By Tierra Allen, MUTV-23 News reporter

 

COLUMBIA- The Black Honors Student Association is a new student organization at the University of Missouri-Columbia where Black honors students can get together and share their experiences of being in the Mizzou Honors College. 

Nia Martin, the founder of BHSA and a junior at Mizzou, is majoring in journalism with an emphasis on arts and culture while minoring in Black studies. 

Martin is in the Mizzou Honors College and is a George C. Brooks Scholar. This scholarship is designed to enhance the recruitment and retention of undergraduate students from ethnic groups that are underrepresented at MU. 

Martin describes one of the hardest things about being a Black student at a predominantly white institution like Mizzou.

“Being a Black student and the only Black student in class,” said Martin. “Being the only Black student period. Wherever. That is something that can be so tough to handle, and on top of that, being an Honors College student; that is something that you can feel so alone in,” said Martin.

Martin got inspired after talking with another Black student enrolled in the Honors College encouraging her to join. She felt that many Black students are unaware of the opportunities to enroll in the Honors College.

Martin said that “the idea came to [her] last semester in Memorial Union thinking, ‘Shouldn’t all the Black honors students link up?’”

Martin has since been in contact with Dr. J.D. Bowers, the director of the Mizzou Honors College, about how BHSA will benefit the Honors College. She has also been in contact with Black alumni who have been in the Honors College as well.

“I have been talking with Dr. Bowers about increasing the enrollment of Black students in the Honors College because there is such a small number,” said Martin.

BSHA is meant to be an outlet for Black college students to come and receive the support from other Black college students who have been through the Honors College. Ultimately, BHSA is a community and resource to give Black students guidance.

“I’m ready to get this off the ground,” said Martin. “I’m super excited. I plan to make flyers and expand our social media presence.” 

Martin desires to launch BHSA this spring. In the meantime, BHSA’s GroupMe and Instagram are great places for students to visit to stay updated about the first meeting.

 

Edited by Rachel Henderson

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