Student-Athletes Connect at ASUN Winter SAAC Meetings in Jacksonville

Student-Athletes Connect at ASUN Winter SAAC Meetings in Jacksonville

 Twenty-six ASUN Conference student-athletes, administrators & league representatives attended the 2018 Winter Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) Meetings from Jan. 26-27 on the campus of Jacksonville University. The group discussed a wide range of topics affecting student-athletes at the campus, conference and national level, while also taking time to volunteer in the Duval County community.

Meetings opened on Friday with introductions from Jacksonville's Athletic Director Alex Ricker-Gilbert, Senior Woman Administrator Lauren Cevis and an icebreaker from Jacksonville SAAC leaders Jaci Hodskins and Jackie Baldwin. Agenda conversation topics on Friday consisted of the SAAC Constitution, Best Practices as well as a report from the ASUN's NCAA SAAC Representative, Amanda Carroll, on the recent NCAA Convention held the week prior in Indianapolis. During breakout sessions on Friday, the group discussed and presented thoughts on the Transfer Working Group, Student-Athlete Engagement in SAAC as well as Mental Health Awareness. Day one of the meetings concluded with the group attending and successfully completing an Escape Room.

On Saturday morning, SAAC spent the first few hours volunteering at the Jacksonville First Baptist Children's Home. The student-athletes from across the conference participated in a few games and a spirited contest of kickball before donating shirts, jackets and more gear to the children. Celebrating 113 years of helping children and families, the Florida Baptist Children's Home system assisted and served more than 74,000 children over the past year through their campuses, foster care services, adoption services, Brave Moms, emergency care and compassion ministries.

The final day of discussions included the selection of SAAC officers for the remainder of the 2017-18 academic year as Amanda Carroll (Chair) and Ahmed Amaar (Vice Chair) will serve in their respective roles until the election of officers for the following year take place in April. SAAC put forth two proposals from the ASUN Time Demands Best Practice and detailed their desire to move the Fall SAAC Meetings to July, allowing for less missed class time as well as higher attendance among SAAC officers and campus SAAC Presidents.

2018 ASUN SAAC Winter Meeting Attendees
 Amanda Carroll (Volleyball & Beach Volleyball) & Kathy Peterson (Administrator)
Jacksonville - Jackie Baldwin (Track & Field), Jaci Hodskins (Softball), Juan Sebastian Ramirez (Men's Soccer), Dr. Kim Capriotti, Angel Morrison & Lauren Cevis (Administrators)
Kennesaw State - Jessie Sexton (Women's Soccer), Alex Huber (Volleyball) & Mindy Mager-DeBruce (Administrator)
Lipscomb - Ahmed Amaar (Men's Track & Field), Lauryn Davidson (Women's Golf), Kate Mason (Women's Soccer) & Dr. Lin Garner (Administrator)
NJIT - Shannon Turner (Track & Field), Cameron Tait (Men's Volleyball) & Peg Hefferan (Administrator)
North Florida - Marinda Kitchen (Swimming), Fynn Timm (Men's Cross Country / Track & Field) & Kendra Grant (Administrator)
Stetson - Arkee Brown (Football), Andi Kahn (Women's Rowing) & Elise Paulson (Administrator)
ASUN - Patrick McCoy & Brock Workman (Administrators)

The purpose of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee is to enhance the total student-athlete experience by promoting opportunity, protecting student-athlete welfare and fostering a positive student-athlete image. To this end, through the orderly establishment and enforcement of legislation, the committee aims to encourage sound academic practices for student-athletes, serve as the liaison between the campus SAAC and the National SAAC, stimulate good sportsmanship, provide leadership and a voice in the development of public attitudes toward intercollegiate athletics generally, address the future needs of Conference athletics in a spirit of cooperation and mutual benefit of the member institutions, encourage cooperation amongst student-athletes toward the support of gender equity, provide health, safety and wellness information to student-athletes, and provide personal and professional development opportunities.