Over the years IUPUI has become a school of diversity, a school of culture, and a school of progress. Today the Campus Citizen would like to recognize the Student African American Brotherhood, also known as S.A.A.B. This brother-to-brother student organization was established in 1990 here on IUPUI’s campus, which stemmed from the “Diversity Enrichment Achievement Program,” also known as (DEAP). The student organization was constructed to support the academic achievement and persistence of males of color on campus.
The organization has created a website, which states that “members are encouraged to embrace leadership by being positive examples for each other through a strong commitment to academic achievement, brotherhood, and community service.”
President Lewis Fontanez gave some valid information about the organization in an interview below. He also shared how he was granted the chance of being President of S.A.A.B. He shed light on how students of IUPUI can join and serve as a member of S.A.A.B.
When did you become a member of SAAB? Why?
LF: I became a member of S.A.A.B. two years ago because I wanted to get involved in the IUPUI community and the president at the time reached out to me in the campus center.
When did you receive the Presidential title of SAAB? How did that enhance your skills or abilities as a student here at IUPUI?
LF: I was elected at the end of spring 2015 semester. So far, I have gained better programming and time management skills.
How have you grown as an African-American male over the time period of being associated with members and/or mentors of SAAB?
LF: Since being a member of SAAB, I have increased my professionalism by so much. Also, members in SAAB are part of other organizations that made my networking skills grow.
Do you think your experiences would be any different if you weren’t President of the organization?
LF: No, I believe that the organization is made to help men become better versions of themselves whether you are on the Executive board or a general member. The Executive board just helps in the molding process.
Lastly, after seeing how the organization has grown over the years and knowing how beneficial SAAB is to students of color, how would you inform others who are interested in becoming a member of your organization? What information is needed, or do they have to have certain requirements to become a SAAB member?
LF: I would tell potential members to either show up to our meetings which are every other Tuesday in Taylor Hall, room 210 at 8:00 am. If they cannot make the next meeting, they could stop by the D.E.A.P Office and speak with a member or with our Advisor, Eric Williams. To be paid member, dues are $10 for a semester, and $15 a year. Your dues will get you SAAB apparel.
To conclude, the S.A.A.B. organization has a mission statement that they follow on a daily basis. All members of the organization should know and understand their mission statement.
The Mission Statement: The mission of S.A.A.B. is to assist their participants to excel academically, socially, culturally, professionally, and in the community. In order to empower ourselves, and promote brotherhood, we the brothers of the Student African American Brotherhood, embrace the principles of accountability, proactive leadership, self-discipline, and intellectual development. Through our beliefs and convictions, we uphold this mission at all times.
They also have a sisterhood for African American women here on IUPUI’s campus as well. See Advisor Eric Williams in room 2110 located in the Taylor Hall building for more information.