Black Student Union hosts Andre Taylor

The first black president of the National Alumni Association challenged members of The University of Alabama’s Black Student Union to facilitate and enhance the academic success of black students during the annual Black State of the Union address on Monday night.

President Andre Taylor addressed members of the Black Student Union, an organization that focuses on black student empowerment within the University. The purpose of this event was to recognize the progress that black students on this campus have made within the past year.

“You know how the president has a state of union for the entire United States, well, this event is an address focusing on the African-American community of campus,” senior Kyle Fraizer, vice president of the Black Student Union, said.

The overall message of this event was one to focus more on goals that are already in the Black Student Union.

“The theme of my presentation is obstacles and opportunities; something you are moving toward and becoming like. It’s really just what you think about the most,” Taylor said.

Kayla James, president of the Black Student Union, said they started the event in conjunction with the NAACP.

“It’s really an annual event to talk about how far we’ve come and the problems that we face today,” James said.

This event also serves as a venue for older black students on campus to try to influence students within the University.

“It’s to get minority students involved, but by using a different perspective than we usually use. It’s more like alumni trying to influence student minds,” Fraizer said.

Black students also use this address as a way to become knowledgeable and understand ways to improve race relations on campus.

“I was able to learn more and to be more aware about race relations on this campus and what we can do to improve the state of African-Americans on this campus,” Kimiko McKenzie, a sophomore majoring in biology, said.

Kaiya Arroyo, secretary of the Black Student Union, said Taylor’s address also served to inspire black students on campus.

“Every year we try to uplift our students and bring in a speaker who understands what it’s like to be a student at UA and we just try to help our students be inspired even though it’s kind of late within the school year, we believe February is a great time to reflect and still have the ability to change what we desire to change,” Arroyo said.

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