GNAC SAAC Holds First Meeting of 2014 at SFU
Play Video Members of the 2013-14 GNAC SAAC attended a women's basketball game at Simon Fraser University as part of their 2014 meeting last weekend.
Members of the 2013-14 GNAC SAAC attended a women's basketball game at Simon Fraser University as part of their 2014 meeting last weekend.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

BURNABY, BC – Eleven Great Northwest Athletic Conference student-athlete representatives convened on the campus of Simon Fraser University last weekend during the first Student Athlete Advisory Committee meeting of 2014. 

The committee is comprised of at least one student-athlete from each of the 10 GNAC member institutions, and its main function is to provide a voice that represents their peers regarding NCAA legislation and governance. 

Members at the latest meeting, which ran Jan. 11-12, included Kevin Rooke from Alaska Anchorage, Keri Knight from Alaska Fairbanks, Lauren Herseth and Alexa Olague from Central Washington, Aubrey Lee Conceicao from Montana State Billings, Michael Gordon from Northwest Nazarene, Spencer Dodd and Gracie Dyer from Saint Martin’s, David Ferguson from Seattle Pacific, Cody Coombes from Simon Fraser and Amber Dodd from Western Washington.

Administrators from the NCAA national office presented a comprehensive workshop to the committee on Saturday, covering the latest ideas and successes from other SAACs from across Division II. 

“Talking to Josh (Looney) and Jill (Willson) really helped me have a better understanding of how the NCAA works to improve the student-athlete experience,” Dyer said regarding the NCAA presentation.

The committee members also attended a Simon Fraser women’s basketball game on Saturday evening in the West Gym on the SFU campus.

On Sunday, GNAC SAAC members reviewed and approved minutes from the Spring 2013 meeting, and discussed many of the ideas for fundraising and student involvement on their respective campuses for the new year.

“The meeting definitely helped me come up with some ideas that would work at UAF,” Knight said. “One idea was the bake sale Simon Fraser did, which was a good idea that I hadn’t really thought of trying before.”

“I was a little nervous at first because I wasn’t really sure what to expect,” Conceicao commented on her first-time SAAC experience. “We all got along really well and I definitely want to try an idea like making a Make-A-Wish kid part of one of our teams for a season.” 

Following the meeting on Sunday, Coombes led the GNAC SAAC on a snow-laced tour of the SFU campus, giving committee members an inside look at the lone NCAA school outside of the United States.

“It was great having members of the SAAC at my campus to show them a little bit about the Canadian way of life,” Coombes commented on hosting the group. “We showed them some culture, talked about ‘loonies’ and ‘toonies,’ went to Tim Horton’s and let them into the world North of the border.” 

“Having our SAAC meeting at Simon Fraser is certainly a unique experience,” GNAC assistant commissioner Bridget Johnson-Tetteh said about the meeting. “The committee members were engaged, developed several strong ideas and projects related to community engagement, and even got a campus tour in the snow.”

Dodd, the national representative from the GNAC committee, will bring ideas discussed by the SAAC to the NCAA national convention this week in San Diego.

More information regarding SAAC can be found in the related links section of this article.