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The Role of the SAAC for Loyola’s Student-Athletes

The Role of the SAAC for Loyola’s Student-Athletes

Loyola’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee is made up of a group of student-athletes that work to provide communication between student-athletes and the athletic administration. It strives to meet the needs of all Loyola student-athletes and unify Loyola’s sports teams with one another.

Caroline Arpin ‘23 is one of two co-presidents of the SAAC, and also is a member of Loyola’s swimming & diving team. She has been a part of the committee since her sophomore year, and she joined SAAC because she wanted to make life easier for other student-athletes. 

“I joined SAAC to get more involved as a student-athlete,” said Arpin. “I wanted to participate in improving the student-athlete experience here at Loyola, and use my platform and voice to raise awareness for important issues such as mental health and sexual assault.”

Improving the student-athlete experience for all is one of Arpin’s goals as a co-president, and the same goes for the other co-president, Max Verheyen ‘23. Verheyen, like Arpin, is a member of Loyola’s swimming & diving team who joined SAAC during his sophomore year. 

“I joined SAAC because I wanted to give back to my community and help improve the student-athlete experience at Loyola,” said Verheyen. “Similar to Caroline, I also want to use my platform and voice to raise awareness and support.”

In addition to promoting support for Loyola’s athletic program, the SAAC makes an effort to care about the individual lives of student-athletes. The committee is passionate about making student-athletes’ lives easier by providing accommodations for whatever they need. 

Arpin said, “SAAC is important to student-athletes because it helps advocate for their needs as student-athletes. SAAC also provides opportunities for student-athletes to use both their platform and their voice and advocate for important issues.”

While the SAAC primarily works with Loyola student-athletes, it also works with other schools around the country. Cross-collaboration with other Patriot League schools and non-conference schools has led to new ideas and more unity between these committees. 

Verheyen said, “We meet throughout the year with the SAACs from all of the other Patriot League schools to discuss what each SAAC is doing on their campus, initiatives we can promote as a League, and give feedback to the Division I National SAAC.”

When new ideas are floated around, the SAAC will meet to discuss what comes next. Many topics such as news and future events are discussed at the committee’s meetings. 

“At meetings, we discuss any news from the Patriot League or NCAA, plan out future events we want to run, and raise thoughts or concerns to the athletic administration,” said Arpin. “Some of the events this year include student-run panels, community service opportunities, and bringing in guest speakers.”

The SAAC continues to push for more attention revolving around important issues such as mental health, anti-racism and sexual assault awareness. Also, the committee wants to use its power to work with the greater Loyola community. 

“The work done at SAAC is important because we have a platform and have a voice,” said Arpin. “SAAC is always looking to partner with non-athlete groups/clubs whose missions align with ours, connecting the whole study body together on the important issues mentioned.”

Featured Image courtesy of Jeffery Bozzi.

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The Role of the SAAC for Loyola’s Student-Athletes