“Being the Co-President of the Black Student Union (BSU) and Caribbean Student Association (CSA) helped me understand the concept of safe spaces. I believe the purpose of the CSA is to allow students from the Caribbean culturally and geographically to come together for a culture exchange and for us to create a home away from home. No Caribbeans are the same. We all have different accents, skin colour, taste palettes, and music taste, but at the end of the day we are all one family.
In addition, I believe that the Black Student Union has the same objective. Black people come from all around the world, Canada, the US, Africa, the Caribbean, and so on. The purpose of the BSU is to create a safe place for us and promote education and cultural exchange between the many communities within the black student community. It’s unfortunate that we are in a world of racism, oppression, and micro-aggression, however, it is times like these where we need each other, and we can stick together as a family showing love and supporting one another. We as a society also want to educate the surrounding communities about black history, black people, and black culture. I’m proud to be working with such revolutionary women as Rukiya Minnis and Beyoncé Gibbons.”
-Kevinique Stubbs, Co-President of the Black Student Union and Caribbean Student Association
“The Caribbean Student Association, particularly at a Predominantly White Institution (PWI), provides a secure environment for Caribbean students to enjoy their culture. We all have similar music, cultures, dialects, and histories despite coming from different islands. To spread awareness of the Caribbean and to demonstrate that we are more than simply land surrounded by water, I organized the CSA in my position as Co-President. I’ve gained more knowledge about each island as a result, and I’ve shared it with the CSA members. In my moment as Co-President, I have discovered how much I genuinely adore my people. We have debates about things like “Macaroni or Macaroni Pie,” “Curry Chicken or Chicken Curry,” “Whose beaches are the best?” and “My island is better than yours.” These are special times that I treasure because despite our cultural differences, we will always stand as one, share knowledge, offer support, and watch each other’s backs. Through our voice, music, and love, the Caribbean Student Association will continue to raise awareness of the Caribbean on campus.”
-Rukiya Minnis, Co-President of the Caribbean Student Association
“My name is Beyoncé Gibbons and I’m one of the Co-Presidents of the BSU alongside Kevinique Stubbs. The Black Students’ Union is very important to our university for many reasons. There are also many reasons why the BSU has helped black students individually. However, the main reason why it is so important to so many people is because it creates a community of people who have all endured similar experiences. It creates a safe space to start meaningful conversations that can unify and empower black students on campus. The BSU welcomes all students and bonds us together so we can learn and grow as a community, while sharing the ups and downs of university experiences.”
Beyoncé Gibbons, Co-President of the Black Student Union