Association of Black Students has a new vision for OU

Being a student at Oakland University (OU) can be very rewarding, but navigating life at a major university can also be daunting for some young people.  

This is especially true for so-called minority students, and few people understand that better than Jordan Johnson.

Johnson is the president of the Association of Black Students (ABS) – a student organization dedicated to helping black students at OU stay in school and graduate on time.  Through a variety of programs and events the ABS sponsors during the fall and winter semesters, the organization encourages personal and academic altruism among its members, creating an often much needed atmosphere of extended family for students that might otherwise feel very disconnected or isolated.

Originally from Chicago, Johnson currently resides in Novi, Michigan, and is a 21-year-old information technology major, entering his senior year at OU.

Johnson says he chose OU because of its affordability and proximity to home.  He chose to become a member of the ABS out of a desire to be part of something bigger than himself, and a good cause.

“After freshman year, I saw a lot of people drop off. A lot of my friends that were African-American dropped out because they didn’t know enough, their financial aid was shaky, or they just did not have the support they needed to stay,” Johnson said.  “So I wanted to get involved with an organization that could help them out, as well as help myself develop.”

Johnson previously served as treasurer of the ABS, and stepped up to lead the organization after the previous president, Asia Anderson, resigned to devote more time to academics.  

“I felt I was ready to step up to plate, and I had a lot of vision for what I wanted to see ABS become,” Johnson said. “Everyone agreed with my vision, we had a vote, and I became the president of ABS.”

Part of Johnson’s vision is to unite the black student organizations at OU.  

“I want to connect all the African-American organizations on campus through something I’m initiating called the African-American leaders summit,” Johnson said.  “Hopefully I can get enough African-American organizations to come aboard.”

Seemingly, Johnson has the ability to be in two places at once on OU’s campus, but on closer examination one will discover that he actually has an identical twin, Jamil Johnson, who is also a student at OU.  

Jamil and Jordan Johnson share an especially unique experience at OU.

“My most memorable experience with Jordan at OU had to be my time spent as his roommate,” Jamil said.  “Living together outside of the household was a new experience for the both of us. We saw each other grow, learn, and develop our own unique lifestyles.”

According to Jamil, it’s not always easy living with a twin brother, but they are doing well.

“We helped each other with issues, whether it was classroom or life related and even though we butted heads from time to time, we still could come together at the end of the day,” Jamil said.

“Attending college with my twin brother was a whole new experience in itself. College is where you find your path and what you want to do in life and being able to grow separate, but not apart, made it well worth it.”

Jordan Johnson’s single word description of himself is “ecstatic.”  

He enjoys being a student at OU, and cherishes the opportunity to lead the ABS this upcoming school year.  

“Everything that I do, I’m full of energy when I do it,” Johnson said.  “You gotta bring your A game.”