WAYNE – Over a three-day session during the NSIC Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) Summit, Wayne State College returned with a second place trophy.
According to a release from the league office in Burnsville, Minnesota, the University of Minnesota Duluth edged out WSC and won the NSIC SAAC Cup, presented by ISG.
The NSIC SAAC Summit was held from Sunday, May 22 – Tuesday, May 24 on the campus of Winona State University.
Sunday Sessions included DiSC Communication style assessment and navigating difficult conversations with Justin Patton followed by a dinner/social with the Board of Directors where WSC President Marysz Rames was part of the event with SAAC participants.
Joining President Rames and representing Wayne State College were SAAC Advisor, Muffin Morris along with WSC SAAC members Kendra Paasch, Belle Vacek and Regan Ott.
On Monday, the session included programming by Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality (RISE), Life after Collegiate Athletics panel and career learning round tables. A few hours were also set aside to clean up the trail leading to Sugar Loaf Bluff and the area around the bluff and then the participants had the opportunity to climb it if they wanted. Closing out the evening an etiquette dinner was served where attendees learned how to eat in a business setting but also have business dinner conversation.
Closing out the Summit on Tuesday, SAAC participants conducted their business meeting to discuss topics for the upcoming year.
The NSIC SAAC Cup, a traveling trophy, is awarded annually at the NSIC SAAC Summit. Institutions receive points throughout the year based on the criteria within categories. The winner will be the institutional SAAC with the most points accumulated by the end of the academic year (September 1 – May 1). The points must be achieved in each category to be eligible to win the NSIC SAAC Cup.
Minnesota Duluth, which also won the inaugural award in 2017-18, scored 18,774 points, and won the NSIC SAAC Cup ahead of second place Wayne State College (13,233).
Wayne State College Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) is a committee of student-athlete representatives from each sport that are assembled to provide insight on the student-athlete experience and offer input on the NCAA, NSIC and WSC rules, regulations and policies that affect student-athletes’ lives.
This year, the group raised approximately $5,400 for Make-A-Wish (record-high) and $256.70 for the Wayne Backpack program. Also, throughout the whole academic year, WSC SAAC members filled backpacks with food and delivered totes to Wayne High School for the Wayne Backpack program so that they could continue to feed students in need during the COVID-19 period.
Throughout the 2021-22 academic year SAAC actively fundraised for Make-A-Wish by doing ‘Pass the Bucket’ at home sporting events, a Santa photo booth at the men’s/women’s basketball games, selling popcorn and encouraging others to participate in the ‘Take 5 to Give 5’ event. SAAC also sold goodie bags that friends and family members could buy for student-athletes at the end of each semester.
The Wayne Backpack Program helps feed roughly 120 students in need at Wayne Community Schools. WSC SAAC also hosted the ‘Pie-In-the-Face’ fundraiser and were able to raise roughly $250 for the Wayne Backpack program. Members look forward to walking in the Parade of Lights each year to help the Wayne community kick off the holiday season.
Throughout the year we also had various events such as the Green Bandana project, It’s a Slam Dunk, Don’t Drive Drunk and It’s On Us/One Love to raise awareness on mental health, drinking and driving and sexual violence and healthy relationships.
New this year, was an initiative addressing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. SAAC decided to adopt the following two slogans of “Together as One WE Surrender our Biases and “Diversity is a fact; Inclusion is an act.” At a few home events SAAC members encouraged attendees to test their knowledge about Diversity, Equity and Inclusion trivia and had bag tags available with the slogans on them.
In addition to the many events that Wayne State College Student Athlete Advisory Committee members completed, the group held a food drive at a home football, volleyball and basketball game where all proceeds went to the WSC Food Pantry on campus.