Saluki unity, student-athlete led group focuses on diversity and inclusion

By Madison Taylor, Staff Reporter

This fall, SIU Athletics has introduced a new Saluki Unity program, a student-led organization focused on issues of diversity, equity and inclusion.

This group will focus on four topics: racial and social justice, LGBTQ issues, women’s empowerment and mental health.

Currently they are made up of more than 10 student athletes and 30 members of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee. 

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Saluki Unity was created to help the community and SIU student athletes become more involved in the community.

“Saluki Unity is a diversity and inclusion committee that helps run, push issues and solve social justice,” Ramond Chucky Sullivan, a senior studying journalism and SIU footballs defensive end said.   

Sullivan, Rodrick Campbell and Hannah Becker are all student athletes who are apart of Saluki Unity.

“Some initiatives the group plans to have will be a coat drive and a lake run where the proceeds go to different charitable foundations across Carbondale communities.” Rodrick Campbell, a fifth year student studying health administration  and a football cornerback said.

Campbell, who previously attended Northwestern University in (In Evanston, Illinois), said the university there had a similar program, and both he and Sullivan brought this idea to SIU and other groups added into it.

Hannah Becker, a senior studying criminology & criminal justice and the SIU volleyball teams outside hitter, said after Campbell and Sullivan brought the main components, other groups added on their ideas.

“We’re just trying to make it a better place or for future athletes and non-athletes to come into a better environment,” Becker said.

Becker is also the president of the LGBTQ student union within Saluki Unity, so that encouraged other student unions to join as well.

“Saluki Unity will help the Carbondale community, but I especially think it’ll help the athlete community first because it’s run by student-athletes across a multitude of sports to give us a voice to continue to make change and talk about the things that need to be talked about,” Campbell said.

Saluki Unity is an organization that wants to be proactive and reach the community.

“Saluki Unity is an entity of its own in the sense that it will help bring mass change across SIU’s campus in a multitude of ways is simply not a diversity and inclusion group” Sullivan said.

Staff reporter Madison Taylor can be reached at [email protected]  or on Twitter at taylorm08

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