Men's Waterpolo prepares for Conference with Coach Justin Johnson

The Concordia Courier

Men’s water polo team in a huddle with Coach Johnson

By Eva Prewitt | 9/8/2023

The Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, or SAAC, is a nationwide NCAA institution within every respective school and athletic program. The committee is made up of all student-athletes, with representatives from each men's and women's sports team, along with roles such as president, vice president, secretary, mental health coordinator, and community and campus relations. 

After being a representative for the beach volleyball team her sophomore year, junior Olivia Highstreet is this year's SAAC president. "Our job is to give a voice to student-athletes on each of our teams," said Highstreet. The student-athlete advisory committee here at Concordia specializes in the quality of each athlete's experience. "We meet together once every other week and talk about rules, regulations, policies, or just about insight on the student-athlete experience at Concordia," said Highstreet. At Concordia, there is a high priority to create and promote a safe environment of communication that honors Christ and appropriately addresses athlete well-being.

The SAAC has recently introduced Flight Club Teams to the athletic program to create support and fellowship among sports teams. "One of the common themes I've noticed about SAAC in the last two years is that we always talk about wanting to see more camaraderie between teams at Concordia, and in the past, we haven't always found a good plan of action to accomplish that,”says Highstreet. 

After attending the PacWest SAAC retreat this summer and connecting with other school presidents, Highstreet was inspired to create Flight Club Teams. SAAC worked to pair groups of three sports teams together of opposing seasons, fall, spring, and winter, and officially presented the idea during our Annual Athlete Dessert Dinner on Aug. 30. The goal is to attend as many games of your assigned Flight Club Teams as possible to support your fellow Golden Eagles and collect stamps for your team that will be tallied at the end of the year. "We're excited to see what the Flight Club Teams look like this year and are very excited to incorporate that," said Highstreet.

The Student-Athlete Advisory Committee is dedicated to building relationships among student-athletes and support between teams. Hunter Hornaday, junior and men's track and field representative, shares why he was drawn to join SAAC. "This opportunity allows me to be someone that my teammates can come to with either concern about how things function or things they enjoy about being an athlete at Concordia," said Hornaday. "Whether it is having a dessert tailgate to get people connected with one another or voicing serious issues about things that may need to change, I can feel I am a resource for athletes in the same position as me." 

The SAAC is invested in each athlete's well-being and is a source for all athletes to reach out and make connections with. "Being able to meet with the SAAC representatives and see what our teams are struggling with, what our athletes need, and getting one step closer to providing and meeting those needs means we can improve the overall athletic experience at Concordia," said Highstreet. The Student-Athlete Advisory Committee members are available to offer a safe, welcoming, and supportive outlet for all athletes to feel heard and seen.




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