Elon Connected: Queen Assata Stephens ’22 builds bonds as leader in the Black Student Union

This is the latest profile in "Elon Connected," a new series that highlights how students are involved with campus organizations at Elon.

How are you Elon Connected? This is the first in a new series that highlights how students are connecting at Elon outside of the classroom.

The university is home to hundreds of organizations that provide nearly limitless ways for students to engage, and Elon Connected shines the light on what these groups mean to the students involved and to the campus community.

Queen Assata Stephens ’22 — Black Student Union

Hometown: Charlotte, N.C.

Major: Public Health Studies

How did you get involved in your organization?

My friend Imonni Withers told me that I should be on the communications committee in my Freshman year. I started out taking pictures for events but from then on I’ve been involved.

How does your student involvement line up with your academic interests?

I’m minoring in African & African American Studies so I definitely feel that it’s related to my academic interests.

… with your social life?

I come from a very Afrocentric and pro-Black background. I also feel that I am active within the Black community and activism so BSU is a great way to actively contribute to the Black community.

… with your career goals?

I want to open my own birthing center as a Midwife one day and I know this will positively affect the Black community and help reduce the likelihood of Black women dying from childbirth complications.

Queen Assata Stephens ’22 speaking during the Black Solidarity event at Elon during fall 2020.

Most memorable experience with your organization?

My most memorable experience with BSU is when we held the vigil last fall in light of things that were happening with the Black Lives Matter movement. The amount of support and attendance from not only students but staff as well was warming.

Elevator pitch to someone considering joining?

Whether you want to be president or on a committee, joining BSU in any facet is a great way to contribute to the Black community especially on Elon’s campus.

What do you think the Black Student Union adds to campus life or the broader community?

We allow space for Black students on campus to decompress while also supporting them in their excellence. We also provide events that help to educate allies/accomplices as well as build bonds with the broader Elon community.

Biggest adjustment for the Black Student Union in response to the pandemic?

I feel that the biggest challenge has been for our signature events that have traditionally been done in person have shifted to the virtual world. We’re also having to think outside the box and contemplate what would be the best thing to do. Choosing what would be safe over what would be fun can alter your view of what the event will be, but the goal is to be able to combine both safety and fun for a great event.

What’s your advice to other students about balancing student involvement and your academics?

Don’t take on more than you can handle. If meetings are getting too overwhelming, your grades are starting to drop, or your extracurriculars are becoming more of a chore than something you enjoy, then you need to reevaluate your priorities. Knowing when to say no to things is very important. We all come to Elon to get an education so we shouldn’t let anything get in the way of that. Try your best not to get burned out from being involved in too many things. Know your limit and prioritize what is most important to you. Time management is the key.

What lies ahead after Elon?

My plan is to go to N.C. A&T State University and start in their advanced nursing degree program. The main goal is to eventually become a midwife and own my own birthing center (If I don’t get discovered as an actress or singer first).

Something most people don’t know about you?

I don’t have a religion but I’m still spiritual and believe in the universe.