Student-Athlete Advisory Committee Gives Back
By Britani Beasley ’15
The McKendree Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) has come a far way in just a few short years. The organization was established in 2011 and keeps on growing in size. Thirty-seven student athletes from 23 different teams are represented within SAAC. Woman’s bowler Tegan Clinton ’15 said, “I believe that now, especially since we are officially a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) school, SAAC is important because we, as representatives need to keep our teams, as well as the whole school, informed about changes and issues.” Advised by Angela Red, assistant director of athletics/compliance and senior women’s administrator, SAAC offers input on the rules, regulations and policies that affect student-athletes’ lives at McKendree and on all NCAA Division II member institution campuses.
SAAC is also dedicated to engaging students in community involvement. By encouraging student athletes to get involved in the community, SAAC members are able to better not only our campus but also our community. Men’s tennis player Dylan Faulkenberg ’17 said, “We definitely realize that we are fortunate people, able to attend college and play sports, so we try to give back to the community.”
Volunteer services that members of SAAC and Bearcat athletic teams have participated in this year include visiting patients at Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital in Indianapolis, Ind.; collecting canned goods and other non-perishable items for the Lebanon Food Pantry in partnership with the Lyn Huxford Center for Community Service’s Trick or Treating for Canned Goods; and volunteering at the McKendree Race Day, Special Olympics Basketball Tournament, The Warrior Dash, the U.S. Open USTA Wheelchair Championships and a SAFB Youth Tennis Development Program. All Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) SAAC member institutions also proudly participate in the Division II National SAAC initiative to raise funds for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
The 2013–14 McKendree SAAC officers are Caty Ponce ’15 (women’s basketball); Kyle Rutledge ’15 (baseball); Meghan Dohogne ’14 (women’s volleyball) and Edward “E.J.” Rahar ’15 (track and field).