Black Students Organization

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The Black Students Organization (BSO) is one of the oldest cultural organizations of its kind on Columbia's campus. It has existed in several forms since the 1960s as a response to social and racial tensions that occurred both on campus and throughout the country. The BSO in is present state was formed to address the needs and concerns of black students on campus, as well as discuss issues pertaining to the black community as a whole and provide a medium for distributing this information to the wider campus community.

The BSO is an all-purpose group in that it has several facets through which it seeks to meet the needs of its constituency. We have a Social/Cultural Committee that puts on our social events; a Political Committee that addresses campus, local, and national political events; a Community Relations Committee that organizes community service events throughout the school year; an Educational/Pre-professional Comittee that provides awareness to students about various educational opportunities for students of color; and, finally, a Senior Chair who puts on senior-focused events such as Black Graduation.

One of the BSO's biggest events of the year is the annual Kwanzaa celebration. It includes a free semi-formal in early December with dinner, speakers, and performances throughout the night. The semi-formal is the culmination of a week-long series of events where other black student groups are invited to put on programming pertaining to the principles for each night of Kwanzaa.

Other initiatives involve the formation of our new student mentoring and community service program: BSO MACS. BSO MACS seeks to match incoming new students with current undergraduates to participate in service projects throughout the Harlem community.

The easiest way for students to get involved is to attend BSO general body meetings, which take place Thursday nights at from 9-11pm in our home, the Malcolm X Lounge (106 Hartley Hall). If there is a specific aspect in which one would like to get involved in the BSO, join a committee! Also note that the BSO is open to and welcomes all students to our meetings, as progress can only be achieved through diversity of perspective and opinion. To get in touch with us or ask to join our listserv email or visit our website at

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