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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

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

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

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.

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