Members of the Shippensburg University Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) continue to thrive despite all the challenges they have faced because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
Like other organizations and committees on campus, SAAC has conducted most of its work and meetings virtually this semester. While this is not the preferred method, members have coped with the situation and have discovered new opportunities.
One of those new opportunities was the creation of the wellness committee. Previously, the SAAC did not have a program similar to this. But according to SAAC President Michael Lingard, the creation of the committee has greatly impacted SU student-athletes .
Lingard said the committee was started in response to the difficulties that have come with the pandemic. Typically, SAAC is involved in numerous community service projects but since community service is more challenging this year, the leaders of SAAC needed something that was more coronavirus friendly.
According to Lingard, the wellness committee is directed toward the well-being of student-athletes with the main focus of promoting physical and mental health. To help further get their message across, SAAC is hosting “Wellness Week.” This week will consist of various on-campus events that allow student-athletes to talk in a safe and socially distant environment.
“The wellness committee is going really well,” Lingard said. “Since COVID kind of keeps us all locked up, we wanted to create something that got us athletes outside and allowed us to see one another outside of practice. We’re actually kind of upset we haven’t had this before because we feel this is something that will continue on for years to come.”
In addition to the wellness committee, SAAC has kept hard at work with the ONESHIPVotes initiative. The initiative, which officials announced on Aug. 20, is used to help promote student-athlete participation in the upcoming election.
SAAC’s main goal with the initiative is to urge all student-athletes to register to vote. As of now, seven SU teams have 100% of their athletes registered, according to SAAC’s leaderboard, which can be found on shipraiders.com.
Lingard said that SAAC created the leaderboard to help motivate student-athletes to register and make a competition out of it. Additionally, Election Day (Nov. 3) has been designated as a mandatory day off from all athletic-related activities.
“We’re just pushing for everyone to be registered,” Lingard added. “We don’t care who you vote for because that’s not what we’re here for. We just want everyone to have their vote and be able to vote.”