WIU Black Faculty & Staff Council committed to an inclusive campus environment

By Dylan SmithReporter

MACOMB, Illinois (NEWS3) – The demand for equality continues into the new year after an eventful 2020. During the fall semester, Western Illinois University students put their support for equality on display. Additionally, WIU staff have also made their presence felt. 

After preparations were made during the summer of 2020, the WIU Black Faculty & Staff Council (BFSC) launched in the fall. 

 “The council is designed to allow black faculty and staff a way to get together and to share concerns that they have so they can be addressed,” Lorette Oden, WIU Health-Science and Social Work Department Chair and member of the BFSC, said. 

“It could be related to employment, it could be things they are experiencing personally, or what students are experiencing on campus and how we can be supportive,” Oden said. 

Prior to the 2020-2021 school year, a similar organization existed, The Black Faculty & Staff Caucus. After years of silence, the association was recreated under the new and current name.  

“There is concern over the issues that are taking place in the communities, not only in Macomb, but around the country,” Oden said. “People are concerned because it has an impact. Even though things aren’t necessarily happening within the community, people are feeling the impact of what is going on around the country.” 

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the council meets bi-weekly on Zoom to discuss concerns. Serving as a resource and bringing issues of importance to the ear of senior administrators is at the top of the list for the council. 

A full list of the council’s intentions can be found at their website: http://www.wiu.edu/diversity/bfsc/.