The Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) is a tucked-away student-run club that is an integral part of the Division III athletic community here at Pacific. Each athletic team has a few representatives that are determined to gain awareness and spread the word about all things in the Pacific athletic community.
“Personally it’s kind of empowering. I like to feel like I’m helping people voice their own opinions about what they’re passionate about, and what can make the conference better or what can make the NCAA better,” said the SAAC president, and member of the Senior class Haylie Uetake.
Uetake is a member of the Pacific Boxer Softball team, and team camaraderie is one of the most important things to her. One of SAAC’s main goals is to encourage unity and communication between student-athletes on different teams, non-athletes, faculty, and everybody else on Pacific’s campus.
“It’s a way to bring the Pacific athletic community together, rather than being a bunch of separate sports it’s nice to be able to meet and get to know other people in sports,” said Junior Kara Putman, SAAC’s cross country and women’s track representative.
SAAC sets up the Red Den at every sporting event. Red Den is essentially a group that sets up the student section as well as the halftime games. Wherever student spirit is to be found, the Red Den group of SAAC representatives is responsible.
“A lot of it [these events] is for athlete engagement. We want to make sure each sports team goes to each other’s events, and make sure teams get closer overall,” said Joey Hu, SAAC representative and member of the men’s tennis team.
Another way SAAC is trying to increase athlete engagement is through buddy teams. To help get everybody engaged with each other throughout the school year, the board members have paired up different athletic teams to support one another. Tennis and volleyball, baseball and women’s soccer, softball and men’s soccer, and plenty of other teams are paired up to support each other. — Patrick Muskat