SAAC: The campus group you don’t know

PNW’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) may be the most powerful campus organization you’ve never heard about.

SAAC’s mission is to enhance the student athlete experience by promoting opportunity, protecting athlete welfare and fostering a positive student athlete image. The group influences NCAA procedures by offering input on rules, regulations and policies that affect student athletes on campus. For example, the group recently voted to allow PNW athletic teams to increase practice times.

Each sport is represented by two male and two female emissaries who meet as a committee once a month to discuss national legislations, new rules or regulations and possible changes to the athletic department.

SAAC may be best known on campus for its work with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the preferred charity of the NCAA division II.

SAAC raises money for Make-A-Wish through games and activities held throughout the year on campus. For example, the group conducts Miracle Minute events at sports or intramural games.  During a Miracle Minute, athletes rush through the stands with a bucket to collect donations from fans for precisely 60 seconds.

“A recent addition to our fundraising is an event called Softie Ball Toss,” said Elizabeth Huston, SAAC president. “Game attendees can donate to [Make-A-Wish] and receive a tennis ball to try and score into a bucket during half time for a chance to win a Chick-fil-a gift card.”

Last year, SAAC donated $4,400 to Make-A-Wish.

Once a month the PNW SAAC conducts its own community service project. Last November, the group arranged for over 100 student athletes to volunteer at the Northwest Indiana Food Bank.

“We try to encourage involvement between athletics and the university,” said Huston. “All students are welcome to participate in SAAC hosted events like dodgeball [and] half-time activities at basketball games.”

SAAC promotes its activities on Twitter and Instagram, at @pnw_saac.