Indiana University is understood for large scholar help at its athletic occasions, and far of that has to do with the function of its Student Athletic Board.
Columbus North graduate Nicholas Stevens has been part of IU’s SAB since his freshman yr, and now as a senior, he’s its president. He is accountable for the roughly 1,000-member group that encourages scholar involvement in all Hoosiers sporting occasions.
“After being one of many leaders of the Columbus North Dog Pound scholar part my senior yr of 2017 and 2018, ending high eight within the state in line with WISH-TV, I knew I needed to return to Indiana University and fulfill that very same want of leading a scholar part, getting individuals excited, and supporting athletics groups, bands, scholar initiatives, and the neighborhood generally,” Stevens mentioned. “Once I heard about Student Athletic Board and what their mission and objective was, I knew I needed to affix and I knew I needed to sooner or later be President of the group. Thankfully, by way of a number of exhausting work, nice mentors, associates and alternatives, I’m presently in that function and have loved my time to date serving to to hold the legacy of SAB and be a pacesetter of the perfect school scholar part within the nation at the perfect college within the nation.”
A senior healthcare administration and coverage main, Stevens joined SAB as a Crimson Guard member as a freshman. He was a committee chair as a sophomore and vp of administration as a junior.
This spring, Stevens submitted an utility for president, then was interviewed by the previous president and advisors.
“What I’ve been saying, and it what I actually honed on my utility for president was, you’re going to have a complete freshman class from final yr who couldn’t attend in-person sports activities, after which you have got a complete new freshman class coming in,” Stevens mentioned. “So that’s principally 15,000 individuals who haven’t been to an in-person sport but which can be going to wish to be there. That’s what SAB is there for — to benefit from these numbers.”
As president, Stevens works with the opposite Executive Board members — the VPs of Administration, Membership and Communications — to arrange and run SAB for all the yr. He is answerable for creating, planning and executing big-picture concepts and plans for the coed part, committees and members. The Executive Board meets each week to debate updates, concepts and plans whereas listening to recommendation from the three advisors.
Some concepts that Stevens has instituted to date this yr:
• A brand new Member Relations committee specializing in members’ psychological well being and well-being, social relationships and recruiting new college students to affix SAB
• Fun month-to-month Zoom conferences through the summer season, guaranteeing that members stayed related with one another
• Required month-to-month committee conferences to make sure that members have been brainstorming concepts and plans for his or her sports activities seasons
• Emphasis on advertising and social media accounts to broadcast the group to the scholars, campus and neighborhood
• A street journey for SAB members to Saturday’s IU at Iowa soccer season opener and a watch get together for that sport within Memorial Stadium for college students not touring
• In-Game flyers to function “cheat sheets” to let college students understand how they will take part within the scholar part, whether or not it’s sure chants, operating a flag or dressing up in costume
“There’s totally different committees which can be accountable for every sport, so what they’ll do is plan and work with the IU athletics advertising to make the perfect fan ambiance potential and do one thing thrilling and energetic,” Stevens mentioned. “We do a complete year-long factor, getting individuals excited, getting followers out, getting college students excited for the totally different athletic groups.”
That will probably be a change this yr after college students couldn’t go to video games final season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Last yr was sort of tough as a result of the group was principally going down just about,” Stevens mentioned. “But even then, we have been in a position to keep related by way of Zoom conferences, by way of watch events with Big Ten-Plus. We have been in a position to drive round campus and do automobile parades with horns honking, posters getting individuals conscious and simply a number of social media work. It was sort of disappointing that followers couldn’t go, however we nonetheless had watch events for soccer and a few basketball video games the place individuals may come out to Kinsey Hollow and IU’s campus, and there was an enormous display arrange. We watched IU beat Penn State, and folks have been operating round going loopy, in order that was cool to nonetheless have just a little expertise.”
Stevens isn’t the one North graduate closely concerned with IU’s SAB this faculty yr. His buddy Floyd Athaide, who was additionally one of many leaders of the North’s Dog Pound throughout that 2017-18 yr, is an SAB director.
“We would at all times be speaking, texting and brainstorming the best way to get college students to indicate up and the best way to make the perfect ambiance potential,” Stevens mentioned. “When we each determined to go to IU, and we determined to room collectively, we knew that SAB was the perfect group for us to proceed to broaden our pursuits and show our pleasure for all issues sports activities. We at all times talked about being President and Vice President sometime, and although Floyd is a Director as an alternative of a VP this yr, he nonetheless has discovered a number of success in working with Olympic sports activities, working with the Bloomington neighborhood for volunteerism, and bringing in a number of college students to affix as members. I don’t suppose both of us could be within the place we are actually with out continued belief, love, and help from the opposite.”
Matt Ruehman, the 2019-20 scholar physique president and Dog Pound chief at North, joined SAB as a freshman at IU final yr and is a chair this yr.
Stevens mentioned the overarching theme for this yr’s SAB is “Energy, Enthusism, Excitement.” Among his targets:
• Become a generally acknowledged and requested about group on campus in identify, brand and objective
• Become a corporation that not solely focuses on operating the coed part at each house sporting occasion, but additionally increasing its function on campus to foster skilled improvement and networking with alumni, join with people from totally different and various backgrounds, volunteer in any approach they will to go away the neighborhood higher than they discovered it, take care of the psychological well being of members and benefit from the expertise being part of the perfect group on campus.
• Reenergize and reimagine a number of the actions they do throughout sporting occasions, creating new traditions for college students to recollect and repeat for years to return
• Record scholar attendance in any respect sports activities
“It’s going to be unbelievable,” Stevens mentioned. “It’s going to be a lot enjoyable. There’s a lot vitality and buzz and vitality round campus starting from freshmen to seniors. Just everybody is worked up to be again. You can inform there’s a buzz on campus as a result of coach (Tom) Allen is doing an important job along with his soccer workforce. There’s a number of hope and potential there, after which coach (Mike) Woodson and the lads’s basketball workforce, there’s a number of hope that they’re going to be actually good.”