Assoc. Arts & Culture Editor
Marteena Oliphant is the president of The Black Student Union. It’s a tough job, but she loves it, and hopes that it will help with her future career in public relations.
Oliphant explained that that the BSU was really for everyone. She wants students to come out to the events and enjoy themselves and does not want anyone to be discouraged because they are of a different race. Their events have culture to them and are always different and fun. She wants students to step outside of their box and experience something new.
The planning and work that it takes to get the events set up is staggering. In the summer the BSU staff go out on a retreat to bounce ideas back and forth until they can get a good list. Then in the fall they reach out to students and share their ideas with them. She stressed the efforts that the board members of the BSU make in order so that the students feel as involved as possible.
“It’s definitely like a full time job”, said Oliphant.
They hold their board meetings every Tuesday at 9 p.m. and then have have a general meeting with students Thursday at 9 p.m.
After joining The BSU she took a PR position and excelled at it. She helped to organize many of the social, cultural and entertainment events that the BSU is known for. Last year she played a part in getting Jesse Jackson to come and speak to Millersville students. When the former president graduated there was an empty spot and Oliphant seized the opportunity.
“Being president allows me to fine tune my leadership skills. When working in PR, you need to know how to delegate, plan events and be a part of a community, said Oliphant. “PR helps me learn how to be a part of an organizational setting.”
Oliphant talked about how she wants to have fun with her organization, but learn something at the same time. She’s working on an “Ice Cream and Politics” event that would have students come out and watch the upcoming debates while eating ice cream. The ice cream would be the hook, but her hope is that students would watch the debates and become more informed and then they might actually want to go out and vote.
There are plans to go to Jason’s Woods and go see Paranormal Activity 4. These are fun group activities that pull the organization together makes them stronger as a unit.
The BSU played a huge role in Oliphant’s life. She is a senior at Millersville and was a broadcasting major last year. She loved the public relations position so much that she changed her major from broadcasting to PR. After saying that she was interested in becoming president she got scared when it actually came to fruition.
“The people that left had years of experience and there were a lot of questions about who would take over,” said Oliphant.
She had persisted and thrived in her role which has helped her become more mature and organized. It was clear how much she loves and cares for this organization. She appreciates what it stands for, and the people in it are intelligent and passionate about what they do. The group she works with cares, and it shows.
Oliphant is a well rounded young woman and she is not closing any options as far as a career path goes.
“I would love to do media relations, event planning, maybe I could write for magazine,” said Oliphant. With a minor in Print Media Studies she leaves herself open to more options. (She can be found in the News section of The Snapper on occasion). It seems that the sky is the limit for this president of the BSU.
One of the upcoming events from the BSU include “Soulful Expression” with Amanda Diva, a spoken word artist. (Spoken word artists often do monolouges and tell poetry and stories relating to experiences and current events). This takes place October 3rd at 7:30 p.m. in the Clair Performance Hall in the in the Winter Center.
Another event is “Cookin’ with Soul” where fried chicken, macaroni and cheese and corn bread will be served. This event is free and Millersville’s jazz ensemble will be playing during the meal. For college students a free meal is always something to be excited about. It takes place November 7 at 5:30 p.m. in the Multipurpose Room at the Student Memorial Canter.
Gospel and pop singer Kirk Franklin will be speaking and performing at the Clair Performance Hall at the Winter Center on November 27th at 7:30 p.m.