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WAC SAAC Conducts Annual Meetings
Courtesy: WAC
DENVER - The Western Athletic Conference Student-Athlete Advisory Committee met August 1-3 for its annual meetings in downtown Denver. Two members from each WAC institution were invited to the meetings to share and brainstorm ideas regarding their campus SAAC, WAC SAAC and National SAAC.

The student-athletes were joined by several members of the WAC staff and other guest speakers as they discussed and gave feedback regarding pertinent NCAA legislation, determined this year’s community service campaign, elected the 2014-15 officers and focused on ways to further engage student-athletes in SAAC programs. The attendees also filmed the 2014-15 WAC public service announcement and other videos that will be featured on wacsports.com and WAC social media.

Felipe Reyes, a senior soccer player at Grand Canyon, was voted 2014-15 WAC SAAC President at the meeting by his peers.

“I am not only honored but excited to have been elected as the Western Athletic Conference SAAC President," said Reyes. "I am thankful for this opportunity to represent an amazing group of student-athletes for the 2014-15 academic year.”

Other officers elected were; Vice President: Sydney Crimmins (Missouri-Kansas City, volleyball, national SAAC representative), Secretary: Chloe Jenkins (Grand Canyon, volleyball), Social Media: Lauren Kaufman (Bakersfield, swimming and diving), Event Coordinators: Ross Taylor (Utah Valley, wrestling) and Alexys Brownell (New Mexico State, women's soccer).

The committee spent the afternoon of Aug. 1 at the Cope Boys and Girls Club of Metro Denver interacting with the children in attendance, continuing on from last year's successful community service initiative.

“We will continue the ‘WAC SAAC Gives Back’ initiative of establishing a conference presence in our respective communities and in the community of Las Vegas by engaging in a number of community service activities.  In addition, we plan to continue the Holiday Toy Drive competition.  Our goal is to raise more money this year than we did last year and to provide the funds collected to the less fortunate families,” said Reyes. 

Note from WAC SAAC President Felipe Reyes:

I am not only honored but excited to have been elected as the Western Athletic Conference SAAC President. I am thankful for this opportunity to represent an amazing group of student-athletes for the 2014-15 academic year.
 
This past weekend was very busy for WAC SAAC.  As a group, we collaboratively generated new ideas and established our plans for the 2014-15 academic year. We focused on the student-athlete as a whole and had in-depth conversations about issues that impact student-athletes from a National, Conference and Institutional level (e.g. O’Bannon Trial, NCAA New Governance Structure, Reclassifying Institutions Participation in Conference Championship Events, New Legislation – Meals and Snacks Incidental to Participation, WAC SAAC Bylaws).  In addition, we created our calendar for the 2014-15 academic year.
 
One of our priorities as WAC SAAC is to lead by example by being the best students, athletes, teammates, and mentors on our campuses and in the community. Consistent with the mission of WAC SAAC, we will continue to assist the WAC administration (Board, Council and Committee) by helping them to enhance our partnership with others. We will encourage and support initiatives that develop character, integrity and leadership skills for all of our student-athletes. In addition, we will assist in the enhancement and quality of the student-athlete experience within the context of higher education by promoting student-athletes' ownership of their academic, athletic, career, personal and community responsibilities. This year, we will continue to evaluate the changing needs of student-athletes so we can identify them.  
 
As President, it is my hope that all student-athletes will have a valuable collegiate experience in which they will obtain transferable skills for life after college. Accordingly, we will continue the WAC SAAC “Gives Back” initiative of establishing a conference presence in our respective communities and in the community of Las Vegas by engaging in a number of community service activities. In addition, we plan to continue the Holiday Toy Drive competition. Our goal is to raise more money this year than we did last year and to provide the funds collected to the less fortunate families. In addition, we will implement the WAC Student-Athlete Excellence Award which is comprised of a point system that tallies up each institution’s achievements for each individual sport. Points will be provided for athletic excellence, academic excellence, community service, and acts of kindness in which leadership and sportsmanship are demonstrated.  
 
Overall, the weekend was a successful one in many ways. Our committee is extremely talented and they are motivated to reach and exceed the bar that was set by the group last year. WAC SAAC is ready to Give Back. We are committed to our communities. I'm extremely fortunate to lead the way.
 
Thank you to my Athletic Director Keith Baker, my SAAC Advisor Blake Schilly, my Head Coach Petar Draksin, WAC’s Assistant Commissioner Nicole Harvey, and the WAC SAAC student-athlete representatives for this wonderful opportunity.  
 
 
We will COMPETE. LEARN. INSPIRE.  


-Felipe Reyes

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