The Black Student Union is a community for students of African descent where one can connect with and befriend others who are more likely to relate to and understand their experiences as students of African descent at Lewis & Clark College. This space exists as a place where Lewis & Clark students of African descent can lean on another for support, encouragement, advice, fun, and laughter.
The BSU was formally organized in 1990. Before 1990, a number of the black students were involved in a multicultural club on campus and found themselves doing the majority of the planning for events concerning other’s race and culture. They then decided to unite and focus on issues concerning their collective black culture. After formally organizing in 1990, the first major accomplishment was the initiation of the Ethnic Student Services Senior Banquet that now occurs annually. The original members actively recruited other black students and organized activities to celebrate the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday and Black History Month. The BSU continued to expand and became increasingly active. The members of the BSU brought speakers, film series and groups on campus that would increase awareness of Black culture and issues impacting the African-American community. These activities provided an aspect of education and programming that had previously been missing in the Lewis and Clark community.