Korin Reid and Joshua Mensah

For President and Vice President of the ISU Black Student Alliance

Background Information
Who We Are
Korin Reid is a second year student at Iowa State University. She is majoring in Chemical Engineering. She currently serves as the Secretary of the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemist and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE) and the Programs Chair for the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE). She is also a member of Circle of Trust and participated in the President’s Leadership class as a freshman and also served as the LEAD peer mentor. Joshua Mensah is a second year student at Iowa State University. He is majoring in Computer Engineering with a minor in Business. This is his second year of involvement with the Black Student Alliance. He also participates in several campus organizations such as the Band of Brothers, a support group directed toward African-American males. He is also a member of the executive board of the National Society of Black Engineers.

Why We Are Running
The Black Student Alliance is important to us and we wish to ensure its future success. We believe in the students that comprise this organization, and foresee a positive change in Iowa State’s community of color. We know that the Black Community of Iowa State can become one of the premier groups on campus. However, there is a need for increased unity in the Black Community and we desire to work toward this goal. As Black students, we must do whatever it takes to ensure the success of our brothers and sisters.

Challenges Facing the Black Student Alliance
While BSA’s potential is readily apparent in its members, we must take steps to fulfill that potential. There are several issues that must be addressed with before the Black Student Alliance can truly succeed. Our attendance among Iowa State University students of color has been low this past year. While BSA officially has 675 members at ISU, our meetings have not reflected this. In addition, BSA has put on relatively few events for its members. The benefits of membership in BSA have not been made apparent, and therefore have contributed to our attendance problem.

BSA has suffered from inconsistency in its meeting times and locations. Our meetings generally take place in the Memorial Union, but the actual room varies from meeting to meeting. The meetings often start behind schedule, which deters students with busy schedules from attending. For students not on the email list, finding out when and where a BSA meeting is to occur can be difficult and frustrating. There has also been a lack of cooperation between various Black organizations on campus. As we are all working towards the same goal of success for members of our community, we should be seen as one. There have been situations where BSA events and functions conflicted with those of other Black organizations and vice versa. We must strive to foster a sense of community. The freshman population has been underrepresented at our meetings. This is due to several factors including weak recruitment efforts, general disinterest, and cryptic benefits. The new students are truly the future of this organization, so it is critical that we pursue a strong base among the freshmen. Our organization has not sufficiently dealt with several cultural opportunities such as discussions of relevant topics and Black History Month. Students of color often seek an outlet to discuss and hear about issues that our culture faces. Black Student Alliance has often failed to serve as that outlet.

Our Solution: The ACT Plan for 2007 – 2008
In order to solve these problems among others, we will institute several reforms. These programs and changes can best be summarized with our yearly directives A.C.T. This stands for Actualization and Implementation, Collaboration and Cultural Awareness, and Timeliness and Professionalism. This plan seeks to revolutionize the organization and lift up every Black student to achieve greater successes. It is time that we ACT.

Actualization and Implementation
The A in A.C.T. stands for Actualization and Implementation. We must create a calendar and implement events. What we need is for individuals to take the initiative to complete tasks. We will work with the Freshman Outreach Chair to recruit new members via events and incentives such as Soul Food Sundays at the Black Cultural Center, meeting new freshmen at Destination Iowa State and APEX, and working with the Multicultural Student Affairs department to extend the Community of Color Orientation (CoCO). We plan to increase the number of events we put on while making sure meetings are relevant and to the point. We will host sporting events for our campus

and membership, such as a Basketball tournament or weekend pickup game. Our recruitment and retention will be aided by our presence at a Multicultural Club Fest, where we will participate with other minority organizations to drive membership. Weekly study tables will serve both to raise member grade point averages and strengthen our bonds as we study together.

Collaboration and Cultural Awareness
We will be sure to support our fellow Black and minority organizations on campus such as the Band of Brothers, Circle of Trust, African Students Association, National Society of Black Engineers, A-Society, MANRS, and others. We will work with their executive boards to coordinate events and avoid conflicts. We will forge the bonds of community by encouraging attendance at relevant organizational meetings. We will take steps to support community involvement and service by instituting programs such as Middle School and High School Mentoring and other service projects that might arise during the year. Our meetings will be open to constructive criticism and discussion from all members. We will sponsor discussions of current events and issues that face our community. We will support events of cultural relevance and impact, such as Got Ignorance? and Black History Month.

Timeliness and Professionalism
Timeliness and Professionalism are important to the Black Student Alliance because as young African American students, we must conduct ourselves in a mature fashion. We will reserve a consistent location for our meetings throughout the year. We will also ensure that our meetings start when we say they will. While so-called “CP time” is a common excuse, we realize that people have busy schedules and we will respect your time by being punctual. In addition, as members of the black student alliance, we will not feed in to stereotypes. We will make sure that any travel and the necessary logistics are handled in advance so as to avoid last minute errors and miscalculations. Any plans will be made available to the members at meetings and electronically. Our web site and Facebook™ group will be kept updated with relevant information so that BSA members will always have an available source of information. Our executive board members will be encouraged to be at every meeting so that they will be visible and available to the membership. The standard of

accountability will be high, and all criticism of the executive board will be noted and applied. BSA leadership will answer to each other and to the membership.

Our Vision for the Black Student Alliance
There are big things in store for the Iowa State University Black Student Alliance. As one of the campus’ largest groups, we have the potential to change both Iowa State University and the Community of Color itself. In this upcoming academic year, we can see a new BSA. We see a BSA where all members can speak freely about issues that concern them. We see a BSA where every meeting is relevant, informative, and interesting. We see a BSA that cares about the problems in the Black community and works to solve them. We see a BSA that works with other Black organizations to achieve more than any group could alone. We see a BSA that involves every Black student on campus. These dreams are attainable, but it will require effort on the part of every member of our organization. We firmly believe that we are capable of making the necessary changes to revitalize and reenergize our group. We only ask that you help us to achieve success in this endeavor. We ask that you elect us, Korin Reid and Joshua Mensah, to the offices of BSA President and Vice President.