Black Student Alliance starts school year creating community

President of the organization shares why students should get invovled


Black Student Alliance

Black Student Alliance’s President explains why it is important to find community.

Black Student Alliance (BSA), a student-run organization, hosted a series of welcome back events last week titled “Welcome Black Week” as a means of starting the semester with the chance to socialize.

The organization is committed to “uplifting and empowering students of African descent through academic, professional, cultural and social programs,” according to the Black Student Alliance website. All were welcome to participate in the events which began last Monday with a gathering at the study tables in the Multicultural Center located on the second floor of the Memorial Union.

Joseph Putman, president of Black Student Alliance and a senior majoring in industrial engineering, said his favorite part of being in Black Student Alliance is the opportunity to welcome new members who might not have felt included at Iowa State.

“Having that community around you makes you feel like you belong more, which improves retention rates for Black students on campus,” Putman said.

Other events included a bowling night at Cybowl in the Memorial Union, Game Night on campus and a Welcome Back Cookout at the Black Cultural Center.

Putman originally joined Black Student Alliance because a few of his friends were a part of the organization but became involved after feeling the organization’s sense of community. Putman said having a group separate from college prevents college from becoming all-consuming and provides a good space for mental health.

“Building a community around you that represents your own personal ideals is huge when developing your character through college,” Putman said.

Black Student Alliance will meet on Mondays at the study tables in the Multicultural Center located on the second floor of the Memorial Union.

“I pursued leadership roles because this executive board builds a large part of the Black experience on this campus,” Putman said. “If the Black students at this university don’t take charge and build our own experience, nobody will. At least not the way we want it.”

To learn more about Black Student Alliance, visit their Instagram.

To join the email list for Black Student Alliance for notifications on events and meetings, fill out this form.