Black Student Union president found her voice in activism

Thompson balances school with involvement, says she always commits “110 percent” to duties



Makayia Thompson, senior animal science major and comparative ethnic studies minor, talks about her various roles on campus and the positive impacts they’ve had on her on Oct. 28 at the Chinook Student Center. She says Black Student Union was always there for her as she took on more responsibilities.

EMMA LEDBETTER, Evergreen reporter

Black Student Union President Makayia Thompson said knowing her priorities is what keeps her on top of her busy schedule — that, and a planner.

Thompson’s on-campus involvements are far-reaching. As a senior pre-vet animal sciences major, she said she has been an orientation counselor for two years, was on the cabinet for Black Women’s Caucus, and is involved with her sorority, Delta Sigma Theta, Inc., as the recording secretary.

“[Delta Sigma Theta] has shown me and guided me to be the strong black woman that I didn’t know I was until I surrounded myself with them,” Thompson said. “Just being able to go back to my sisters at the end of the day really just helps me and motivates me to be where I am today.”

She encountered different multicultural student groups as a freshman at the all-campus picnic and began exploring them a few weeks into the year. She said she had many more opportunities to be involved in identity organizations at WSU than she did at her high school in Salt Lake City, Utah.

“Having Black Student Union be there from the first day I was on campus impacted how I chose what to get involved in,” Thompson said. “Black Student Union was just always there.”

Thompson said some of BSU’s recent projects included a forum about arrest disparities and participation in the Week Against Violence. BSU’s focus is to hear as many voices as possible and create a forgiving and safe environment for them, Thompson said.

“She is, to the core, a person who pushes and drives for her community,” said Asha Johnson, chair for Coalition for Women Students and one of Thompson’s sorority sisters. “And not just her community, but really anyone who is being marginalized in adverse ways on this campus.”

Out of all her leadership roles, Thompson said the thing she is most proud of comes from being a peer mentor in the African American Student Center.

“When I am able to see, at the end of the day, that student who was struggling eventually joins a cabinet for an organization, or ends up joining a sorority or fraternity or gets that ‘A’ on that exam, it’s just so rewarding for me to know that what I’m doing isn’t just me doing it to say that I’m doing it,” Thompson said. “It’s me doing it to see change.”

Manuel Acevedo, director of Multicultural Student Services, said he met Thompson about three years ago. She works with him as an office assistant in the MSS office.

“She was active as a student mentee, allowing other people to share their knowledge and expertise about WSU so she could learn,” Acevedo said. “Soon after that, I think she probably said to herself, ‘it’s time to pay it forward,’ and decided to become an active participant and offer her time.”

Thompson said she wouldn’t commit so much of her time to different things if she didn’t care about them.

“My time is not something I can get back … so what I commit myself to, I commit 110 percent,” Thompson said.