Black Students Union Hosts Assembly


Credit: Katelyn Ervin

‘Black Puyallup’ sign made by BSU members. Photo by Katelyn Ervin.

Katelyn Ervin, Co-Editor in Chief

In an effort to honor the life and legacy of Martin Luther King, Black Student Union held an assembly Jan. 13.  

Senior Elyse McWilson is the president of BSU and spoke between speeches at the assembly, introducing speakers and voicing the Kahoot. 

December came around and we still haven’t done anything. So, we were really getting stressed out. So, I kind of took it upon myself to come up with the schedule. And I [told BSU members], we have to follow [the schedule],” Elyse McWilson, president of BSU and host of the assembly, said. There was a lot of people who were wanting to go with the flow, and then that didn’t work out. We came up with a list of things that we wanted to do.”  

Going into the assembly, McWilson says she knew she wanted the assembly to have interactive elements, keeping students entertained.  

Host Elyse McWilson calls out Kahoot winners. Photo by Katelyn Ervin.

“I wanted to put a Kahoot in there, because I thought it’d be boring if we just had people talking the whole time. I wanted it to be more interactive. I don’t really like assemblies if they’re not as interactive,” McWilson said.

McWilson said she knew she would be speaking at the assembly, having written the script, but as soon as people began to enter the auditorium, she began to feel anxious. 

“I wasn’t nervous at first. But then as soon as I saw people walking up, I got it’s kind of nerve racking to have a bunch of people just staring at you. Good thing there was a podium so that [the audience] couldn’t see me shaking, but it was kind of fun,” McWilson said.  

According to McWilson, when students take control of events, it opens opportunities for others to feel empowered by their work.  

“It’s important to have student-led [events] when it comes to assemblies, because it’s not going to be fun if teachers run it. It’s more likely that the students who are watching will be more interested if students run it. Sure, a couple of people will pay attention, but I don’t think it’ll be as interactive,” McWilson said. “People won’t pay as much attention because they’re like, ‘oh, an adult is doing that.’ I think it’s important that students run things and take leadership and ownership of going to the school.”

Wil Walker is one of the advisers of BSU and helped behind the scenes of the MLK assembly.  

“We are all together in this; Martin Luther King Jr. had that dream, and everybody says he has the dream that one day everyone would be together, and everyone would be intertwined, especially in education and school,” Walker said. “I think that’s what [the assembly] is for, we want to show everybody that we’ll all be together, it’s about bringing awareness to each other and each other’s cultures.” 

Walker says that cultures can often be misrepresented in schools; an issue he hopes to dissolve someday as a teacher.  

“I think a lot of schools don’t have a Black history section, or anything dealing with Martin Luther King… so I think we need to have more African American history in school, this is a way to promote it and make people aware of it,” Walker said. 

The assembly promoted student involvement, something not seen enough in assemblies, according to Walker.  

“It was the first time we actually did it ourselves, so we got to see the technical difficulties that you have, especially with stuff like Kahoot, but we learned our way through it,” Walker said. “I think it was a good experience for the students to get up there and actually speak in front of people so they can see how it is.”  

Winners Kyson Douglas and Hailey Kim hold their Kahoot prizes, BSU shirts. Photo by Katelyn Ervin.

The main goals of BSU include making all students feel welcome with a focus on minorities and promoting Black history to students and the community. 

“You [have to] have something that represents each group I feel, and I think BSU does that, and brings awareness to minority students in the school,” Walker said.