“My mom was a single mother who came from another country,” said Fabiani Baez, Plattsburgh State senior. “And she was able to put me, her first child, through college. If she can do that, then a women can do anything.”
Fabiani Baez is a criminal justice major and resident assistant for deFredenburgh Hall, a high-rise dorm building on campus.
“My initial reasoning for becoming an RA was to just be there for someone,” Baez said. “I just wanted to have an impact on at least one person.”
Along with her duties as an RA, Baez’s schedule is also filled with her sorority responsibilities.
“I am a member of Sigma Lambda Upsilon/ Senoritas Latinas Unidas Sorority Inc.” says Baez, “I am the vice president of my organization and the community service and philanthropy chair and the secretary and the academic coordinator.”
“One of the reasons I was drawn to my sorority is because of their focus of literacy,” said Baez. “With such a broad topic, we don’t have to change our philanthropy every few years we can talk about almost every issue as long as it has to do with educating people. We can talk about body positivity, and then we can talk about gun control or abortion laws and it lets us teach the community.”
The main organizations Sigma Lambda Upsilon raises money for are Better World Books and First World Books, which both give books to children in third world countries and the U.S. and help them get materials for school. Last semester the sorority raised $11,000 for the organizations.
The sorority also does community service out at the literacy program in Hawkins Hall to help adults who want to learn English learn how to read.
“I’m the president for the organization of ethnicity,” Baez said. “And I believe that it is extremely important for us to speak about the issues we face and unite,”
PSUC criminal justice professor Breea Willingham said Baez is a “fiercely driven young women who works hard to achieve her goals and who is a fearless leader on campus who stands up for the rights of women and marginalized groups.”
“The reason I stand up for women is because I am a woman and I am part of an underrepresented group,” Baez said. “It’s my duty to use my voice so other people who are like me, or have the same mentality as me, feel comfortable enough to also speak.”
Baez wants to empower people to stand up for what they believe is right ,just as she does, but she feels that it is important that everyone uses a tone that shows their opinions are being heard, so they can reach a happy medium.
“I’m not just fighting for myself. I’m fighting for the younger generation and whomever next door who feels like they are stuck in a box,” Baez said. “I want to let them know that that box is not that hard, you just have to break it. You have to use your voice because your voice is one of the most powerful things that you can use.”
“A women is just as strong as whomever else,” Baez said.
Email Abby Talcott at firstname.lastname@example.org