constitution, and other relevant information. Members of the conference grade the books and determine a winner.

K-State will host the conference in 2013.

Most Outstanding Senior
After completing the application process, including a resumé and scholarship package showing her accomplishments, Deborah Muhwezi, senior in mass communications, was the monetary recipient of Most Outstanding Senior. She was chosen most deserving out of 30 schools with over 1,000 participates.

Muhwezi joined BSU in the fall of 2006 because it was a home away from home.

“I came to a big university, as soon as I stepped into the BSU meeting, I felt a sense of security,” she said. “It was nice to be a part of something where I felt I belonged.”

Since then, Muhwezi has grown to hold different leadership roles, always giving back to BSU since it got her started and boosted her forward.

Most Outstanding Freshman

Marcus Bragg, freshman in industrial engineering, won Most Outstanding Freshman, receiving monetary scholarships.

“I was really ecstatic when I won, lots of freshman applied and I am the one that is most outstanding,” he said. “It makes me feel really good that all my work has gotten recognized.”

Bragg joined BSU this past fall, because he wanted to have the opportunity to meet other black people on campus.