In high school, junior Monique Marcelle was very involved in extracurricular activities. Once she chose Adelphi, she knew she wanted to be involved just as she'd been in high school. As a first-year student, she heard about Black Students United (BSU) and went to a meeting.
“Being in that first meeting,” said Marcelle, “I was like, ‘Yeah, I’m gonna keep coming.’ I realized I really liked being here … I looked forward to Mondays because I knew I was going to see people I liked.”
Marcelle went from BSU member to public relations chair to current president. Joining the board as PR chair honed Marcelle’s leadership skills and helped her realize that she had a passion for graphic design.
“I actually discovered my love for graphic design from being the PR chair for BSU,” she said. “I was making flyers and I was like, ‘I really like visual design.'”
Currently Marcelle is a business marketing major minoring in graphic design and African, Black and Caribbean Studies. As president of BSU, her goal is to ensure that BSU is promoting diversity, self-growth and social change within the Adelphi community through new ideas, an open mind and a positive working atmosphere.
Connecting With the Community
One of the ways BSU connects with the Adelphi community is through events. One event that made a positive impact on Marcelle was the 52nd Annual Kwanzaa Celebration held last year on December 3. Attendees learned about the Seven Principles and history of Kwanzaa. Prior to the event, Marcelle didn’t know much about Kwanzaa but it was a speech from Adelphi University Board of Trustees member Curtis O. Minnis ’77 that gave her a different outlook on community service.
“After hearing Curtis speak, I was like, ‘You’re actually giving me a different outlook to my life.'” said Marcelle. “He talked about how your impact on your community is so important. Even though you may not feel like what you’re specifically doing is having this super big outreach, it is because you’re setting yourself up for success. It was very profound.”
More Than Just A Club
As a first-year student, Marcelle initially joined BSU to be involved and have fun. During her sophomore year, she did an external internship hoping to gain leadership experience. Little did she know that BSU would give her the leadership experience she was looking for.
“I felt like I was learning from being on the executive board more than I was learning from my internship,” she said. “I’m actually getting a lot of business experience, like learning how to deal with people, learning how to communicate effectively and learning how to time manage.”
BSU was one of the first clubs Marcelle joined. Being involved in BSU for three years connected her to different clubs and organizations that she also got involved in. She is a member of the Caribbean Student Union, Females Of Culture United for Success and she received Member of the Year from the Latino Student Association in 2021.
“I got involved in other clubs from knowing people who went to BSU,” said Marcelle. “I feel like before going into an executive board position, I would have been like ‘I’m just doing it for fun. I’m just doing it to be involved on campus.’ I realized I like working with board members and working with other clubs … Nobody necessarily tells you you’re going to get real-world experience from being in those positions.”
How to Get Involved
This semester, BSU will be having elections for board members and all students are encouraged to join to participate in the voting process. On February 28, BSU will have a virtual Black History Trivia Night at 6:00 p.m., which is open to the entire campus. On March 28, BSU will be hosting Book Club: Ace of Spades!, a book club event focused on the book Ace of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé.
“For people who want to get involved, I’d say a good starting place is following us on Instagram,” Marcelle said. “Even if you’re not a student of color, it’s just a fun space … It’s not always Black power or focusing on racism and colorism and all that stuff all the time. Sometimes you just come and play a game with us and laugh. We listen to music and just talk about how everyone’s week or semester is going. It’s a cute club hangout.”