On Sept. 27 the Black Student Union at Florida State University held their first Coalition of Black Organizational Leaders meeting. BSU serves as a safe place for minority students on FSU’s campus and also helps with communicating social issues on campus.
The COBOL’s primary goal this year is to make sure all organizations are connecting with each other. Another focus of the COBOL is to ensure that the BSU executive board is transparent with other organization members.
Robert Jackson, management information systems student and BSU treasurer, has high hopes for the organization.
“COBOL is a subsection of BSU. We consider BSU the umbrella and all of the COBOL organizations fall under that umbrella,” Jackson said. “BSU tries to keep these organizations connected and connects their events so that more students are reached.”
FSU’s COBOL organizations provide students who have different niches the opportunity to network. This has been how students are able to connect with others who share the same identity or background as them. These organizations also are not limited to only minorities.
At the first meeting, many African-American leaders were present from different organizations. The organizations represented were Progressive Black Men, The Chi Theta Chapter of Omega Psi Phi, NAACP and Images Modeling Troupe.
The meetings began with organization leaders introducing themselves as an ice breaker. Following the icebreaker, COBOL Chairperson Cyanne John-Mcclean and Chairperson Jahhel Thernelan, asked each leader to write a list of issues that they’ve had with the executive board of the BSU.
Many organization leaders expressed that the executive board of the BSU has acted in the manner of a gang or clique. Other leaders said they would enjoy more partner events with the BSU and other organizations.
Thernelan said he would like to see Florida A&M University and FSU collaborate.
“I would love to see more BSU and FAMU events that can help the FSU and FAMU students get to know each other,” Thernelan said. “So maybe like an FSU and FAMU field day or another event like the ‘bridging the gap’ pep rally.”
FSU organizations want partner events with FAMU organizations. This would allow FSU students the opportunity to broaden their network, and events such as the one mentioned above would grant FAMU students the opportunity to network with FSU minority students as well.
Najaius Neloms, a senior sociology major at FSU, enjoyed previous collaborative events with FAMU.
“I am apart of FSU chapter of Images Modeling Troupe,” Neloms said. “I have truly loved my experience from the beginning and part of that is because a lot of the events we do are partnered with the FAMU chapter.”
COBOL and BSU work together to grant minority students the opportunity to easily connect to other organizations. They ensure that minority students can network with organization leaders within and outside of their hobbies.
Jackson said, “If students are looking for a community service organization, they will connect more with DREAM, and since DREAM is part of COBOL the student is able to connect to other leaders within other community service organizations.”
To learn more about COBOL visit http://sga.fsu.edu/bsu/COBOL.shtml