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Black Student Success: Pacific’s home for our Black community

Black Student Success is a center at University of the Pacific and part of the university community’s ongoing commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. It provides resources and events for Black students as well as a way for its members to bond. The Black Student Success (BSS) center is a branch of the Intercultural Student Success center which works to build safe spaces on campus for students from historically marginalized communities.  

“Black Student Success is a way for Black and African-American students to know they have a space and a place for them,” said Director of Intercultural Student Success Mario Enriquez ’10. “That community should feel supported, not only academically but socially as well.”  

History and purpose

Black students founded the center five years ago after they noticed a lack of university resources and programs for their community. Those students, with the support of the university, have worked to develop Black Student Success to what it is today. 

BSS offers a variety of events including game nights and movie viewing parties. The center also hosts educational seminars covering topics relevant to the Black community. Past seminars include “Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man,” “Blacks in Technology” and “Burning Down of Black Wall Street.” The conversations are open to anyone and are often controversial in order to open the room to more opinions and thoughts.   

“It makes you feel like you’re not the only one,” said Carina Carey ’23, a Media X and Japanese double-major. She joined BSS as a first-year student. “Everyone there has got your back and there are so many resources that make you feel like home.”     

“I would recommend students to participate, you get to meet students that have something in common with you, you are part of a community. We have fun with more people and you will always feel welcomed at events.”      

Home away from home

Kathy English has been the coordinator of the Black Student Success for a year and a half. She organizes events and seminars for BSS based on member feedback.

“Many students will come in for curiosity, so I try to make it homey and give them their own place,” English said. “It grows into fellowship and camaraderie amongst the students.”   

English offers this advice to Black students: “People can be overlooked. Stand up for yourself, have your own voice and be heard, make sure no one looks over you or forgets about you.”   

The Black Student Success center is open from 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday through Friday and is located in Price House in the Quads. For more information, contact Kathy English at Check out the Black Student Success Instagram @bssatpacific.

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