By MANYI ENO
This year, Piedmont’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) participated in the fall semester annual sponsored community service project, USA South Cans Across the Conference.
SAAC is considered a link between the athletes and athletic administration at Piedmont. According to the Piedmont athletics website, SAAC consists of student-athletes who together provide opinion and insight specifically to the student-athlete experience at Piedmont.
Cans Across the Conference is a competition between all USA South conference schools as to what school athletic program can collect the most canned items is to be donated to a local recipient chosen by each college, according to the website.
Piedmont has chosen the Clarkesville Soup Kitchen as their recipient this year, and 15 athletic teams at Piedmont participated in the project.
The Navigator spoke with the assistant to the athletic director and SAAC advisor Elizabeth “Liz” Butikofer to learn more about SAAC and the canned food drive this fall.
“We were very happy last year to reach 2,000 cans, but we did not win the competition so we do not really have a goal this year,” Butikofer said. “We’re just trying to collect as many cans as we can.”
The two teams that collected the most cans were the men’s and women’s tennis team with 373 cans, and the women’s volleyball team with 279 cans. All together, Piedmont’s athletic department collected 1,413 cans.
To collect cans, some teams held sporting events for all students to participate in. The cross country teams held a 5K event in mid-September where anybody could join and each team bought a certain amount of cans. The tennis teams held a tennis tournament and it was a can donation to get in, while the women’s lacrosse team had a radar gun fastest shot competition, according to Butikofer.
“Each team each semester does something different to help out,” said Butikofer. “For the USA South, this is something we all participate in together, and next we will be doing Toys for Kids.”
Piedmont’s SAAC is also responsible for assisting the Cornelia Kiwanis Chapter in their Toys for Kids campaign each year at Christmas.
In the spring, Piedmont will take on another project called “Pennies for a Purpose” in March. All of the change collected will go to the Habersham Animal Shelter to assist with dog and cat transportation out of the shelter.
All student athletes are automatically considered members of SAAC and are invited to attend meetings held bi-weekly on Wednesday afternoons.
The types of concerns and comments discussed at SAAC meetings are timing of practices, class schedules, dining hall hours and menu, transportation issues as well as facility and equipment issues. The SAAC also offers input to the NCAA on the rules, regulations and policies that affect student-athletes’ living on all NCAA college campuses.