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DI Chair Kendall Spencer sees Student-Athletes’ voice impacting issues

Kendall Spencer, a senior track and field student-athlete at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, N.M., joined the Lobos’ Student-Athlete Advisory Committee in 2011 and joined the National SAAC in 2013. Spencer was named the Division I SAAC Chair in January 2014.

Did working with SAAC help you see potential in yourself that you didn’t see before you got involved?

Kendall Spencer: Absolutely. The more I worked with student-athletes the more I started to notice certain things change. I was becoming a better public speaker. I became more open minded and my overall disposition as a leader improved both on and off the field.

Being in the position that you're in, have you been able to see how the student athlete’s voice is heard through SAAC?

KS: Yes and it is amazing! Having a role on SAAC at the institutional, conference and national level has allowed me to see how feedback travels from top to bottom. The ability to see an issue at one school travel to the national level and solicit a discussion is a true testament to our voice.

What would you tell incoming student-athletes that may not know much about SAAC? How would you encourage them to get involved?

KS: I would say approach SAAC with an open mind. Before I got involved with SAAC I had no idea all the work and effort that was going on behind the scenes and how much of an influence we have as student-athletes. Additionally, it is imperative that you get to know your administration on campus and at the conference level. They are there for your success!

When you look back on your college career, how do you think you will look at the SAAC experience juxtaposed with your athletic experience?

KS: Comparing the two I can look back and say that my SAAC experience and athletic experience complemented one another very well. I was surrounded by student-athletes who not only had a passion for their sport but for the well-being of all student-athletes. My SAAC experience helped plug me into a network of individuals who wanted me to be successful and to take full advantage of my time as a student-athlete. I found athletes whom I had competed with were also in meetings and discussions on the welfare of student-athletes, and in my opinion there is nothing more inspiring. WE SERVE, WE LEAD!