Being black at BBC

Fabienne Fleurantin/Staff Writer

Feeling comfortable in one’s own skin in an academic institution is essential to a positive college experience. Every single individual should feel they are respected and valued; students are at the heart of FIU, and with all the diversity and culture that roams through these halls, here, everyone’s voice should be heard.

Black Student Union hosted a forum Thursday, Sept. 22, highlighting what it means to be black at The Biscayne Bay Campus.

The BBC vice-president of BSU, Samantha Caballero, facilitated the event and asked some questions about what it’s like being a student at BBC and how being black affects their perception of self and their community.

“Being black at BBC is a representation of culture around other cultures. It creates an opportunity to be comfortable in who you are,” Caballero said. “Being at BBC, you can be around a family that you are proud of. You can be black and have pride in your blackness.”

Many students mentioned they felt a sense of closeness and recognition on the BBC, and they don’t feel as overwhelmed as they would if they were at the Modesto Maidique campus.

Caballero transferred to FIU in the spring of 2016 from Miami Dade College North Campus, and she felt at ease when she attended BBC, and found a home with BSU.

“FIU has shown me a lot of opportunities to branch out. When I found BSU, I found a lot of people that I felt comfortable with and that I could connect with,” she said.

Although there are no issues at BBC currently, there is always room for progress within the FIU community.

“Administrative and student relationships is something that needs to be improved overall. Stronger engagement from students will take a team effort and we can all work together to make BBC a better campus for everybody,” Caballero said.

She also spoke about the benefits of having more forums like these and the need for student voices to be heard on campus.

“I think we should have more forums for students outside of administration to discuss their concerns. These forums should be a safe space for students to discuss off-campus, local and national issues and support them throughout their college life here at FIU.”

Coming in as a transfer student from Miami Dade North Campus in fall 2015 proved to be an overwhelming experience for me. That campus was much smaller in terms of size and population compared to MMC. To say that I was in shock is an understatement.

I got lost easily within the crowd and found it difficult to reach for help when I needed it. But as I started to attend BBC, I felt less anxious and more stable. I was no longer regarded as a number, but as a person, and I felt as though people remembered who I was.

While attending this forum, I could relate to many of the experiences spoken by the students and understood why BBC carries such a significant place in their college career. And as a black student attending the Biscayne Bay Campus, I have never felt more proud.

 

DISCLAIMER:

The opinions presented within this page do not represent the views of FIU Student Media Editorial Board. These views are separate from editorials and reflect individual perspectives of contributing writers and/or members of the University community.

 

Image retrieved from Flickr.

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