SAAC lacks athletes to advise

With Athletic events being pushed off until spring Hamline’s Student-Athlete Advisory Council is finding new ways to get the community engaged.

Jilly Wortman, Reporter

Hamline University’s Student-Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC) is known for “bringing student-athletes together to be ambassadors and unify Hamline Athletics, Hamline University, and our broader community.” According to the NCAA website: “Each committee is made up of student-athletes assembled to provide insight on the student-athlete experience and offer input on the rules, regulations, and policies that affect student-athletes’ lives on campus.”


Hamline’s council as a whole has over 35 student-athletes, approximately two representatives from each sport, and five leadership positions. These student-athletes are representing Hamline’s athletics in important Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) meetings that are conducted throughout the year.


SAAC hosts many events throughout the year to encourage students to partake in, whether it’s game day supporting or other fun events. In a normal fall, SAAC would have just completed their yearly barbeque before a Hamline football game and they would be in the middle of the Piper Cup: an athletic event to encourage athletes to show support at games and matches. SAAC does hope to push the Piper Cup to a later time but that is still undetermined and would look different than in a regular year. 


This fall is far from normal and SAAC is seeing that firsthand. Currently, SAAC is working on the 90/20 event which is a campus-wide effort to get 90%of the Hamline students registered to vote in the 2020 election. SAAC’s involvement is through their social media platforms, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, where they are having Hamline student-athletes and coaches share their voting plans or registration information via short videos in efforts to spread awareness for the upcoming election. 

A student performing in high jump

Senior and SAAC president Jarrick Riefer clears a bar in his chosen event of high jump at a track and field meet. Riefer is one of two SAAC presidents, he shares the position with the Oracle’s Maria Lewis, a midfielder for Hamline’s Lacrosse team. This presidentail pair has been hard at work to restore normalcy to the Hamline athlete community.


“We’re excited about the ways our club can expand in different ways during this unpredicted time,” said Avery Nelson, SAAC Community Outreach and Mental Health Committee Chair. This year will supply students with many new ways that weren’t available previously to support their fellow Pipers. 


There are also hopes for SAAC to host virtual sports trivia events through their new Twitch streaming account. This will be a way for students to test their Hamline knowledge. The Council is also still trying to think of other interactive ways to keep students involved in the Hamline athletics community. 


A worldwide pandemic cannot stop this student-run council from having meetings to conduct their business. While these meetings are virtual, the group is still trying to accomplish as much as they can this semester and year.


SAAC president Jarick Rieffer said that there is a push “to reach more of the Hamline student body by encouraging everyone to come to SAAC events, not just student-athletes.” Any Hamline student can go to any SAAC event, student-athlete or not.


SAAC is holding out hope for the spring semester, so the student-athletes that make up the group will be able to get back to some kind of normalcy and get back to the activities that brought them to the advisory council.

A hamline player in a game of baseball about to swing at a pitch

Sophomore Outfielder Avery Nelson is the actting Community Outreach and Mental Health Committee Chair. He is one of four committee chairs in SAAC.