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The news that keeps us Onward On!
Since 1925
The news that keeps us Onward On!

The Carroll News

The news that keeps us Onward On!

The Carroll News

“Our mission:” BSA executives talk about their community

The role of Black Students in Action at John Carroll University
BSA on Jesuit Day of Service at the Fatima Family Center, via their Instagram

John Carroll University has prided itself on its Jesuit values of service, spirituality, solidarity, and social justice. These have always been cornerstones of a Jesuit education and are evident in the classes students take to the thousands of hours of service some partake in. A large expression of these core values is the multitude of organizations on campus such as the Center for Service Learning and Social Action, Bible Revival, and The Labre Project.

Notably, Black Students in Action (BSA), a 37-member student action community, is focused on promoting diversity and justice on the JCU campus as well as the surrounding communities. To learn more, The Carroll News sat down with BSA’s President, Mathew Campbell ‘25, as well as the Vice President, Avia Johnson ‘27, to discuss some of the organization’s BSA’s goals, pursuits, and accomplishments.

When asked to explain the main goal of BSA, Campbell said it is, “To give a voice to and cultivate a space for minorities and allies to feel loved, accepted and belong on campus.” They also want to foster a sense of community for underrepresented groups on campus through advocacy, comradery and support.

Since John Caroll is only a 25-minute drive from Cleveland, BSA is also interacting with and supporting communities in the Greater Cleveland area. 

Campbell said that his organization often, “engage[s] in events with other cultural organizations on campus, such as the SJP, LASA, EASA and MESA, as well as other local Division III Black Student Unions. Dealing with the Greater Cleveland area, we recently had the student body of JCU sign over 200 Valentine’s Day cards to send out to nursing homes around Cleveland as well as the Western Reserve Hospice. This, along with donations and work for local food banks, continues to work for the betterment of our Cleveland community.”

Last month, Johnson mentioned BSA “also host[ed] our annual black excellence fair, in which recently we had a speaker come who is upper management [at] Berkshire Hathaway. Furthermore, we have been invited to conferences at BGSU and other collaborative events. More recently, we are going to be involved in JCU’s Jesuit Day of Service.”

Speaking for the organization, Campbell responded, “We have gotten much help from the faculty members and staff on campus to put us in touch with some of the opportunities in the Greater Cleveland area to help us pursue our goals. This wouldn’t be possible without the understanding and passion of the faculty and staff to call for changes in the underrepresentation of minorities and students of color on campus.”

With a solid past working inside and outside of JCU and an engaged presence leading the way towards deeper values of justice, Campbell wanted to round out by saying “It has been a very exciting time to be a member and an ally of BSA because of the many changes that our forefounders have given us. We hope to continue those changes and call for a further advancement of the values of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at JCU and the Greater Cleveland area as a whole.”

Campbell and Johnson expressed passion for their organization and showed both promise and progress for their future goals. They seek to uphold the Jesuit values of justice, compassion, and solidarity and keep them in high regard in all their core pursuits. They envision a more represented student and faculty population on campus. Through their pursuits and collaborations, they seem to have quite an enthusiastic agenda for 2024 and 2025.

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