The Student-Athletic Advisory Committee was denied a charter from ASB in November. The purpose of SAAC is to represent collegiate athletes and host community fundraising events. This was the first year the committee attempted to get chartered by ASB.
ASB said the committee did not fit the regulations of an official PLNU club. The biggest flaw in becoming a charter was SAAC’s exclusiveness towards student-athletes. Since becoming a member was only open to athletes, it was restricted to the rest of the student body. ASB Director of Student Relations Nate Guajardo was a large part in the decision-making.
“SAAC is an extremely important group here on campus; it just didn’t line up with what ASB does,” Guajardo said. “Clubs cannot be exclusive to a specific group of people. It’s a deal breaker.”
SAAC was started on campus in 2011 as a requirement of the NCAA when PLNU began the transition to Division II. The committee has 22 members composed of two representatives from every PLNU sports team. The role of these members is to communicate upcoming athletic events to their teammates. Through athletic events and Make-A-Wish fundraisers, the committee has tried to make the student-athletes get more involved in the PLNU community.
“We serve the community, support one another and work to make the student-athlete experience the most well rounded and enjoyable as we can,” said Alyssa Orito, the SAAC committee president.
This interest group raises funds for the Make-A-Wish foundation through student-athlete events. This year, PLNU’s SAAC raised the most money for the Make-A-Wish foundation in the entire NCAA PacWest conference. SAAC has held competitions among the different Sea Lion teams—including ‘penny war’ for the Make-A-Wish foundation. For student-athletic events, SAAC hosted a dance in the fall and is planning to attend a Padres game in the spring. Member of the committee and ASB president mcKensey Wise said she enjoyed the events sponsored by the committee. She was a representative for the volleyball team.
“It was cool to see how much money came out of the fundraiser last year for Make-A-Wish, which was in huge part to Steve Riddle and his biking fundraiser,” Wise said. “It is fun for student-athletes to have a few events where they can all be together in the year.”
Danny Barnts, the assistant athletic director for communications said that although SAAC is an athletic committee, the athletics department does not provide funding.
“They’ve been working on getting a budget,” Barnts said. “Athletics just provides meeting spaces and food but the students are driving it.”
Due to lack of funding, SAAC needed financial help to regulate their events. The committee went into ASB asking to be chartered into an official club on campus. Orito said obtaining funding from ASB was necessary.
“Our intention in applying to be an ASB-sponsored committee was in order to raise funds that we could use towards our events for Make-A-Wish and other similar activities,” Orito said.