Being at Andrews University has really opened my eyes to diversity and what it truly is to be diverse. Andrews is diverse, of course, but it stretches even further to diversity in the same groups. Andrews University, especially black culture at Andrews University, is quite diverse in and of itself. When I first arrived at Andrews, I was really excited to experience and immerse myself into the black culture that it offered, though to me it seemed that black culture was only prevalent in a religious way. If you're not highly integrated into the Black Student Christian Forum (BSCF), chances are you won't really be surrounded by an enveloping black culture.
I believe that the black culture is so deeply rooted into religiousness because of the way BSCF started. I’ve heard it said that BSCF started as a way for black people on campus to be able to worship in their way without the restrictions of the official university church. BSCF started as a kind of family and still feels that way today. It is a point of interest to wonder why that familial closeness and sense of community present in this specific club didn't stretch to the rest of the black community, but it is not a point of complaint either. There are groups of black people who are not quite as far in their spiritual journey, but enjoy the secular point of black culture. I would have grouped myself with them my freshman year.
There are other groups of black people on campus that may not be fully recognized, but are no doubt fully appreciated, including our black photographers, our black hype men, our non-BSCF singers, and so many more. I wish there was more prevalence especially with my black girls about hair and makeup, style and general counsel. It feels good to know that there will always be a big sister wherever you walk on campus. That kind of familiarity is indescribable and the only way to know it is to experience it.
As for black men, role models are extremely important and I hope in the future more black men are around to help our young brothers through the ups and downs of college life. Religious life is extremely important, and it is excellently represented at AU, but we also need a daily, everyday representation of what it is to be #BlackatAU.