As the voice of all student-athletes at Nebraska, the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) made waves during the fall 2013 semester. Along with sharing athletic department events, opportunities, and needs with their teams, each sport representative collaborates with a subcommittee intended to serve the student-athletes and greater Lincoln community. The six subcommittee are Student-Athlete Welfare, Student-Athlete Interaction, Campus Collaboration, Community Outreach, Leadership Development, and Technology/Advertising. The following is a summary of the work of each subcommittee this semester.
The Student-Athlete Welfare subcommittee focuses on providing the best possible experience for Nebraska student-athletes. SAAC met with Director of Athletics, Shawn Eichorst twice this semester, and the Welfare subcommittee compiled a list of positive comments, concerns, and suggestions from each team to present to him. Later, these ideas were presented to the Senior Management Team to explore what improvements could be made in response to the feedback.
Diversity Day has become a popular initiatives created by the Student-Athlete Interaction subcommittee. The group works to build student-athlete unity across all sports. Diversity Day embraces this idea by encouraging athletes to sit with student-athletes from other teams as they eat in the Lewis Training Table. This semester was our third opportunity to carry out the project, creating an atmosphere that encourages a tighter knit student-athlete body.
The Campus Collaboration subcommittee strives to connect the athletes with on-campus initiatives. One event the group spearheaded was inviting a passionate leadership speaker, Jay Zarr to speak to both the student-athletes and the Nebraska student body. Jay shared effective leadership concepts through interactive activities. The group looks to continue to build this relationship with campus next semester.
In the spirit of serving the community and developing student-athletes, the Community Outreach subcommittee has created multiple initiatives centered on serving those in the greater Lincoln community. Two of the main events the group has generated have given athletes the opportunity to interact directly with children at the People’s City Mission as well as collect winter clothing for the organization. Husker student-athletes’ passion for service continues to be an encouragement to the community as well as those in the athletic department.
The Technology and Advertising subcommittee has served all other subcommittees as a resource to publicize their events and initiatives. Their work has enabled the other groups to be successful, and they are currently working to utilize televisions in the athletic department to highlight the accomplishments of teams and fellow athletes as well as displaying the efforts of SAAC.
This is the first full semester SAAC has utilized its Leadership Development subcommittee. The group is dedicated to developing the leadership ability of each student-athlete in SAAC and encouraging application within each representative sports team. Every week the subcommittee presents an individual leadership concept and challenges the group members to reflect on how well they exemplify the attribute on their teams and in life. Topics covered in the fall encouraged personal attributes of strong leaders while next semester will emphasize applying these leadership components within their respective sports.
The Athletic Department places a high value on the opinion and work of SAAC. For this reason, one to two members of the Senior Management Team now attend each SAAC meeting and advise each subcommittee in order to encourage a closer connection between the athletic administration and the student-athletes.
The work of the talented and passionate student-athletes in SAAC is creating a more united, caring, and responsible Nebraska, and their impact will continue to be contagious in this athletic department and beyond.
Look here for the Fall 2013 SAAC Photo Album!