The OBSD Offers Resources and Fortify a Sense of Belonging for Black Students

By Haoning Zhu

This new campus resource – which was Born out of steadfast efforts by the 2019 Black Student Union (BSU) Demands Team, will offer culturally relevant resources and cultivate partnerships to increase the recruitment, retention, academic achievement and self-advocacy of the Black student population at UCSB.

The director of the new office tells the UCSB Current that the Office of Black Student Development is rooted in more than 50 years of advocacy, activism and leadership by the black campus community. Director Elroy Pinks said the vision of establishing the office was to ensure that there was culturally competent education so that black students can thrive and make successful progress through the university onto graduation and success in life in general. Pinks said he wants the OBSD to be a place where the black students find collaborations, connections, pathways, and byways to get the full gamut of the university.

According to Pinks, OBSD aims to bring together all of those resources to ensure that the office is not only speaking with the black students, but educating, empowering, and advocating for them, which really lays bare all the possibilities for the black students at UCSB to be successful here and beyond.

Aaron Jones, director of UCSB’s Educational Opportunity Program said The office will serve black students as a safe space where they can access a variety of different resources to support their educational attainment.

Jones noted that the office will also welcome faculty, staff and alumni. He said it aims to serve as a powerful reflection of “the legacy of Black and African-identified student advocacy, agency and success at UC Santa Barbara.”

The Office of Black Student Development will work with units across campus, including Admissions, Alumni, Campus Learning Assistance Services, Counseling & Psychological Services, academic departments, and the Office of Development.

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