Eleanor Bogart-Stuart culture editor
Leadership of the Black Student Union, better known as BSU, is switching hands. Now that last year’s president Kenya James has graduated and is currently attending Clark Atlanta University, senior Tess Reinhardt has taken the reigns.
“I established a relationship with Kenya last year and we both collaborated ideas for the future of the club. I guess she liked my ideas because she eventually asked me if I wanted to be president after her,” Reinhardt said.
After seeing James in action as president of BSU, Reinhardt began to look up to her and draw inspiration from her leadership skills.
“Kenya is a role model to me. It’s really ingrained in her to promote cultural unity. She says it’s a part of her character and I really just want to embody that this year as a president. She was very into promoting a sense of black family amongst students. I also want to continue that this year, even though the black student population has gone down a lot,” Reinhardt said.
Even though she’s inspired by James’s philosophy, Reinhardt has a refreshing and clear vision of what she wants the club to be and what she wants it to accomplish.
“I wanted to change the club to be something that gives back to the community. BSU is no longer just a union of black kids and their friends. It’s going to be an actual organization that promotes change for black people in the Los Angeles area,” Reinhardt said.
BSU vice president Montana Logan has helped Reinhardt plan the changes that they want to instill this upcoming year.
“I feel like we can really make a difference this year,” Logan said.
Reinhardt hasn’t always been involved in activism. Thanks to James recruiting her into BSU, Reinhardt began to become more aware of issues that she thought were only a distant reality.
“I started becoming involved in activism because I actually started reading about the injustices that have been happening our area. I thought it only happened in the east coast. But it definitely feel more real when it’s happening in your own area,” Reinhardt said.
Reinhardt’s goal for BSU this year is to focus on joining forces with the Black Lives Matter faction that rallies around Los Angeles, as well as spreading awareness about unjustified police brutality.
“Mostly we’re going to focus on the whole Black Lives Matter thing, and we’re going to try to limit the amount of police brutality. Black Lives Matter have been going to protests at city hall, and that’s what we’re trying to do. Our main goal is to limit the amount of unjustified violence that’s been happening,” Reinhardt said.
BSU’s first meeting will be on Wednesday, Sept. 28, at Room 262.