To the Black Members of the Class of 2021:

On behalf of Princeton’s Black Student Union, congratulations on your admission and on the accomplishments that have brought you thus far! As you anxiously await the beginning of the academic year, we would like to provide you with a few guiding words to carry with you:

Black Princeton is a dynamic and diverse community of Black students of different hues, religions, cultures, nationalities, concentrations, and political beliefs. This diversity provides for a unique Black social climate. We aspire to be inclusive and give everyone a seat at the table. As you enter in the fall, don’t be afraid to dive right in and say hello to your new community of Black peers, faculty and staff.

Additionally, you should feel welcome at the Carl A. Fields Center (CAF). Entering this fall with some renovations, the Fields Center is not only the home of affinity spaces for various groups, but also the place for many engaging cultural events. Our own Black Together Welcoming Dinner will be held there on Wednesday, Sep. 20! We invite you to come out to the various talks, events, and parties that are held at CAF throughout the year — you won’t regret it.

Undoubtedly, Princeton will challenge you academically, emotionally, and sometimes even physically. Embrace these challenges and allow yourself room to grow. While it is okay not to be okay (Counseling and Psychological Service is a great resource), don’t ever let your worth come into question. Regardless of what happens on campus or in the world, your blackness matters and is welcome on campus. Always remember, you deserve to be here. Princeton is just as much your community as it is any other student’s.

Never be afraid to ask for help. As the Black Student Union, we exist to build a community that supports the educational, professional, and social experiences of Princeton’s Black students. All of us on the Board, and the members of the Black community, are eager and willing to lend a helping hand whenever you need it.

Princeton, like any other college or university, is not perfect. You will have tough days and you will have great days that you wish will never end. Overall, we hope that you find something greater than a Black population here at Princeton, but rather a Black Community — one that will push you and support you during each of your four years here. The Black Student Union is committed to the growth and strength of this community and we are eager to include you and your perspective in our efforts. It is our hope that you, too, will make Princeton your home and find that it is a community worth the investment.

With Love and Black Excellence,

The Princeton Black Student Union

The Princeton BSU can be reached at bsu@princeton.edu.

Editor’s Note: This piece is part of our Opinion section’s ongoing welcome series. Groups and individuals from a diverse set of backgrounds and identities are encouraged to share advice and opinions on the Princeton experience. If you are interested in submitting a guest column, please email opinion@dailyprincetonian.com.

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