RALEIGH, N.C. - The Meredith College Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) selected a new slate of officers for the 2014-2015 academic year. Senior soccer player Megan Amanatides will complete a two-year tenure as president.
Serving alongside Amanatides will be junior basketball forward Kim Hinton as vice-president. Lacrosse will be represented by sophomore Jennifer Halvorson as the organization's secretary, and basketball senior Diana Owens will fill the role as treasurer.
The NCAA adopted the first association-wide SAAC in 1989 in order to offer a voice to student-athletes with regard to legislation and activities affecting the student-athlete experience. Since the NCAA federated into three divisions in 1997, SAAC expanded into division-specific groups. The NCAA mandates each member institution and conference sponsor a SAAC.
Meredith's committee is comprised of at least two representatives from each of the seven intercollegiate teams sponsored by the college. The group meets regularly to coordinate student-athlete service projects and activities to promote an interconnectedness between teams. In addition to projects specific to the Avenging Angels, Meredith's SAAC participates in and supports the efforts of the USA South group.
The USA South SAAC sponsors two annual service campaigns -- "Cans Across the Conference" and Pennies for a Purpose." School SAACs collect non-perishable food items during the fall semester to be donated to a local organization just prior to Thanksgiving. In the spring committees sponsor creative activities to collect loose change, and donate the gift to a local charity.
In the spirit of competition, both of these conference service projects culminate in an annual award presented to the school leading the collection efforts. The Meredith Avenging Angels earned the 2012 "Pennies for a Purpose" Championship, and donated their gift to the Raleigh chapter of Special Olympics in partnership with the conference and NCAA national effort.
Thanks to efforts by Amanatides, SAAC now hosts an Annual Service Day each spring. Student-athletes gather to complete a variety of service projects during the event with a rare opportunity to socialize as a large, multi-sport group.