Wilfrid Laurier University Black Student Services may be located on different campuses, but they share a common purpose within the university community.
The Association of Black Students (ABS), located on the Laurier campus in Waterloo, and the Black Student Collective (BSC), located on the Laurier campus in Brantford, support and empower Laurier’s Black community and collaborate with campus and community partners to address social and racial inequality.
Below, Emokaro Pearlfourth-year biology student and president of the Association of Black Students at the Laurier campus in Waterloo, and Alexandra Ogunsanyafourth-year liberal arts student and president of the Black Students Collective at the Laurier campus in Brantford, share information about the student services they run, how services support a thriving black community at Laurier and their hopes for the future of black student services.
How did you become involved in black student services at Laurier?
Pearl Emokaro (PE): I joined the Black Student Association during my first year to meet other black students at Laurier. I took on the role of freshman representative, which allowed me to meet even more people and gave me a voice in the room. In my second and third years, I held the roles of Events Coordinator and Vice President, respectively, and hosted the Beating the Odds Annual Conference virtually in 2021. Now in my final year at Laurier , I am president of the Association of Black Students. Thanks to ABS, I found my voice, branched out and became who I am today.
Alexandra Ogunsanya (AO): I heard about the Black Student Collective at the Laurier campus in Brantford during freshman orientation week. The atmosphere of the student representatives was so welcoming. They made me feel like I had found a home away from home. In my first year at Laurier, I was a general member of BSC and attended all events and meetings. During my sophomore year, I became involved with the management team and served as secretary and helped with event planning. The following year, I helped support BSC’s social media channels and events. Now, in my fourth year, I am the president. It’s a demanding role, but there are a lot of opportunities that come with it. I can support BSC members in their work and share opportunities at Laurier with our members. In addition to my involvement with BSC, I was a student representative on Laurier’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Planning Committee.