Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


National Minority Rights Group Returns to FAU

Two weeks ago, 32 students of all different races packed a small conference room in the Office of Multicultural Affairs. The April 16 meeting marked the rebirth of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) chapter at FAU – the same chapter that dissolved two years ago following the graduation of its former leaders.

“The NAACP is very important in our community because it gives a voice to many different students,” says Sleiter Duroseau, a junior accounting major and co-founder of the revived chapter. “I saw a need last year [for the reestablishment of this chapter].”

That need, according to Duroseau and others in the group, is to politically engage more FAU students on issues of race and ethnic relations.

“It gives students a chance to address topics usually swept under the rug,” adds sophomore Angelica Hughes, a new member of the soon-to-be chapter. Hughes plans to work closely with the group’s new leadership to work on everything from voter registration drives in minority communities, to launching the “Free Your Mind Project,” a service providing donated books to at-risk youth in area detention centers.

Following their inaugural meeting, over a dozen students returned to that same conference room above the Breezeway Food Court last Wednesday. While the crowd may have been smaller this time around, Duroseau remains optimistic.

“This wasn’t an actual meeting, we were just meeting to collect dues from those who were ready to sign up,” he said. Four students were set to pay the annual $15 dues, but since the NAACP can only accept checks or money orders, the two with cash vowed to return next week. The collection of these dues is actually very important to the success of the group, says one of the founders.

“We need a minimum of 25 paid members to become an official chapter,” explains senior Renee-Bianca Casseus, who also serves the president of the NAACP’s Youth and College Division for the state of Florida. But before they begin active recruitment for members, the group must prove itself to skeptics in the wake of the previous chapter’s dissolution in 2005. Still, Duroseau is determined that this time around things will be different.

He’s even projecting that his group will achieve its required minimum membership within a few weeks.

“First of all, we’re taking the whole summer to plan really hard [for the coming year],” says Duroseau. Part of that planning, he adds, includes building a “strong foundation for the next generation” to carry the group forward. The current group’s leaders are also working with the past administration to learn from previous mistakes and successes.

“I believe the leaders we needed to be there then [in 2005] are here now,” says former FAU NAACP President Devin T. Robinson, who is acting as an adviser to the students during the chapter’s reformation. “The leaders now are more passionate, loyal, and dedicated to make a change and inspiring [others].”

“This is definitely a learning process for all of us,” Duroseau says with a smile. “But we’re definitely getting things done.”

For more information on the new NAACP chapter at FAU, contact Sleiter Duroseau at (786) 385-6299 or [email protected].

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