Edison, NY - The Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) released a MAAC SAAC Town Hall Forum broadcast that was shot and filmed by ESPN Wide World of Sport's broadcast studio in Orlando, Florida during the MAAC SAAC meeting in October. The Town Hall video features twenty MAAC student-athletes with two representatives from each of the ten institutions.
The Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) is a group of student-athletes brought together to discuss and discover ways enhance the student-athlete experience. SAAC also provides a voice for student-athletes regarding important issues that affect their lives. These representatives establish connections with campus, conference and national level administrators to communicate insight on important issues on all levels including NCAA policies and regulations.
The student-athletes who attended the MAAC SAAC meeting this fall flew to Disney World and participated in a variety of events. They were volunteers at Give Kids the World, an organization that provides an all-inclusive trip to Disney World for children with life threatening illnesses and their families, volunteers at the MAAC Cross Country Championships, attended a Disney Institute program on leadership and held a bi-annual meeting to discuss NCAA proposed legislation and activities and issues on their campuses.
Chris Kalousdian, a Junior baseball player from Manhattan College, noted about the Conference community service project, "At Give Kids the World I had the opportunity to serve breakfast at the ice cream shop. I couldn't help but notice all the smiles that walked through the door because for a couple days these families get to get away from everything they are struggling with and enjoy the luxuries that most of us take for granted. My experience was great and I am definitely going to volunteer whenever the opportunity arises."
MAAC SAAC discussed and reviewed important issues regarding the proposed legislation of the NCAA's Working Group on the collegiate model during their bi-annual meeting. Some of these issues include increasing the communication with and access to prospective student-athletes, an earlier initial contact date with prospective student-athletes and academic components to transfer student-athletes. The MAAC SAAC group also discussed community service initiatives, promoting SAAC awareness, enhancing the student-athlete voice, and the encouragement of student-athletes supporting fellow student-athletes during their meeting.
The best way for campus and conference SAAC's to have the student-athlete voice heard at the national level is to communicate with the conferences' representative for the Division I National SAAC. It is the responsibility of this representative to provide the conferences' student-athlete voice to the Division I SAAC in the review of NCAA proposed legislation and in the NCAA governance structure.
The video from MAAC SAAC Town Hall Forum gives an overview of what SAAC is, how these student-athletes became members, increasing SAAC awareness, SAAC adopted community service projects and the student-athlete voice institutionally and nationally.
The MAAC SAAC Town Hall Forum video can be viewed free of charge on MAAC.TV under the Features tab.