Student-Athlete Advisory Committee is new to this campus. This is our second year running it. 36 student-athletes are a part of this movement, and we were chosen because we are leaders on our teams and on campus. I am the president this year and was the vice president last year. I represent the softball team on the committee. During my time, I have helped brainstorm ideas for fundraising, while being a part of the change for student athletes.  

 SAAC has goals that include more fundraising, building a better student section and becoming well-rounded servant leaders. But most importantly, we are learning to be better people within this committee. A couple of us attend leadership conferences, bring [those learnings] back to the group and try to implement that into our team culture. We want to change the face of athletics with a support system that is undeniable.

 The first year was trial and error, which has continued into this year. Four of us were chosen to start SAAC last year, and that was one of the most challenging things to do. We got to start this organization. We got the opportunity to make it what we all wanted it to become. 

One of the problems was that we didn’t truly know what we wanted to bring to our college athletics besides winning records. We want to have better records, but with that comes support. Every athlete can tell you about the game they played in, where everyone cheered and it changed the level of intensity at the game. We came across the hardest conflict: Why don’t we support each other? SAAC wants to encourage everyone to come to the games. 

We have themed games such as Flannel Night, Purple Night and Mustache Night. Mustache Night is for the men’s Movember game to support a cure for prostate cancer on Nov. 2. Women’s soccer and women’s volleyball have breast cancer cure-supporting games coming up on Oct. 23.

More recent events are Homecoming this weekend. We are hosting a cornhole tournament, and the winners get up to $80 in Munch Money. 

Other than games, our goal is to serve the community, which allows us to do things like Trick or Can, on Oct. 30. We go door-to-door collecting cans and donating them to the local food pantries in town. A couple weeks following that, we are teaming up with the baseball team and making meals for those who are less fortunate. Our last service of this semester involves going into local schools, telling them about SAAC at Goshen College and reading to them. 

Being able to do any of this comes from a great support system. Our team consists of Javier Prieto, a member of the men’s soccer team; Salvador Escamilla a cross country athlete; Evan Beck from men’s tennis and 32 other student-athletes chosen to be a part of this special committee from every team represented on campus. We are advised by Emily Osborne, athletic trainer, and looked over by Harold Watson, athletic director. 

Without the efforts and triumphs of this committee, we would not be in the right direction. If you want a change, sometimes you have to be the change. We want to give student-athletes a chance to change the perception of Goshen College athletics and make it legendary. With the change by student-athletes, we would also like more support on campus, whether that involves coming to the games or helping with fundraisers. 

If you are interested in helping with any aspect of the committee, contact me for more information. We appreciate the support.