The Black Student Union announced a mentorship program late last month aimed at guiding and supporting freshman students entering their first year.
The BSU Big Brother, Big Sister Matriculation Program will pair Black first-year students with upperclassmen who share similar majors and interests to “foster a strong sense of community among all of its participants,” according to the announcement. Devon Bradley, the president of BSU, said the executive board wants to implement a mentorship program as part of the organization’s goal to support its members.
He said the group’s executive board wanted to create a mentorship program specifically for BSU but also acknowledges that partner Black organizations like the Black Girl Mentorship Program have similar programs to support Black students on campus.
“The Black Student Union acknowledges the imperative work that the Black Girl Mentorship Program contributes to our community and looks forward to healthy and productive Black mentorship for our community as a whole,” Bradley said.
He said in light of the University’s recent switch to remote learning for the fall semester, the executive board plans to organize virtual events for participants to bond with each other and assist freshman students’ transition into college. He added that mentors and mentees will decide themselves whether to hold weekly meetings depending on their schedules.
“Now that we’re virtual, we can focus more on career paths and just ensuring that we are being the stability in our students’ lives that they maybe can’t find at home or if their friends are not close in location,” Bradley said. “I think we really can take advantage of most of this really bad situation.”
Bradley said the mentorship program has had more than 50 students apply to participate as of Friday. The deadline to apply is Aug. 8, according to BSU’s announcement.
“If we can be their rock, I think that’s so imperative especially because now there won’t be events happening in person,” Bradley said. “We definitely want to focus on the mental health of our student body.”