College junior Jessica Dixon was elected president of the Black Student League last night, and said that she will focus next year on improving dialogue between black students and the administration. The BSL elected Wharton junior Nicole Bell as vice president during the group's annual elections. Both students ran unopposed. Dixon, who is currently United Minorities Council treasurer, said she plans to work side by side with the administration to address black students' concerns. But she added that she is willing to be strong if friendly dealings fail. "If things can get done sitting down around a table it's much more effective than with hostile relations," Dixon said. "But if we can't get anything done we'll have to take a more active stance." Dixon's remarks echo last month's announcement by current BSL President Buzz Thomas that the organization would resume an aggressive role in fighting for the concerns of black students. Thomas said the administration has been unresponsive to black students' demands. During his semester-long term as BSL president, Thomas took a more passive approach to dealing with administrators than had previous BSL leaders. Dixon's leadership could strike a middle chord between that of aggressive black student leaders of the recent past -- such as Melissa Moody and Travis Richardson -- and the quieter Thomas. "I don't want to be labeled as a Melissa Moody president or a Buzz Thomas president," Dixon said. "I do want to take an active, as opposed to a reactive stance." Dixon said the BSL will concentrate on combatting black attrition and improving retention, and on cultural events. She said she plans to hold discussions with the administration and with Trustees. Vice President-elect Bell, who is currently BSL's representative to the UMC, said she wants the BSL to be more aggressive. "We've tried to work within the system, with only minimal results," she said. The BSL also elected College junior Anthia Christian treasurer, Engineering junior Sherri Porter recording secretary, and College junior Kia Clements and Wharton sophomore Martin Dias corresponding secretaries. College freshman Kaplan Mobray was chosen to be freshman representative, College freshman Orlando Lima was elected parliamentarian, and College sophomore Sjekienna McCreary will be Student Activities Council representative. Chip Gross and College freshman Juanita Irving will have a run-off election at the first meeting of next semester to be UMC representative.Comments powered by Disqus
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