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I am AACC: Richard Russ, Student

Student Snapshot
Black Student Union President

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8. How did you become involved with the Black Student Union and eventually become president?
“The first year I was involved with Black Student Union, I was the events coordinator, which encompassed all positions. There was a lot of disorganization.
“Last year I became president and as president I had to shake a lot of stuff up. It was a rough year because I had trouble trying to keep things together since I went in with such forcefulness. I treated it like a job or a class I was taking. When you come into the room it should be about business and not taking everything that was in the cafeteria and just moving it to another room an hour later.” 

9. What positions make up the Black Student Union?
“We have a president, vice president, secretary, parliament, co-chairs, treasurer, and an events coordinator.”

10. How do you market yourselves?
“Usually we have a general assembly meeting. We hand out information sheets and then assemble ideas. People throw out all kinds of stuff, but you have to make sure you’re delivering as an organization and not just for entertainment value. After the list of ideas is assembled, we vote and then we factor in budget.”

11. What has been your proudest accomplishment as Black Student Union president?
“The Blackout Show because it generates the most buzz. It’s a really fun show of local artists that takes place in October or November. Anyone that has a talent they want to exhibit is invited. In past years we’ve had a marching band, a couple of local rappers, and a girl I used to work with came and sang some of her songs from her self-recorded album. It’s not just for African Americans; anyone who wants to exhibit or come, they are welcome. The Blackout Show is the name because of the student union and because I thought it sounded cool. It sounds like ‘boom,’ like something you want to see.”

12. What other organizations/clubs are you involved in?
“My first year I was involved with the Student Association through the Student Union; I was also a student ambassador. My second year I was briefly involved with Entrepreneurial Studies Institute. I also got really involved in the newspaper and became a contributing writer. My goal is to be a staff writer, which may not happen, but I think I’m going to try and write again this year.”

13. What did you write about as a contributing writer?
“They started me off doing music reviews but I don’t like to be so restricted. In a music review I felt like I wasn’t really expressing myself but was just moving a product. I did a little fashion article about celebrities and clothing lines and how designers want to keep the two separate.”

14. Where do you foresee your career?
“I want to go through every branch [of communications]. I want to do broadcasting; I want to write a book, I want to do everything. I want my obituary to be seven pages long. I don’t even want them to read it at the funeral; I just want them to take it with them because there’s going to be so much stuff in it. I just want to do so much because there is so much to do and life is so short and people limit themselves. Everyday there is something new for you so why not do it all.”

15. How would you describe your experience at AACC?
"This is a very nurturing place; it’s like a nest. You have to teach yourself not to get too comfortable because you may feel trapped like you can’t leave. AACC is very helpful in getting you to where you need to be. There’s no reason for you not to succeed. There are tutors and scholarship programs; there’s no reason for you not to be as successful as you can be because everything is right here. Overall it’s an awesome experience; I’m glad I started here.”

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