New BSU president aims to bolster campus presence


Alejandro Gonzalez Valle

Naiha Dozier-el, the new president of the Black Student Union, poses at the Winslow Maxwell Overlook at Santa Barbara City College. The BSU program aims to encourage a positive image of black people and help its members in achieving their educational goals.

Katie James, Features Editor

As the new leaders of the Black Student Union settle into their new positions, their first priority is providing a space and voice for the black students on campus.

This semester the new leaders are President Naiha Dozier-El, Vice President Jordann Cornett and Advisor Devona Hawkins.

“I want to continue growing and maintaining a community that is there for black students as support in this important time in their lives,” said Dozier-El about her plans as President.

“I want to be a club for the people, I don’t push what I think or an agenda onto them,” she said. Dozier-El wants to listen to the members and plan events based on what black students on campus need.  

She would like to continue planning trips, too. She said that the trip they took to the historically black university Howard last semester inspired her to plan more. They are aiming to do a trip to Atlanta to visit the trio of historically black colleges and universities Clark, Spelman and Morehouse.

The Umoja program, a transfer success program targeted toward black students, recently launched its classes for the first time. Dozier-El said she was looking forward to the classes starting and to the other services Umoja has planned.

“The class is just the start of what I hope to see them bring about,” Dozier-El said. “I’m excited to see the things that were promised, like the room and the full time employee that will be dedicated to helping black students.”  

Cornett will assist Dozier-El in planning and organizing BSU events and club meetings. She wants to focus on attracting more black students to the group, raising their social media presence and overall presence on campus.

“I want to try to be more visible in any way possible,”  Cornett said. “I want to be able to give our members resources, whether that be having speakers come in or doing self care activities.”

She said being a college student in general is difficult, let alone being a black student in Santa

Barbara. Only four percent of students on City College’s campus are black this semester.

“I know a lot of black students are not originally from Santa Barbara so for them it can be a bit of a culture shock not seeing other black people,” she said, a view also shared by Dozier-El and Hawkins.

Hawkins said she would like to be a source of information and advice for the student leadership and the members, and also represent faculty to assist them reaching their goals and organizing community service work.

“I don’t want to run anything, this is everyone’s club,” she said.