May 21, 2013
DALLAS (SMU) - SMU's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) wrapped up its 2012-13 year with the election of new officers for the 2013-14 academic year.
Lauryn Bodden, a member of the women's soccer team, will head the new board as President. Bodden served as Vice President of Public Relations during the 2012-2013 academic year. She earned the Conference USA Spirit of Service Award and took home the Spirit Award at SMU's All-Sport Banquet. In her role as President, Bodden will be responsible for presiding over all SAAC meetings, setting agendas, guiding the conversation and seeking partnerships with other organizations on campus.
The three vice presidents are all experienced student-athletes. Women's basketball junior-to-be Raven Short will take over as Vice President of Community Service and will be responsible for selecting and organizing the SAAC community engagement projects. Lisa Egarter, a senior-to-be on the track and field team, will serve as the Vice President of Special Events. Egarter will select and organize SAAC social events that encourage involvement in the athletics and the university communities. As Vice President of Public Relations, volleyball senior Caroline Daly will share information with all student-athletes, communicating and to distributing updates to the student-athlete community.
Gabriel Andonie, currently a sophomore on the men's swimming team, will serve as the Executive Assistant. He will provide assistance to all of the SAAC representatives by recording minutes and attendance at each meeting.
"We are excited to elect these Student-Athletes to the Executive Board. These upperclassmen will bring a wealth of experience, initiative and leadership to our committee," said SAAC Staff Advisor Allison Singleton.
SAAC is the voice of student-athletes on campus and supplies essential feedback to the athletics department and other campus organizations in order to increase student-athlete welfare. The committee provides recommendations on proposed conference and NCAA legislation and addresses national issues that may concern student-athletes. By providing opportunities to recognize athletes for academic achievements, promoting school spirit and presenting ways to interact with the community, SAAC strives to enhance the SMU experience.
SAAC is made up of two voting representatives from each of the 17 athletic teams at SMU. Any student-athlete is welcome to attend SAAC meetings and get involved, even if he/she is not a voting representative.
SAAC entered the 2012-2013 academic year with three major goals: increase student-athlete involvement at meeting and events, increase community service participation and increase awareness and opportunities provided by SAAC.
SAAC initiated two major community service projects for the year: Let's SAAC Hunger and Read Across America.
As part of "Let's SAAC Hunger" each C-USA school worked within its respective communities to conduct a campus-wide canned food drive for one week during the fall semester, and each institution selected a local food bank to receive their donations. All monetary donations were converted into pounds for the competition. SMU collected over 1,500 canned goods and $1,300 during this year's drive, accounting for over 5,000 meals or 9,406 pounds (three times last year's total), all of which benefitted the North Texas Food Bank.
SAAC's spring project efforts were focused on inspiring local elementary school children. Read Across America is an annual reading motivation and awareness program that calls for every child in every community to celebrate reading on March 2, the birthday of beloved children's author Dr. Seuss. Over 30 Mustangs shared the importance of reading and hard work for success.
In addition to its community service efforts, SAAC held nine "Pack The House" events throughout the year. SAAC also participated in the Mustang Club Thank-a-Thon, calling donors who provide the necessary resources for Mustang student-athletes to pursue academic and athletic excellence.
SAAC hosted its inaugural Study Break-fast the day before fall finals. Over 175 student-athletes gathered in the Hall of Champions to enjoy the company of their teammates and the breakfast buffet.
Creating awareness for SAAC events and opportunities was successfully accomplished by starting both a SAAC Twitter account (@SMU_SAAC) and Facebook page. In addition, SAAC developed a monthly newsletter distributed via email to all student-athletes that provided an educational piece, information on upcoming events, student-athlete recognition and a monthly calendar of opportunities.
For more information on SMU SAAC, click here.