By Brooke Retkowski, The Whetstone

Sophomore Theodora Loukopoulos was voted one of four student athletes on the Student Athletic Advisory Committee board last semester.

“I want to make a change and ensure student-athletes have a voice on campus,” she said.

The Student Athletic Advisory Committee (SAAC), is a student-run organization.

This year, the board members said they want to grow the organization.

Last September, SAAC asked the Student Government Association asked for a budget and was given $300. The organization had never asked for money before.

The money allows the organization to host events and activities.

Sophomore Amanda Curry, SAAC’s secretary, said this year the organization wants to bring the athletic teams together.

“We host meetings where all members of the teams are invited to come,” she said. “We want more teams to come to each other’s games to show support.”

In the past, SAAC only held meetings where athletes came to vote on specific rules regarding their sport. Board members said they want SAAC to be an organization athletes may take pride in.

Dean Burrows, the advisor of SAAC and men’s basketball coach, said the organization is important and student-athletes should know more about its benefits.

“The organization helps to provide insight on the student-athlete experience, as well as the policies that pertain and affect student-athletes’ campus lives,” he said. “This is a way for student-athletes on college campuses nationwide to have a voice in the NCAA through advisory committees on the campus, conference, and national levels.”

At the first interest meeting last semester, there were more than 40 student-athletes in attendance.

“We were told the turnout was the most the organization has had,” he said.

Junior Mary Getty, a member of the volleyball team, said she knows about SAAC but did not know how to get involved.

“My coach told me about SAAC, so I went to some of the meetings last semester,” she said. “But there haven’t been many events to participate in since I have been attending Wesley.”

Last semester, SAAC held frequent meetings with student-athletes to discuss the interest in hosting events on campus.

The organization had planned a Halloween event to connect the Dover and Wesley communities. Each team was to decorate a booth and invite youth from the community to trick-or-treat with Wesley athletes.

Curry said the event did not happen due to a miscommunication about the forms needed to host an event.

“We filled out all of the forms we needed,” she said. “But we were not told we had to have the forms in weeks before the event, causing us to cancel.”

Loukopoulos, SAAC’s President, said the board has events planned this semester to unite the sports teams.

SAAC will be hosting Dinner of Champions on Feb. 6, one of 500 national events held on this day in honor of National Girls and Women in Sports Day.

“We will be having a dinner to recognize the many achievements of women in sports, as well as encouraging other women to participate in sports,” she said.

Senior Brianna Bacon, SAAC’s Vice President, said the board is still in the process of creating events as the semester continues.

“We will also be having sports movie nights twice a month in CC 206 for student-athletes to come to,” she said. “There is also the possibility of having an Easter egg hunt for local children in April.”

Loukopoulos said the committee has not come up with specific dates for these events yet, but flyers will be posted around campus throughout the semester for anyone interested in participating.

Future meetings will also be announced through emails and all are invited to join.

Burrows said the meetings are open to people on campus who have a desire to make Wesley College the best that it can be.

“We want to promote a positive student-athlete image on campus,” he said. “We truly have many great student-athletes around here who motivate and inspire us.”