November 20, 2009
The Rollins College Office of Multicultural Affairs prides itself on creating a more diverse and inclusive campus climate. One way it empowers students to contribute to this cause is through student-led cultural organizations. Each cultural organization has one or more faculty or staff advisors who help students make the organizations the best they can be.
Dean of the Chapel Patrick Powers and Campus Security Senior Shift Supervisor Robert Whetstone are the current advisors to the Black Student Union (BSU). Powers has been with BSU for eight years and Whetstone the past three.
Powers states that he has been very close to the African-American students at Rollins from the start. His goal as an advisor is to ensure that black students feel welcome and safe on campus. He also wants to increase the number of African-American students on campus, particularly males. When asked to recall a memorable moment, Powers stated that the tree planting near the bookstore in honor of Martin Luther King Jr., was a touching ceremony.
Whetstone’s most memorable moments were Soul Food Sundays. This ongoing tradition involves students cooking a meal and inviting the campus community. He also remembers Africana Fest, a farmers market held on campus with vendors from Florida and beyond.
Powers and Whetstone have enjoyed their time as BSU advisors and hope to continue playing this role well into the future. As for BSU’s future, Whetstone would like to see more faculty and staff collaboration.
“BSU is not only for black students,” said Powers. “It is a welcoming place for all students who want to learn about African-American culture. This organization is a valuable asset for our students, especially minority students.”
BSU meets the first and third Thursday of every month. For more information on BSU contact: Cherisse Hagood (Class of 2012): firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are a faculty are staff member and would like to learn more or advise about one of the Office of Multicultural Affairs 13 cultural organizations please contact director Mahjabeen Rafiuddin (email@example.com).
-Kerem Rivera (Class of 2010)