All things considered, UCSB provides multiple resources and tools that are meant to make black students feel supported and integrated into the campus community. However, since there are so few of us, at times it’s still easy for black students to feel somewhat alienated and isolated from the rest of the student body.
However, during your time here at “UC Smirnoff and Blondes” there are some tips and resources you can use to cope with caucacity and find a supportive, inclusive community. In the section below, I’ve listed a few resources and organizations that offer multiple events throughout the year and are always welcome to newcomers:
African Diasporic Cultural Resource Center (ADCRC): The African Diasporic Cultural Resource Center is a space designed specifically for black students to network with fellow students and faculty.
The ADCRC offers multiple events throughout the year that encourage black students to connect with each other to promote cultural awareness, social involvement, and proactive civic engagement.
In the past these events have included professional networking opportunities and community brunches and dinners, as well as lectures and forums that create intersectional spaces for black women, Afro-Latinx students, LGBTQIA+ students and many more.
Be sure to check out the ADCRC in the Student Resource Building for a welcoming communal space (drop by this week on October 10th from 3:30-5:30p.m. for a Mardi Gras themed open house complete with jambalaya and beignets).
Black Student Union (BSU): UCSB’s Black Student Union serves as an advocacy group for black students’ interests through town hall events, an active demands team, intra-communal discussions, and multiple social events.
The BSU is an invaluable resource for black students as it gives members the skills and tools to advocate for themselves and their community, along with a social network that gives black students a space to discuss important issues and make sense of the black experience here at UCSB.
Follow the BSU on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @blackatsb to get updates on weekly meetings and events.
The Black Studies Department: The Black Studies department is another valuable tool that allows students to contextualize the black experience within an academic setting.
There are multiple classes available within the department itself that focus on black history as it has manifested across cultures, countries, artistic mediums, and other various forms.
At this point we’re all well aware that “U Can Study Buzzed,” but if you choose to study within the Black Studies department, “U Can Study Blackness.”
The final tip that I’ll offer beyond resource centers and clubs is simply to get to know more black people; talk to other black students in your classes or residence halls and make study dates, make friends with black professors, or just smile and wave at other black people walking through campus.
By using the resources and tips provided in this survival guide, it’s more than possible that “U Can Survive while Black” here at UCSB.