Critical conversations on campus

By Samantha Smith

The importance of voicing one’s thoughts and opinions was recently shown by one of Youngstown State University’s student organizations, Black Student Union. 

As stated on BSU’s campus webpage, its purpose is to “promote the recognition and involvement of African American students at Youngstown State University with the intention of creating a strong voice on campus and to make an impact on the decisions regarding students of the university community.”

The organization held an event Nov. 19 called Critical Conversations that covered topics of college burnout, cancel culture, critical race theory, current law and politics and more. The discussion allowed students to voice their own opinions and learn others’ points of view on certain topics.

David Hughley III, chairman of BSU and junior accounting major, talked about racial justice, mental health and current topics dominating the social landscape.

“We talked about burnout in school. We talked about [whether it’s] ‘Are we completing assignments? or Are we learning?’” Hughley said. “Sports, how are they political now? Have they always been political?  With Lebron [James], [Colin] Kaepernick, Simone Biles, racial justice and mental health. That’s becoming a huge thing in sports in our everyday life and even the way we talk to one another.”

Hughley explained why these topics are important to discuss and hear about from everyone.

“Nowadays, people feel they are forced to say this one thing or they’re forced to the next thing and they are not themself,” he said. “I don’t necessarily agree with you every two seconds, but I would like to know your mindset, where you’re coming from. We wouldn’t be ourselves if we all said the same thing.”

Hughley said BSU hopes to make Critical Conversations an annual event on campus, along with other events the organization holds such as their winter formal event.

“Come see some BSU events. We’d love to have people and … to have a good time,” Hughley said. “Take a break because you need it. It’s all about school and work-life balance.”

Students interested in joining the organization can either contact Hughley at or Kameya Parks, president of BSU, at 

For more information on BSU, visit its webpage or its Instagram page @ysu_bsu