The African American Student Advisory Council (AASAC) has a unique opportunity to promote positive change in many different ways because of its position as a link between many different student organizations that make a difference in the African American community.
Every year, AASAC takes on the task of providing leadership training for most of the leaders of the African American student organizations at NC State. Although AASAC does not host many programs because of its role as a counseling organization rather than a programming organization, this one program helps to prevent numerous problems that could result from untrained leaders in positions of power in African American and Caribbean student organizations. “I want AASAC to be a council where student leaders can come with their problems, and know that, together with the NC State Faculty, we can find a solution,” says Amber Carr, chair of AASAC. The leadership development program is also a good example of how AASAC attempts to take steps to prevent problems rather than simply reacting to them.
Another example of the preventative actions that AASAC takes is the Minority Experience Report Card, which grades the university on minority affairs such as freshman retention, and minority recruitment. This was a task formerly charged to the Office for Diversity and African American Affairs (now known as the Office for Diversity and Inclusion), but will now be AASAC’s responsibility. “By presenting the report card to NC State’s faculty we will be able to stop developing problems before they worsen” said Carr.
The accountability the report card will be able to provide for the administration is something that the president of the Collegiate Chapter of 100 Black Men Inc., Warren Rhem, is hoping to instill in his organization. “One major problem in the past has been accountability; I plan to hold everyone, myself included, to a higher standard and hold them accountable for their actions.” The Collegiate Chapter of 100 Black Men aims to serve as a council for African American male leaders where there can be a dialogue on issues of importance. It also aims to assist in implementing the “Four for the Future” program emphasized by the national organization which emphasizes economic development, health and wellness, education, and mentoring.
The 100 Black Men have plans in place to help extend their function as a council for young male leaders past the boundaries of their own organization. It has a Freshman Roundtable planned for the coming year in which members of the collegiate 100 Black Men and other upperclassmen will talk with freshman males about their time at NC State so far.”The Freshman Roundtable gives us a chance to help them [the freshmen] out on something that may be troubling them or address a bigger problem that is affecting the freshmen males as a whole,” Rhem notes. The Freshman Roundtable is not the only thing the organization has planned, as there are also plans for programming on how AIDS affects the college age community, and personal finance management.
As another year begins, there are more than enough challenges facing all of the NC State community members, but if things go as planned for many of our student leaders, the community at NC State will not be facing those challenges alone. Their planned outreach programs and counseling are sure to make a positive difference, not only for people on campus, but, for all people in the African American community.