The Black Student Union at Kansas State has long been considered one of the best in the country, earning the moniker Best in the Big 12 for eleven consecutive years.
Current BSU President Kemondre Taylor, senior in sociology, and Cara Bruce, vice president and sophomore in social work, are working to honor that legacy.
Previous BSU presidents and K-State alumni Bryan Davis, Darrell Reese and Del’Sha Roberts each had a hand in this achievement, but now it’s up to the current leadership to continue the streak.
“I feel like BSU is in a new stage,” Bruce said. “Kemondre is at the lead of that stage and whether it’s perceived as a positive or negative stage to some, it’s going to be transformative, no matter what.”
Taylor, who transferred from Bethany College after playing two years of baseball, said he never thought he’d be the president of the BSU.
“When I came on my transfer day, [interim director of new student services] Bryon Williams introduced me to different people in BSU and was just so welcoming,” Taylor said. “So I decided to volunteer and get active and now I’m the president.”
After learning from the organization’s leaders, Taylor said he decided to run for president.
“Brandon Clark has really been instrumental in building me into who I am now,” Taylor said. “He’s tough on me, but at the end of the day, [he’s] making me better.”
Taylor said the past presidents of BSU helped him be a better president for future members.
“Last year, under Del’Sha’s leadership, she was a great president,” Taylor said. “She taught me how to be firm in my judgement. Darrell Reese, he was definitely a big voice — he’s taught me how to find my voice. Bryan Davis, he was really passionate about BSU and I think that’s where I find myself. I’m passionate, I’m firm, I’m a quiet person, but I’m still trying to find my voice so I hope to take something from each of the past presidents.”
Roberts, who graduated recently, stayed involved with the BSU as she was appointed chair of the Big 12 Council on Black Student Government. Three other K-State students with BSU backgrounds were also elected to serve on this council last year.
When Taylor graduates, it will be up to Bruce and the rest of the BSU executive board to carry on their hard work.
“I hope to leave a seamless transition for the next president,” Taylor said. “I hope what I do is what others have done for me, [what] past presidents have done for me. I hope the underclassmen look up to me and I hope I’ve been instrumental in their growing. I hope that’s my legacy, that I was there to help you.”