NDMU’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee celebrates Division III week
By Micah Castelo
Last week, NDMU’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) joined thousands of NCAA Division III student-athletes to commemorate the accomplishments of members in the division. As part of the annual observance, SAAC holds its biggest events and celebrations for student-athletes at NDMU.
Starting on April 2, student-athletes spread the word across campus that they will be celebrating Division III week. What followed next was a Green Out Day where student-athletes encouraged community members to wear green in support of Mental Health Awareness, as well as participate in a poster campaign where student-athletes answered the question, “Why are you proud to be a DIII student-athlete?” The student-athletes also used this week to fundraise for their committee by selling green and blue bracelets in the dining hall during activity period.
That’s not all they did to get the community involved. SAAC members reached out to several professors to thank them for their continued support for student-athletes in the classroom. “We really appreciate what they do for us,” explains SAAC treasurer Megan Morales, a marketing communications major in her junior year, “so we decided to write personal notes to each one as a way to say of saying thanks.”
And despite the week’s busy events of uniting student-athletes and the rest of the NDMU community, SAAC members still found a way to incorporate service into their agenda. The athletes carried around jars to collect spare change as part of the “Making Change for a Change” project led by the Colonial States Athletic Conference and Skyline Conference. In the end, all monies collected during the week will go towards Special Olympics, an organization that supports athletes with intellectual disabilities.
But for SAAC president Samantha Kastner, a junior early childhood and elementary education major, the most exciting part was a video presenting NDMU’s very own student-athletes. The video premiered in the dining hall during lunch when NDMU’s teams were recognized.
“For the video, we interviewed student-athletes here and incorporated footage from practices and games so everyone else in the community can see and hear what it means to be a Division III athlete,” Kastner explains. “To me, that means having the ability to play multiple sports while focusing on my athletics and being a leader on and off the field.”
Fittingly, the week’s celebration concluded on National Student-Athlete Day with a game and movie night with student-athletes at the gym.
“Through these events, we really hope that SAAC will be known throughout campus,” says Morales. “We also want to get more student-athletes and non-student athletes involved in our events and excited about our sports programs here.”
Photo by courtesy of NDMU Athletics