For Jaeshon, involvement is not on his short list. Only a sophomore, Baldwin is a part of the Franklin Society, National Pharmacy Association, Pre-Pharmacy Club, and NAACP. He also serves as the Executive Treasurer of the Black Student Union.
As a freshman, Baldwin knew that that his influence could be a positive impact on campus, maybe even an impact that would open doors to social change. Involvement was his door to promoting that change.
Though the list of organizations and clubs is long, BSU has been the most important community to him, as well as his favorite.
The Black Student Union serves is a campus organization that serves to unite African American students, giving them a sense of community and comradery. Lead by students, the organization’s executive committee plans events and meets with the organization weekly to discuss current events and popular social topics.
For Baldwin, BSU was the perfect place to connect with other like-minded students his freshman year. He began on a freshman committee, then took the opportunity as soon as it was given to run for an executive position.
“BSU helped me fit in because I found a lot of people who related to me and that I was trying to get involved just like them,” Baldwin said. “Ever since then I’ve been trying to help other people get on the same path. If they don’t have anywhere to get involved then I say, ‘hey, come here, this is where I started.’”
But more than encouraging others to join BSU, Baldwin sets his mind on seeing change come to the Auburn student body. He sees his influence Executive Treasurer as one that will do a small part to begin that change.
“Being treasurer, of course I’m helping fund events,” he said. “Events promote conversation, and conversation promotes change. So, to be honest, I feel like helping to get these events started gets more conversations going, which promotes more change on Auburn’s campus.”
To Baldwin, change means community and begins with a simple conversation. He hopes to build that community through BSU events.
“People being friendlier on the concourse and more friendships being developed starts change. When I say change, I mean change as a more “family” vibe to the Auburn Family that we are all always preaching. If we really want to get it, I feel like positions that I am in are the starting places for that type of change.”
Practically, significant change will take time. But with time, there will be more diversity and inclusion, change in how students view and react to trending social issues, and less micro-aggressions among students. Unity among each other, when students act as a true Auburn Family, will create community will bring this change to campus.
“Change is always necessary because we as humans evolve all the time,” Baldwin said, “and our ideals evolve as well. I believe that if we allow ourselves to evolve along with those, that we can always continue to be a little bit more loving on one another. We can continue to shake hands a little more. We can always agree to be a “family,” as we would say.”
Baldwin keeps his eyes set on his dreams of social change. Though he is only one student, he sees an opportunity do his part in promoting unity on Auburn’s campus.