Photos by J. Alan Paul Photography
By Joe KerlinThe NDSU Student-Athlete Advisory Council is the catalyst behind most of the community involvement Bison athletes participate in every year. From organizing a Halloween party to running a student-athlete blood drive, the 26-member SAAC program gets involved in a little bit of everything in the Fargo community. With two members representing their respective team, these members act as the bond that holds NDSU Athletics and the community together.
SIDEBAR: SAAC Constitution – Article 2 – Purpose
Section 1 -To develop an active communication network between athletes and athletic administration.Section 2 –
To participate in the development of policies, procedures, and standards affecting student-athletes.
Section 3 –
To serve as a community service organization to enhance the public relations of NDSU athletics.
Section 4 –
To assist in the creation of policies for student-athletes access, welfare and equity.
What’s the importance of the SAAC program?
Senior, Wes Satzinger, SAAC President from Andover, Minn. – “It shows that Bison athletes fit with the Fargo people in the fact that we are very caring and Fargo-friendly. It gives people a chance to know us on a personal level because we’re out and about doing things other than athletics and it shows that other values and skills other than playing in the FargoDome. We get to show the fans that ‘Hey, we do care about you guys’ and interact with them.”
What’s you favorite part of being involved in this unique program?
Junior, Liz Keena, PCAOD Rep from Hastings, Minn. – “I mean, it’s gratifying to know not only my team, but NDSU, Lynn (Dorn), and Gene (Taylor), they trust me and other athletes enough to be the VOICE of NDSU and student-athletes. … I mean, without our alumni or the support of the community a lot of kids either wouldn’t have the scholarships or the support.”
What’s the most rewarding part of being a member of SAAC?
Senior, Landin Rognlin
, UAC Rep from Fargo – “I think it’s the interaction, especially with the youth. When you have a little kid that looks up to you and you just see that light in their eyes like ‘Oh, you’re a college athlete, you’re a Bison!’ and being able to just play with them. …Just seeing them light up and being able to invest that time in them, you just can’t beat it.”
How do student-athletes have the time to help?
Senior, Emily Lesser
, Student Advisory AOD Rep & SL SAAC Rep from Maple Grove, Minn. – “A lot of times you think you’re a college student, you’re broke, you are an athlete you don’t have time, and you can’t possibly make a difference. …Sometimes you just need to put a couple of hours of your Sunday out there. I think we have a really good platform to do some really good things here as student-athletes.”
What are some of the things SAAC is doing in the Fargo community?
Senior, Meghan Aadland
, from Fargo – “Last year and the year before we all brought canned goods to help for the food fight. … At basketball games, the cheer team passes out these bags at a game usually and then we have people bring the bags back with like canned goods and stuff. … All the people in the community come to the games and support us, so I think it’s just good for them to see us out volunteering.”What’s some of the community work you have accomplished recently?
Senior, Nate Mattson
, SAAC Vice President from Hawley, Minn. – “This past weekend myself and eight gentleman went and did a bunch of landscaping at a single mother’s house who just didn’t have time and was busy. So we said, ‘Why not let’s do it?’ You’ve given back to the Bison community so we’ll give back to you.”
What drew you to the SAAC program?
Junior, Presley Glaser
, from Blair, Neb. – “It’s been really fun for the softball team to be around the other student-athletes because we aren’t really around the other teams often. So it’s nice to see what everyone else is doing in the community and interact with them.”
*SAAC Members Most Memorable Moments
Satzinger – Stocking StuffersKeena – 61 For 61 Home Run/WalkAadland – Food FightRognlin – Samaritans Feet / Valentine’s Day Blood Drive
Mattson – Hoops For Hannah