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Better, But Not Bigger

DIII SAAC wary of proposal that doubles committee size

by Sean Cain

Sean Cain , Adrian College

The Division III Student-Athlete Advisory Committee represents the interests of more than 180,000 student-athletes. We continuously search for ways to enhance our peers’ college experience, but we believe a new piece of legislation that would double the national SAAC’s size would hinder our ability to meet that goal.

Simply, SAAC believes the original proposal put forth by the membership would be detrimental to the committee’s ability to function. As someone who has been lucky enough to sit in the room with 21 other bright young leaders from around the country, I have experienced SAAC’s successes firsthand. Maintaining the partnership Division III has with Special Olympics, supporting the It’s On Us campaign, and working on student-athlete mental health are all examples of SAAC successes. 

A core element that has allowed us to meet that high standard continually is the group’s small size. The original proposal calls for the addition of 20 or more new members. If adopted, SAAC would most likely lose its ability to be productive, and its work may slow to a crawl.

As a group, we have not ignored the membership’s call for better communication. My peers and I realize membership wouldn’t broach this idea if an underlying issue didn’t exist. We have worked with the proposal’s sponsors to come up with an amendment and believe this amendment, which provides a student-athlete liaison to the SAAC from each conference not represented on the committee, will maintain SAAC’s functionality while bolstering communication between the committee and the 42 voting conferences we represent.

We urge you to consider this amendment because we believe it will ensure future successes and improve communication.

Sean Cain, a member of the Division III SAAC, is a senior soccer player and sport management major at Adrian.

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