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Golden Gate Xpress

The Student News Site of San Francisco State University

Golden Gate Xpress

The Student News Site of San Francisco State University

Golden Gate Xpress

Black Residents United in Housing discuss issues concerning the Black student population

BRUH wishes to promote community engagement by incorporating students from different cultures
Bryan Chavez
Nyla Sanders grabs some food during Black Residents United in Housing’s “Guess who’s Back” event in the Cesar Chavez building on Thu, Oct. 5, 2023. (Bryan Chavez / Golden Gate Xpress)

Mercedes McDonald, a first-year student from Kanakee, Illinois, wanted a place to settle down. McDonald has tried –– unsuccessfully –– living in various locations, but has yet to experience the comfortability that San Francisco State University has offered her.

McDonald stated that she began to feel at ease in San Francisco during an event on Thursday called “Guess Who’s Back,” organized by the Black Residents United in Housing in the Cesar Chavez building. The purpose of the gathering was to explore community engagement as well as methods to support the Black community at SFSU.

“I’m still in the process of building my community and it’s a bit slow because I came here not knowing anyone,” McDonald said. “But I have no doubts I’ll find my people and find where I fit in in no time.”

Originally BRUH was meant to help Black students with housing. It was previously under the Residential Housing Association, which branched off in 2022.

Now, with more flexibility BRUH can focus on mental health, housing and building a community with all students.

Ibory Moore, the president of BRUH, stated that one of the biggest issues the organization faces is the lack of necessary funding that is disbursed from Associated Students.

“I definitely feel like low funding is a big issue for student organizations in general, but especially for Black student organizations,” Moore said. “I feel like there’s a detachment between faculty, staff and residents in the Black community.”

Moore also suggested that there needs to be more Black representation amongst faculty, administration and the AS Board of Directors.

Students converse with each other during Black Residents United in Housing’s “Guess Who’s Back” event on Thu, Oct. 5, 2023. (Bryan Chavez / Golden Gate Xpress)
Bryan Chavez 

“I feel that they [the board] need to sit and actually talk with Black student organizations and understand why all of the funding and money shouldn’t just be in the hands of one student organization,” Moore said.

Moore plans to graduate in the spring and wishes to leave BRUH in good hands as an organization that is open to all students.

“We create a safe space for people who aren’t Black,” Moore said. “A lot of people are curious or they want to learn but they don’t feel welcomed like they can be there and so another thing that separates us from predominantly Black organizations is that we are open to everyone.”

Moore wishes to collaborate with other ethnic student organizations because she believes it’s important to include all cultures in discussions in order to learn from one another.

“Yes, we are an all Black community, but we’re also big in numbers,” Moore said. “Why can’t we make allies with the Latinx, Asian, Polynesian, Muslim or Native American community? We want to tap in with everyone so people feel like you have a voice here.”

Moore and the other board members of BRUH held an open panel discussion about getting more Black student engagement on campus.

Some topics of discussion included Black love, open mics and karaoke nights featuring classic songs created by Black artists.

During the discussion, Daniel Roberson, a first-year student from Los Angeles, mentioned he wanted to have a discussion regarding Black representation in media and film.

Roberson was a child actor and claims to have been one of the babies featured in the first episode of Grey’s Anatomy.

“It’s been negative like some of the first Black characters on screen were slaves, bad guys or they were dry,” Roberson said. “It’s a very long history of oppression and negativity towards Black people in popular culture and in general media.”

Roberson said his desire to go to SFSU was because of the culture and history of Black student groups on campus and he emphasized that while there has been a change in Black representation as of recently, the process of developing compelling story arcs still requires more time.

“It’s been having a positive shift because we’ve been having more Black creators,” Roberson said. “We have more people in Hollywood allowing more Black representation and more Black voices are being heard.”

BRUH will host more events later this semester to promote community engagement such as Family Link Up on Oct. 28, BRUH’s Hallows-Eve on Oct. 30 and their third annual Soulsgiving on Nov. 22.

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About the Contributor
Bryan Chavez
Bryan Chavez, Multimedia Editor
Bryan Chavez (he/him) is a reporter for SF State’s Golden Gate Xpress. He is a senior pursuing a major in Journalism with a minor in Sociology. As a lifelong resident of the Bay Area, Bryan aspires to become a beat writer for the Golden State Warriors or any other major league sports team in the region. Beyond his journalistic pursuits, he enjoys engaging in hobbies such as hiking, painting, and building with Legos during his free time.

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