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Ohio University Student Alumni Board members pose for a picture during their new member reveal event in Athens, Ohio on Sept. 18, 2022.

OU's SAB offers friendships, connections

Founded over four decades ago, Ohio University’s Student Alumni Board continues to impact its members.

With around 40 active members, and nine committees in the organization, there are many options for each interested party to find their place in the professional organization. As a club, the Student Alumni Board, or SAB, partners with the Ohio Alumni Association to provide networking opportunities, execute philanthropic events and organize professional events for OU students and Athens community members.

Garrett Rees, a senior studying biological sciences, is the current president for SAB. Having joined as a freshman, Rees was immediately met with open arms as well as saw the appeal of being a part of this professional organization.

“I think kind of once I got there, I could already feel just how close everyone was with each other,” Rees said. “Although professional, it was very easy to tell that everyone cared about going to things for more than the fact that they wanted the experience to be there – they went there because everyone cared about each other and wanted to support each other. I did appreciate that sense of community.”

Rees said the organization is the perfect thing to join if students are seeking a place to grow and create new connections with other students as well as alumni.

“With all the different committees, if you wanted connections, you could probably go and help find some and you could grow,” Rees said. “If you want all kinds of different experiences … or professional growth, I think there’s a lot of different areas that we can help anyone improve on.”

A hallmark of the club is that it is open to any and all majors. The organization also inducts new members from all different grades, broadening their outreach to include all undergraduate students.

Emily DeMinico, a junior studying communication sciences and disorders and the vice president of membership, said there are not very many opportunities for her to get involved with professional organizations geared toward her major.

“It was nice that I could join a professional organization and it didn’t matter what my major was,” DeMinico said. “I think that’s a unique thing and a drive for a lot of our members. We don’t turn away any majors because of their major.”

Similar to Rees, DeMinico also joined as a freshman. Since she was still remote due to the pandemic, SAB, although online, was a shining part of her week.

“Every week on Sunday nights, I knew I had my new-member class to talk to,” DeMinico said. “That was just a really great thing. Since then, each semester I’ve gotten closer and closer with those that are either in my grade or in my class.”

Taylor Vickers, a senior studying political science–pre law and psychology, is the current vice president of philanthropy. Her favorite part of SAB is the variety of activities to engage in as well as the versatility of the organization.

“​​My favorite thing about SAB is that there's honestly a little bit of something for everyone,” Vickers said. “My main driver behind joining this org. was not only the alumni connections and the professional development aspect of it all, but also there’s that aspect of giving back to the community, giving back to students. I was really drawn to that, and it just seemed like this was one org. that gave me a little bit of everything – it’s a professional org., it’s a social org.”

Vickers also sees the benefit of allowing different majors to join, stating that it has given her the opportunity to meet people she never would have without SAB.

“It really does bring together people across various different majors and disciplines, and so it’s so nice to feel like it gives me an opportunity that I wouldn’t have had otherwise to meet different people across different disciplines,” Vickers said. “Of course, that brings with it different perspectives and viewpoints and everything like that, which I think is something really important.”

As the vice president of philanthropy, Vickers has been working a lot on gearing up for SAB’s busiest week: OU Homecoming week. The event the organization is most well-known for is their “Yell Like Hell,” a pep rally to get students and alumni excited for the upcoming football game. Vickers said Yell Like Hell will take place Oct. 6 from 6-8 p.m. on College Green. The Marching 110 will be present to perform, as well as various dance groups and local bands.

The day before Yell Like Hell takes place, SAB is also hosting a canned food drive. Dubbed “Pack the Pantry,” SAB members will be outside Konneker Alumni Center, 52 University Terrace, to collect non-perishable items. Additionally, boxes will be set up in all OU Marketplaces and select university buildings to collect donations. Everything collected will be given to Cats’ Cupboard and Athens County Food Pantry.

Vickers is looking forward to both events, as well as the philanthropic and event-planning experience it will give members. Her experience thus far with SAB has been exceptional, and is excited for the newly-inducted class to enjoy the organization just as much as she has.

“Just seeing how friendly and accepting – everybody welcomes you with open arms,” Vickers said. “I did join during COVID and so I was really just looking for something to be a part of and this just fell in my lap, and I didn’t think it would be this great. The people are what makes SAB, SAB honestly.”

@alyssadanccruz

ac974320@ohio.edu

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