Students of every color invited to Kent-Meridian’s new club

Every Tuesday night, laughter, music and voices are heard in a classroom at Kent-Meridian High School, well after school is over.

Members of the Kent-Meridian Black Student Union pose on Dec. 20

Members of the Kent-Meridian Black Student Union pose on Dec. 20

Every Tuesday night, laughter, music and voices are heard in a classroom at Kent-Meridian High School, well after school is over.

It’s the Black Student Union, a club formed by students this year to discuss African American culture, history and situations going on with each member. The club started this September and has grown to 30 members.

“It’s a safe haven,” said Cierra Cooper, senior and club president. “It’s a place for us to unwind, to come together and just talk.”

And it’s not just for African American students.

“We want everyone to join our group,” Cooper said. “We have people from all ages and races joining up. I think it’s important we all learn from one another.”

Junior Sonya Glaspy says people are free to ask any questions they want.

“We are open people,” Glaspy said. “We’ve had people ask us questions regarding whether or not an African American stereotype is true or not. And we welcome it because we want to squash those stereotypes.”

The Black Student Union was a part of the high school a few years ago, but faded out after only a few months. Last year, several seniors tried to bring it back but weren’t successful.

“The seniors that graduated last year asked me to take the reigns and I was more than happy to,” Cooper said.

Cooper made posters, put up flyers and went to the high school over the summer to complete necessary paperwork. Her hard work paid off when several students showed up at the first meeting in September.

“We really needed this club because there was no club here that was specifically for African American students,” said Sha’ Little, junior. “There are many misconceptions out there about our race and our school that we are able to address at the club.”

Glaspy agrees.

“What people see now in the media is that we as a people are lazy or they see rap videos and think we act that way,” Glaspy said. “That is not how we are as a culture and BSU helps establish the fact that there is so much more to us than that. We talk about personal pride and holding ourselves at higher standards than what the media portrays us to be.”

The girls said Kent-Meridian has a reputation of being a violent school filled with students that have behavior problems.

“We are seen as a ghetto school, which is completely untrue,” Cooper said. “We want people to know this is a great school and that we love going here.”

One of the biggest topics of conversation at the club is college.

“There are many students going here that question if they want to go to college, mainly because of financial issues,” Cooper said. “We want our members to see college not only as a possibility, but as a way to go.”

Club members do many community service activities throughout the year as well. They teamed up with the Kent Black Action Commission on a few projects this year.

“We want to branch out and become active members of the community,” Cooper said. “We want anyone in the community that is interested to sit in on one of our meetings or ask us questions.”

Kent-Meridian High School is located at 10020 SE 256th St.

For more information, call 253-373-7405.

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