By Megan Kramer
Flagler Athletes are at the heart of the Athletic Department, but even they sometimes have trouble getting their voices heard.
The Student Athlete Advisory Council was created to help break down the information barrier between athletes, coaches and the athletic department administration.
Sheri Holt, Flagler College’s compliance officer, said the committee is part of the NCAA Div. II organizational structure.
The committee focuses on four main topics: student welfare, community service, NCAA rules and general concerns or improvements. Each Flagler College sports team has at least one representative on the committee.
The Student Athlete Advisory Committee held its first meeting in September and voted on officers. President Jessica Echterling, women’s soccer, said she first heard about the committee from a friend at Rollins College.
“[It] is a good organization that holds tremendous potential for Flagler College athletes,” Echterling said.
According to Holt, the committee has already addressed a concern that was mentioned by athletes.
“Students were concerned about parking their cars for early matches, like the cross country team at 6 a.m.,” Holt said. “They were worried about where they should park their cars and if they were going to get tickets.”
The communication between Holt and the committee made addressing the concern a faster process.
In the future, Echterling said she wants to increase the fan base at games.
“This is a problem because of lack of advertisement or communication of events,” Echterling said.
Along with Vice President Keri Amundson, women’s golf, Echterling and the rest of the committee are hoping to increase school spirit at Flagler.
Holt said the committee has expressed the desire to have more fans at games.
“We are working towards this goal in different ways,” Holt said.
One of the ways, according to Echterling, is by getting the athletes involved in community service events. Habitat for Humanity and an Olympic competition among teams are just two of the many ideas the Student Athlete Advisory Committee is working on to get involved in the community.
“These projects, combined with the committee, will help get the word out about the Flagler College athletic program,” Echterling said.