What is the Student Athletic Advisory Committee?
Most students on campus are not aware of the Student Athletic Advisory Committee (SAAC), which helps the lives of student-athletes run more smoothly.
The committee works year-round to advocate for student-athletes’ needs. For example, SAAC has previously communicated with the on-campus dining staff to extend hours, so athletes can eat after and before practice.
An athlete in two sports (women’s soccer and basketball) and committee member, senior Jamie Lange says SAAC is “here to keep the athletic community together and provide community help and service throughout Tacoma in various ways.”
SAAC is made up of seven executive members including two co-presidents, two publicity members, one vice president and two secretaries. Additionally, there is at least one representative from each sports team (men’s and women’s) to give perspective during SAAC meetings, which are every other week. These representatives are selected differently per team; some may volunteer and others are selected by teammates or coaching staff.
Elizabeth Prewitt, senior women’s basketball player and co-president of SAAC, explains the committee’s goals within the Puget Sound community: “We are seeking to work and collaborate with different student organizations across campus to bridge the gap between athletics and other communities in the University.”
Each semester, SAAC committee members work together to organize different community service events, social events and promote games and sports events to encourage Puget Sound students and student-athletes to support each other at their games or events.
Co-president and senior football player Dwight Jackson addresses SAAC’s goals for the upcoming year: “We have our specific community service goals, we are trying to exceed all last year’s quotas, but also get the outside community a bigger part of it. We want to create a student section at games including current students, student athletes and alumni to increase support for our student athletics.”
During the 2018-2019 school year SAAC hopes to continue their yearly community service events and to continue to show the importance of reaching out to the community Puget Sound is part of.
Prewitt describes her presidential hopes of the 2018-2019 school year: “Apart from Dwight and I, we have new members on our Exec team bringing new ideas and energy! While we will continue to run our main community outreach projects of Trick or Can, Adopt a Family, Dig and Think Pink nights, and Special Olympics, we are also looking to incorporate some new events. In alliance with our attendance goal, we are hoping to have some giveaways at various games, create a student section and have multiple rummage sales.”
The greatest challenge that SAAC members face is their student-athletes’ busy schedule. The commitment of being a student-athlete is equivalent to a part-time job. Jackson reports spending 23 hours a week for practice, team lifts, treatment, film, meetings and games.
“The biggest challenge SAAC faces is our student-athletes have a lot of other commitments besides their sport, so asking them to take time to participate in community service, etc. [sic]. But even though it’s a challenge our student athletes still do such a great job of balancing both. … It’s almost like we are a team,” Jackson said.