By Ripon Media in College Days on November 2, 2015
By Connor Cummiskey
The Black Student Union’s (BSU) SOUL Weekend is coming up, Nov. 5-8. Join members of the BSU for four events that will conclude with the BSU’s ever-popular SOUL Food dinner.
The weekend opens up with an opportunity for students to hear from Henry Brown III, a participant in Black Thursday and a practicing Rastafarian, about his experiences with racism and the current state of the Civil Rights Movement.
“He actually came during Spring Break, the first day of Spring Break, when a lot of students left,” says BSU President Clinton Glover. “He did not get much attention, so I thought that would be viable for us to see as a campus.”
Black Thursday was a confrontation between black students and the administration of UW-Oshkosh. The students presented a list of demands to then president Jon Guiles. After waiting in the executive offices for a decision, the students, numbering in the 90s, were peacefully arrested by police and later expelled, according to the UW-Oshkosh website.
BSU will host a Pub Party Nov. 6, preceding “Game On” which will take place on Nov. 7. Game On will give all students a chance to play games like cards, board games or video games with members of the BSU and other students.
“Just come chill, show a little competition, all that good jazz,” adds Glover.
It is that kind of attitude that SOUL (an acronym for Strong, Optimistic, Unstoppable, Love) Weekend revolves around.
“SOUL Weekend, to me, means a good time with BSU members and anyone that is willing to share different ideas and cultures with the campus,” says BSU Vice President Jessica Silva.
The weekend will conclude with SOUL Food, where students can congregate at the commons and eat a variety of culturally inspired dishes. The BSU hopes that the change from Great Hall will bring more students to Soul Food than years before.
“I’m most excited about SOUL Food because that’s the main event for the weekend,” says Silva. “There is always a good turn out and it’s one of the events that BSU is known for.”
Everyone is welcome to join the BSU and cook up some great food.
“It is just people coming with recipes and ideas that they have from their background,” says Glover. “By SOUL food we do not necessarily mean that it has to be from African diaspora, it can come from wherever you come from, whatever culture you come from. You want to cook it, send us the recipe and we will pay for your ingredients – you just have to come make it with us Sunday.”
The BSU wants to bring students of all cultures together for the weekend, and open their minds for life.
“I think that by hosting BSU SOUL Weekend it helps promote diversity on campus and decrease ignorance about race,” says Silva.