SAAC Looks Ahead to 2011-12 Academic Year

MOUNT PLEASANT - Central Michigan University’s Student Athlete Advisory Committee was formed to enhance the intercollegiate athletics program by involving student-athletes in program growth and development while providing many opportunities to reach out to the community.

"The SAAC serves as the voice of Central Michigan student-athletes," explained Raeanne Lohner, SAAC President and member of the cross country and track and field programs. "If the athletes have something they want to address they come to us and then we go and talk to the administration on their behalf."

The SAAC is comprised of a group of selected student-athletes who have exhibited exemplary standards in both their athletic programs and their leadership qualities. These student-athletes are handpicked by their coaches and equally represented amongst all athletic teams. [2011-12 SAAC Membership]

Lohner is joined on the executive board this year by vice president Paulina Lee (field hockey), secretary Brogan Darwin (softball) and at-large member Lindsey Dulude (volleyball). Advisors for the group are faculty athletics representative Kevin Love and assistant director of academic services Kelly Higgins.

"It’s a special opportunity for student-athletes to be involved in things outside of athletics," Higgins said. "Experience and making a difference is so important. I want the members of the SAAC to look back at college and remember more than just their athletic careers."

Along with serving as leaders and representatives to the student-athlete body at CMU the SAAC members are given the opportunity to make a difference within their surrounding community by hosting multiple service projects throughout the academic year.

This fall the SAAC will be involved in putting on a food and clothing drive. For the holiday season they will participate in the adopt-a-family initiative, as well as host the second annual CHIPYs fundraiser, modeled after ESPN’s ESPY Awards. Also, the members of the committee host the annual Jock Rock, a mock rock and lip-synching competition between the athletic teams at CMU. All of the Jock Rock proceeds go toward a charity chosen by the SAAC.

"This year we hope to add a fresh coat of paint to or community service events," Lohner said. "We are going to tweak the planning so we can raise more awareness for our events."

"We want people to be excited for our upcoming events,” Lee said. "Not only do we want our student-athletes to be excited, but we also want to encourage other student and community organizations to get involved."
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