March 12, 2008
In an effort to highlight the leadership and good works of the student-athletes in the conference, the ACC SAAC began the SAAC in ACCtion initiative to provide on-line articles about the SAAC programs at the league's 12 member institutions. The goal of this initiative is to shed light on the great things our student-athletes are doing to affect significant positive change on campus and in our communities.
Every two weeks, the SAAC leaders from a different school will provide a SAAC in ACCtion update on how their program is getting involved. When reading these articles, we hope that it is evident that their efforts to give back result in so much more.
"We take the Clemson student body, student-athletes and community as a whole and value it as a family."
What is the overall goal of Clemson's SAAC?
How is Clemson's SAAC set up?
The Orange Committee does what's called the "Schilletter Dining Hall Night." Schilletter is one of the big dining halls on campus. What happens is the student-athletes go into the dining hall and serve the food for a night. Most of our student-athletes eat at Schilletter, so it's a way to give back to the people who work there and also a way to reach out to the entire student population.
The Orange Committee's largest service event is the "Be a T.I.G.E.R." field day, (which is scheduled for) April 12th this year. Be a T.I.G.E.R. is actually headed up by the Solid Orange Squad, which is a community service board here at Clemson that works together with SAAC. It's a day where elementary and middle school kids in the area can come to campus and learn what it's like to be on an athletic team in college, but also the character and values that go with being on a team. T.I.G.E.R. is actually an acronym - T is "team," I is "integrity," G is "gratitude," E is "education," and R is "respect." Each participating team takes one of those letters and come up with an activity that highlights what that letter means. Almost 500 kids showed up last year and I think we're expecting even more this year.
The Purple Committee does the canned food drive in the fall, which is coordinated with our student government. They start four weeks before the Clemson/South Carolina football game, which for anyone in South Carolina is the biggest football game of the year. It is a joint operation with USC where we're both raising and collecting cans together, but it ends up becoming a competition between the two schools. The SAAC takes charge of that and goes to the grocery stores and other places in the area to really drive that.
What event tends to be the favorite among student-athletes to participate in?
Switching gears into student-athlete welfare, what issues is SAAC currently focusing on?
When one of the older players on my team graduated and left his position vacant, the team voted me on because they felt that my drive and values and the type of person I am fit what SAAC is all about. I knew that getting involved with SAAC was something that I would enjoy doing. When I came in, the position of Webmaster was vacant, so I applied for it and ended up getting it. So far, it's been a really cool experience. I've worked on completely restructuring our Web site and updating it, and was able to put my own style into it. (I want) people who don't know much about SAAC to be able to look on the Web site and see the type of things that we're doing and what we're all about. That way they don't think we're just a group of student-athletes who don't really do much - I think a lot of people don't understand that there's a lot that goes on behind the scenes.
How do you think your time on Clemson's SAAC and the ACC SAAC will help you after graduation?
If there was something you'd like the public to know about Clemson's SAAC or its student-athletes, what would it be?