B1%CK: It’s time to create a Black student space on campus

A Black student space is a physical, safe space that aids in fostering a stronger and more authentic community for Black students. Being a part of a minority comes with challenges, ranging from exclusion to implicit (and sometimes explicit) biases. It also comes with discrimination, internal battles with cultural conformity and a lot more.

However, being a part of a minority at UBC also provides Black students with an opportunity to create a tight-knit community of individuals with shared experiences — emphasizing the need for a Black student space where this can occur along with furthering the representation, education and empowerment of UBC’s Black community.

Other universities like McGill University, McMaster University and Simon Fraser University have these spaces, and while they are all unique in terms of who runs and manages the space, how access to the space works and the location relative to the centre of campus, they each share the goal of working to create a safe space and community for Black students.

The need for a Black space at UBC is also present as demonstrated through the Black Student Union’s Weekly Kickbacks which present Black students with a consistent time and place to meet one another. This enables us to work to create and nurture a positive environment where we can support students as they navigate their degrees while being a racial minority at university. It’s time to make it permanent!

This piece is part of The Ubyssey and UBC Black Student Union's 2023 Black History Month supplement, titled B1%CK. Read the full supplement here, or pick up a print paper on UBC's Vancouver campus.