Black student organizations cooperate, strive for similar goals

Lexy Bogney has been a member of Baylor’s chapter of the NAACP since her freshman year and now, as a senior, is serving as the president. Cole Tompkins | Photographer

By Erianne Lewis | Staff Writer

BSU was established in 2017 and made Baylor one of the last Big 12 schools to have a formal Black Student Union. Dallas senior Trey Thomas, one of the co-vice presidents of the BSU, said the organization helps to foster a community for other Black student organizations at Baylor.

“We represent a majority of the Black [organizations] within ourselves,” Thomas said. “We like to collaborate a lot with the other Black organizations that are on campus. We are more like a facilitator and a space for the Black students here that are on campus who want to find other Black students.”

Thomas said he has been apart of BSU since the end of his freshman year and now serves alongside the co-vice president, Dallas senior Tyra Thompson.

Houston senior Lexy Bogney, president of the NAACP Baylor chapter, said she has been a part of the chapter since her freshman year. She said it’s an important bridge between the Black community at Baylor and the Waco community.

“We are one of the oldest and boldest organizations, as NAACP was first founded in New York in 1909 and [we] have been heavily involved on campus in the last decade,” Bogney said. “We also work with other chapters in the state, as well as nationally, ensuring equality for all.”

Holding important leadership positions may come with challenges, but these students have found ways to combat them even with COVID-19.

“I think the biggest challenges, especially during COVID and the pandemic, is that I want everyone to know what BSU is, who we are, and know that we are open for any and everyone. It’s extremely hard because it’s hard to meet a lot of new people,” Thompson said.

Bogney said her biggest challenge as president is making sure that everyone is heard.

“A lot has taken place on campus within these last few months, and as an organization, we’ve tried our best to make sure everyone feels supported and is able to share their opinions,” Bogney said.

Thompson said she hopes the legacy she leaves behind in BSU represents her desires for the advancement of Black students on Baylor’s campus.

“Anything that I do is for the betterment of the Black community here at Baylor. I want there to be more students,” Thompson said. “I want them to stay here and actually graduate, I want Black people to feel safe on campus, I want Black people to feel as if they have people they can talk to about anything. I want us to feel like a family.”

And for Thomas, he said he hopes to convey the importance of having more Black students and organizations at Baylor before he leaves. In doing so, he said he wants to host more events to grow community.

“We are always trying to create things and programs that people actually want to participate in,” Thomas said. “I want us to have such a sense of community that people could enjoy any type of event. I want to make it more normal to participate in something than to not participate.”

Bogney said that she also desires for the Baylor NAACP to be a place for Black students to participate on campus.

“As president, I hope that I can continue to allow our organization to flourish and provide a space for students that want to be involved on campus,” Bogney said.