LSU's Black Faculty & Staff Caucus Hosts Faculty and Staff Social
BATON ROUGE – With the slight sounds of jazz in the background, LSU's black faculty, staff and students mingled during a meet-and-greet social on Thursday, Oct. 20. This "Social Hour" was hosted by the Black Faculty & Staff Caucus, or BFSC, at LSU and allowed attendees to engage and network with one another.
Established in 1975, the focus of the BFSC is to provide resources for faculty and staff on issues affecting African-Americans on campus; to advocate for African-American faculty, staff and students; and to assist students through scholarships and outreach.
"The Black Faculty & Staff Caucus at LSU has had an active presence on campus since its inception," said Randy Fontenot, president of the caucus and assistant director for Student Life. "As president, I plan to continue to expand upon the core values which the organization was founded. Increasing membership, faculty and staff professional development, and continued support of students through scholarships and outreach are just a few of this administration's initiatives. I look forward to a successful term as president of the Black Faculty & Staff Caucus at LSU."
During the BFSC social, Fontenot welcomed faculty and staff to the event and gave an overview of the organization. Marco Barker, financial secretary for the caucus and assistant to the vice provost and director of educational equity for the Office of Equity, Diversity & Community Outreach, discussed membership and the "Group 100" to approximately 50 attendees.
"Group 100" members' contributions support the African-American Cultural Center, or AACC, and the Black Faculty & Staff Caucus, scholarships, Black Scholars Awards and other events. Fontenot presented the African-American Cultural Center with a $1,500 gift, received by Chaunda Allen, director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs, which provides oversight to the AACC. The new AACC is currently under construction, which will almost triple the square footage of the original building.
"Attending the BFSC social hour was like returning to a 'high school reunion' and reconnecting with new and old friends," Patrice Hawkins, administrative program specialist in the Office of Academic Affairs, jokingly commented. "Not being active with BFSC for a few years, attending the event brought back great memories and re-instilled my support for the organization. I feel that the BFSC is a very important organization bringing together faculty, staff and students with a central mission: unity and fairness across the campus – everyone working together to make LSU a better place. I look forward to continuing my participation."
Participants also took part in fun activities during the event and received door prizes. Supporters included the LSU Office of Equity, Diversity & Community Outreach; LSU Athletics; the LSU Student Union; and Campus Federal Credit Union.
"The BFSC social hour was an excellent opportunity to bring together a diverse group of faculty and staff from across campus to meet and hear of the various ways BFSC has worked for more than 30 years to strengthen and enhance the academic life of the African-American students, faculty and staff at LSU," said Linda Smith-Griffin, associate librarian for the LSU Libraries and former president of BFSC. "It has been very gratifying to know that my participation and contributions, along with others, have continued to support academic excellence and scholarship among our students, and has helped sustain unique quality programs and services offered by the African-American Culture Center."
Officers for the Black Faculty & Staff Caucus include:
- Vice President Joyce Jackson, associate professor in the Department of Geography & Anthropology and director of African-American Studies;
- Treasurer Carol Thomas, assistant to the dean of the University College;
- Parliamentarian Will Hires, assistant librarian for the LSU Libraries; and
- Member-at-Large E. Chad Metz, library associate for the LSU Libraries.
The next meeting for the BFSC is set for Wednesday, Nov. 16, at 2 p.m. in the LSU Student Union Acadian Room, Room #210. For more information regarding this event or BFSC, visit the Black Faculty & Staff Caucus website at www.lsu.edu/bfsc or email Fontenot at firstname.lastname@example.org.