CSUSM advisory committee gives student athletes a voice


Photo courtesy of the Office of Athletics

The CSUSM Student Athlete Advisory Committee enjoys fundraising to support the Make-A-Wish America Foundation.

Brittney Scardina, Sports Editor

The Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) within CSUSM Athletics consists of representation from each of the CSUSM sports teams. SAAC representatives aim to give student-athletes the best experience by advocating for student-athlete voices and coordinating events.

“[SAAC is] the student voice of the department,” said CSUSM’s Associate Director of Athletics Todd Snedden.

According to the CSUSM Student-Athlete Advisory Committee webpage the mission of the CSUSM Student-Athlete Advisory Committee is to “improve the student-athlete experience by promoting integrity, responsibility, leadership and sportsmanship.

Sarah Aragon, SAAC President and a junior on the women’s soccer team, is currently in her second year on the council, and said that she has enjoyed her experience being on SAAC.

“It’s been really great. I wanted to elevate myself within SAAC. Being president this year helped me understand the behind the scenes and all the moving parts that go on with Athletics,” said Aragon.

SAAC has five monthly meetings each semester where the representatives run the meetings. They plan events, create goals and relay information to communicate between their teams and the department.

Each school in the California Collegiate Athletic Association has SAAC within its athletic program. There are occasional meetings within the conference that every SAAC from each school will attend.

Snedden hopes that SAAC is able “to provide an opportunity for students to get leadership experience.”

Student-athletes in SAAC go back to their teams and discuss ideas that student-athletes want to do moving forward. They plan community service and community engagement opportunities and find ways to support campus partners.

 CSUSM Department of Athletics’ goal within SAAC is to “help support them moving forward with these initiatives and to make sure we can help provide logistical information and help them be successful,” said Snedden.

 SAAC has contributed to fundraising for the Make-A-Wish America Foundation, participating in an annual food drive, working with local elementary schools and giving back to the community.

 Members of SAAC make an effort to support each other and all CSUSM athletic teams.

 “Our goal is to always keep all our teams connected in some way, showing up to each other’s games, doing community service with each other or some type of team bonding,” said Aragon.

SAAC members serve as a guide for their teammates. If a team member has a question, they can ask their SAAC representative to guide them in the right direction within the athletic department.

CSUSM SAAC is currently hosting a virtual food drive. The food drive will be supporting the North County Food Bank and will be going through Feb. 28. The link to donate is https://www.fooddriveonline.org/northcounty/index.php?s=CSUSMAthletics.

To learn more about CSUSM SAAC and its members, visit https://csusmcougars.com/sports/2019/6/19/s-a-a-c-student-athlete-advisory-committee.aspx.

Brittney Scardina is a senior at CSUSM who is majoring in literature and writing with a minor in communications. She is the Sports Editor for The Cougar Chronicle. After graduation, she hopes to move to New York and find an internship within the journalism field. Brittney also enjoys playing softball, reading and spending time with family and friends in her free time.