Editor’s Note: This article is the first installment in a series of stories profiling the presidents of K-State’s student and faculty organizations. Check Friday’s paper for the second installment.
Founded on the idea to create a unified voice and mobilized body for the black community on campus, a group of like-minded, concerned and highly determined individuals created the Black Student Union. Today, the Black Student Union possesses those same values and more. This year the group is promoting unity through the slogan, “I am because we are.”
“As a group we have major impact on the individual, and as an individual have a major impact on the group,” said President Seth Ellis II about this year’s theme. Ellis incorporates this theme into his leadership style to keep the group striving to exceed the standards of the mission statement.
“The Black Student Union strives to produce leaders of tomorrow, cultural and political awareness and most importantly a comfortable environment for members and K-State,” Ellis said.
Equipped with motivation and passion, Ellis began his presidency for the BSU to help create a positive impact on the K-State campus.
“The job has taught me how to understand what people want and the importance of knowing my role,” Ellis said. “I have learned how to attentively listen to others and make quick judgments.”
Myra Gordon, the associate provost of diversity and dual career development, described Ellis’ presidency.
“Seth is doing a superb job in leading our BSU this year. Apparently, leadership is in the DNA, because his sister Carmen was also an outstanding BSU president,” Gordon said. “What I like most about Seth is his strong cultural identity, his deeply thoughtful and disciplined manner and his dedication to making BSU the best it can be on his watch. We are fortunate to have Seth Ellis in this role. This young man will go far, and the world will be better for it.”
Throughout Ellis’ presidency, he has overseen several community service projects that have greatly affected the Manhattan and K-State community, although the biggest impact the group has on the K-State campus is the events that occur during Black History Month.
The group has various activities throughout the month of February planned to educate and promote Black History month. Ebony theater’s award winning “Colored Girls” will be showing on campus Feb. 19 at 7:30 p.m. in Nichols Hall, and the BSU will also be co-hosting the film “An Imitation of Life” Feb. 22 at 6 p.m. in the Leadership Studies Building.
“Black History month is a major event for us and the K-State community,” Ellis said. “It is a time to learn about black culture and what makes America great.”