Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC)
The MAAC Student Advisory Committee was established by the conference to give student-athletes an opportunity to generate a voice within the conference, to solicit student-athlete responses to proposed NCAA legislation, and to discuss issues relating to the welfare of student-athletes.
National SAAC at a Glance
MAAC SAAC National Representative: Emily Altier (Niagara University)
Altier began her term on July 1, 2014 and will serve through July 1, 2016. As a member of the swimming team for the Purple Eagles, Altier swam the 500 freestyle in a season best time of 5:21.66, and garnered a career-best in the 1650 freestyle in 18:14.47, while her 1000 split was also a personal best at the Zippy Invitational. She placed 14th in the 500 freestyle (5:13.26) and the 200 freestyle (1:59.18) at the 2014 MAAC Championships and placed 11th in the 1650 freestyle final (18:02.48). In the classroom, the Cicero, N.Y. native held a 3.20 grade point average and was named a member of the 2014 MAAC All-Academic Team.
MAAC SAAC in DisneyDawn was just breaking over the eastern skyline on the morning of Friday, November 21 as the MAAC Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) pulled into the Give Kids the World Village in Kissimmee, Fla., for a morning of volunteerism. The MAAC SAAC is in Florida for its annual fall meeting at the Walt Disney World Resort which is being held concurrently with the 2014 MAAC Volleyball Championship at the ESPN Wide World of Sports facilities.
Give Kids the World is a non-profit organization that exists only to fulfill the wishes of all children with life-threatening illnesses and their families from around the world to experience a memorable, joyful, cost-free visit to the Central Florida attractions, and to enjoy the magic of Give Kids the World Village for as long as there is a need. This is the third time the MAAC SAAC has volunteered its morning to assist in Village operations. Following the visit the committee agreed to continue supporting the program.
Later in the afternoon the MAAC SAAC had an opportunity to conduct a roundtable for broadcast on the MAAC.TV network which will be available later in the month. The student-athletes discussed current topics that impact their sports including NCAA Governance, should athletes be paid or receive a stipend, issues related to social media, sportsmanship and developing an inclusive athletic climate for athletes. The student-athletes liked the informal format of the round table and suggested it be continued.
To finish up on a long day of activities the SAAC representatives participated in a Disney Institute program on creativity. The presentation was hosted at EPCOT in its Wonders Retreat facility and was designed to show the athletes how to tap their inner creativity to become better leaders on campus. The Disney Institute team leader used business examples developed as a result of operations within Disney. The evening was capped by the Illuminations show at EPCOT where the SAAC was able to reflect on the lessons of the day’s activities while enjoying dessert and fireworks.
The next morning started with the fall MAAC SAAC business meeting. Chaired by Niagara University swimmer Emily Altier, who serves as the MAAC’s representative to the NCAA SAAC, the meeting focused on national issues and developing voting positions on pending NCAA legislation that the autonomy group is developing for January’s NCAA Convention in Washington, D.C. Also discussed were best practices for SAAC on campus, the development of a MAAC “If you can Play, you can Play” video to foster inclusivity on campus and within the league, and establishing student-athlete support mechanisms on each campus. Interacting with SAAC were MAAC Senior Associate Commissioner Barbara Church and Commissioner Rich Ensor.
The MAAC Volleyball Championship was next on the SAAC agenda at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex. The SAAC representatives served as sideline reporters for the broadcasts on ESPN3, and also volunteered as ball shaggers for the event. The evening ended with participation in the MAAC Volleyball Awards Show and Banquet at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park, and unlimited rides on Expedition Everest.
Service, education and bonding were the take-aways from the meeting as new friendships were made and renewed commitment to the mission of SAAC on MAAC member campuses was established.
November 5th-8th @ Walt Disney World, Orlando, FL
FALL 2014 TOWN HALL FORUM
THE STUDENT ATHLETE VOICE