June 13, 2024

The Student Athlete Advisory Committee is a committee that provides student-athletes a place to get together and dis- cuss concerns about athletics.

Every member school of the NCAA is required to have an SAAC to give student-athletes direct information and a voice in the organization and California Baptist University is no exception.

“The Student Athlete Advisory Committee is the liaison between the Athletic Department and the student-athlete body,” said Abbie Gortsema, supervisor of CBU’s SAAC.

Frank Wyshinski, senior business administration major and president of CBU SAAC, said the committee represents the voice of student-athletes at CBU, both in trying to affect change of policy on campus and in organizing community service events around the city of Riverside.

“We do general outreach of the teams and see if we can help them with any problems,” Wyshinki said. “Our main point is to make sure the student-athletes here are treated fairly.”

Kiree Lowe, sophomore health science major and diver, said the SAAC helped create a community between athletic teams and student-athletes.

“They promote our games and school spirit,” Lowe said.

The SAAC is a fully student-run committee with two advisers, Gortsema and Rachel Keys, who are present to super- vise and facilitate discussion.

Gortsema serves as the assistant director of compliance for athletics while Keys is the assistant athletic director for student support and senior woman administrator.

“I only coordinate events. The student-athletes are in charge of planning and cleaning up social events,” Gortsema said. “I put them in contact with the right people so the events can happen.”

Gortsema said the SAAC was asked to be more involved in the organization after the university’s transition to NCAA DI.

“Every time there is a new (NCAA) legislation that comes out, I share it with SAAC and they will vote if they support it, not, or abstain,” Gortsema said.

The committee held a fall SAAC social for the athletes to get together on Oct. 6 and is currently holding a canned food drive in which student-athletes distribute canned food for the homeless during the holiday season.

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