Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

SAAC group gives student-athletes voices

 Augustana’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) has officially made its return to the athletic community this year.

  The NCAA’s SAAC is found in all three divisions: Division I, Division II and Division III. Each NCAA institution’s SAAC consists of student-athletes who provide insight on their experiences in athletics so they can offer ideas to others.

   With the startup of Augustana’s SAAC committee, women’s softball head coach and senior women administrator Kris Kistler is one of the three coaches selected to look over the committee while also allowing the student-athletes to have their voices heard and to make decisions together.

  “The number one thing I hope the student-athletes get out of this group is having all of the sports come together and solving issues,” Kistler said. “It’s the student-athletes, it’s their voice and we are really excited to get it going again.”

  Each SAAC committee is made up of an executive board. This year’s board consists of president Daniel Artman, vice president Maddy Murillo, secretary Kaitlin Rusin and treasurer Kate Hettiger.

  As president, junior soccer player Artman said he wants to offer many ideas to the committee that include community service opportunities, volunteering at local schools and focusing on getting Augie athletes to support one another.

  “We want to improve our connection with the community to help get people in the area excited to come out and support Augustana athletics,” Artman said. “Athletics was a big reason I came to Augustana and if we can improve the connection between the student body, administration and athletics, it will provide an even better student-athlete experience while also gaining life skills.”

   While SAAC committees are enriching the athletic community by doing many hands on projects and making connections to the Quad City area, SAAC also allows Augustana student-athletes from all teams to bond together.

   Senior lacrosse player Christina McCabe is about to begin her final season as a Viking and believes SAAC will be an amazing opportunity for Augustana athletics.

  “It would be cool to bond with other teams because athletes support athletes, but it is better to have that deeper bond. SAAC is allowing us to develop relationships with people you don’t spend every day with in practice,” McCabe said.

  “A sport is like a job, you show up and you have to put out what you have for the school to represent Augustana. So, student-athletes should be better represented and they should be listened to more because they are a huge part of the student body,” McCabe said.

   SAAC currently doesn’t have any specific plans yet, but they are in the process of planning community service projects and reaching out to local schools and businesses in the Quad Cities.

 “It’s important for SAAC to give back because as athletes, we have so many gifts and abilities to be thankful for, and giving back to the community is a great way to use those abilities,” Artman said.

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SAAC group gives student-athletes voices