The Wisconsin Black Student Union highlighted aspects of their core programming during their presentation to the Student Services Finance Committee, where the organization advocated for reconfirmed eligibility for the General Student Services Fund.
One of their staples is Talk to Me Tuesdays, an interactive program that is open to all UW-Madison students. The group meets twice a month on Tuesdays to discuss issues related to diversity both on campus and in students’ everyday lives through politics, education or entertainment.
The group also discussed their annual Black History Month programming, which is made up of three to four different events that are part of the month’s overall campaign. Last year, this focused on homophobia and transphobia within the black community, a major topic that is not really discussed, Tashiana Lipscomb, one of the presenters, said.
In addition to Black History Month, the group has a Women’s History Month which aims to draw a wider audience and celebrate the influence of women of color in society.
During questioning, SSFC Secretary Ethan Young asked the Wisconsin Black Student Union how the Women’s History Month furthered their mission.
“We try to keep in mind that while our mission does specifically talk about African American students and people associated with the African [culture], that that includes women,” Lipscomb said. “So it’s not just black people, but there are women who are black. We try to have those events normalized in our mission.”
SSFC members also wanted to know how the Wisconsin Black Student Union’s programming was different from other groups’ on campus such as the Black Cultural Center, located in the Red Gym.
“The difference between that space [the Black Cultural Center] and the Wisconsin Black Student Union and other spaces on campus, is that this is student-led,” Lipscomb said. “A lot of times administration, in centers and offices, kind of trail behind students and students are often leading these. We have a lot more autonomy over what this space looks like — what our program looks like.”
SSFC also approved eligibility for Adventure Learning Programs after holding a hearing for it last Thursday.
The Wisconsin Black Student Union will return to SSFC Thursday to also find out if they are eligible for the GSSF money.