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The impact of Black student services at Loyola

Jazmin Dantzler | 10/27/2010, 5 p.m.

Early this year the Office of Black Student Services at Loyola Marymount University in West Los Angeles celebrated its 40th anniversary and recognized four decades of service, dedication and leadership on the LMU campus. When asked, "where is OBSS today?" Gail Buck, director of OBSS said, "OBSS is at the top of our game"

OBSS strengthens the interaction and communication between students, student organizations, faculty and staff.

OBSS serves as an advocate, resource and foundation for the Black population of Loyola Marymount University.

The organization develops and implements culturally relevant educational programs that enhance students' current knowledge related to leadership, professional development, social enrichment and retention.

Black student services develops a supportive discourse that helps create an encouraging environment which promotes the intellectual, professional and cultural growth of African and African-American students, as they absorb a cross-cultural understanding and interconnectedness with the campus and surrounding community, explained the director.

There is a wide array of qualitative programming that comes out of the office, such as "Pulling Out the Race Card One Too Many Times," "Aids in America," "Black Culture Night," "Black Intellectual Life: The Power of Intellectual Brotherhood," and "Irreplaceable? Are Strong, Healthy, Black Women Disappearing?"

The desire to foster the mindset of students is demonstrated on a daily basis by maintaining an open door policy. This allows students to check in by not only the director, but other students in an effort to develop relationships and maintain a sense of family.

Although she enjoys the programming organized and executed by her office, Buck believes programming is only one aspect of the office.

"Sure, there is awesome and qualitative programming that comes out of OBSS, but I believe it is the respectful and intentional interconnectedness of not just the Black family of LMU but also the understanding of the importance of interacting and respecting all students, alumni, faculty, and staff is what strengthens us. This is what and where OBSS is today."

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