The Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) is a national organization with representatives at both the conference and individual school level responsible for implementing changes in athletic policy across the NCAA. This drawn out Despite its importance, most individuals involved with college athletics do not even know that Wooster has a a branch of the committe. This year, Wooster’s branch of the SAAC is looking to change that and to have greater attendance at their monthly meetings.
In the past, SAAC has struggled to find enough students willing to become consistently involved in the meeting and functions. This set limitations on the sort of projects that the group could put together and even caused some of their significant functions to be cancelled. Last year, SAAC was forced to cancel a national division III initiative to work with the Special Olympics due to a lack of student support. Without the support of student athletes from all athletic teams, an organization like SAAC, which is largely student run, can fall apart.
“I try to make it student run,” said SAAC advisor and women’s lacrosse coach Elizabeth Ford. “I just bring in ideas and talk from different perspectives.”
The student leadership of the group is something that SAAC is trying to promote to both new and returning student athletes during the upcoming year as a reason to join the group. By allowing the students a greater responsibility in running the committee, said Coach Ford, it gives them a greater stake in their athletic experience while at Wooster. “Student athletes get a say in policy from the NCAC,” she added.
In addition to building up a strong committee in the coming school year, SAAC is also looking to continue to improve the experience of Wooster student athletes. In years past, the group has lead the way in policy changes across campus such as extending Lowry’s hours to 8 p.m. for late team practices and introducing powerade as an option from the fountain drinks.
This year, SAAC plans to continue its Brother-Sister program for the athletic teams to increase support at home games for all athletic teams, as well as putting together a senior athletic banquet at end of the school year, something that fell flat with little support last year. They also have plans to work for new changes such asintroducing lettermen jackets available to athletes as well new senior athlete gifts at the conclusion of every season.
Often times student athletes struggle to become involved outside of their respective teams while at the mercy of their strict athletic schedules. SAAC is a group that offers these athletes opportunities to come together with their peers in order to expand their experiences as well as affect policy here at Wooster.
If you are interesting in joining SAAC, please contact Coach Ford at EFord@wooster.edu.