The Black Student-Athlete Association (BSAA) at Eastern Michigan University started its second year as an organization as they held its first meeting on Sunday, Sept. 17.
The meeting included a game night filled with fun activities including Uno, Charades, and Jenga, followed by an informational meeting where EMU women's basketball player and BSAA President Kyndal Lewis and fellow E-board members discussed the goals, missions, and values of the organization and highlighted the upcoming year.
“We wanted to create a space where Black student-athletes can come feel safe and talk, because not everyone knows what you’re going through,” Lewis said. “If it’s a lot of people in the same area that look like you, experience similar things, it makes you feel more comfortable.”
Along with Lewis serving as president, the E-board includes EMU football’s Max Reese serving as vice president, as well as Austin Smith serving as director of communications and events chair, EMU women’s track and field’s Maura Lane serving as secretary, and EMU women’s volleyball’s Mekayla Kroger serving as treasurer.
BSAA’s aim is to not only bring Black student-athletes around EMU together for a safer space off of their respective athletic realms, but to create and further that family aspect within individuals who share similar interests around sports at the University.
“It creates a sense of family, like a big family reunion with your people,” Lewis said. “Finding a family away from home has made us feel more connected and comfortable.”
The organization’s principles focus on growth and development, community outreach, unity, advocacy, and representation.
Created by former EMU football linebacker Tariq Speights just a year ago, the vision of the organization stemmed from a visit to the annual Black Student-Athlete Summit which brought a sense of representation and the importance of sticking together as one.
“The organization allows for them to come together as one and fight for what’s right,” BSAA advisor Tre Tiggs said. “I want them to be able to have that voice to speak out about issues and have that parliament to help and support.”
BSAA is calling for all Black student-athletes at EMU to come join them and be a part of the ever growing family.
The next meeting will be held on Sunday, Oct. 7, from 7-8 p.m., at the Halle Library ground floor in room G-03.