Student Athletic Advisory Committee sets goals for future of Saints athletes
By Laura Smith
Flagler’s Student Athletic Advisory Committee is looking forward to their second year on campus after getting everything in place in their first.
“The first year has really been just like what you would expect when you are starting something completely new,” Flagler College Compliance Officer Sheri Holt said.
The committee is a part of compliance with the NCAA and works closely with Holt. Each athletic team has two representatives who create the committee.
The main goals of SAAC are to enhance student athlete welfare, participate in community service activities, vote on new or changing NCAA rules and any general concerns the athletes may have.
“This year was really just laying down the framework and setting it up, so that next year we can focus on really getting involved in the community,” SAAC President and women’s soccer player Jessica Echterling said. “We want to give back to our fans and do things like Habitat for Humanity, fundraisers or even workshops for kids.”
This year SAAC planned on volunteering at a Special Olympics event, which was canceled due to rain. “We were really disappointed that our big community service project was rained out,” Holt said. The group decided next year they will hold one big event along with team service requirements.
One of the biggest accomplishments of SAAC this semester is the change to the end of the year gift student athletes receive.
This year freshmen are receiving a Flagler athletic clock, sophomores get a canvas bag with the new logo, juniors get a logo blanket and seniors get a framed varsity letter in a plaque. Echterling said the players seemed pleased with the change.
Next year, SAAC will focus on increasing support from fans and from within the athletic department.
“We have been doing really well [gaining support from other athletes], highlighting specific nights that we want [them] to be at,” said Holt. “SAAC also wants to do more campus events, really putting the word out there that there is a group on campus that represents the athletic department, but that it is not just about the athletic department, but about outreach to the community both on and off campus. We want to become a recognized club.”