MEDFORD, Mass. – On Sunday, October 1, members of the NESCAC Student Advisory Committee on Athletics (SAAC) gathered at the Steve Tisch Sports & Fitness Center at Tufts University for its fall semester meeting. The event provided institutional representatives with the opportunity to discuss mental health, wellness and athletics integration, and proposed NCAA legislation changes.
The meeting began with a presentation from Justin McKenzie, co-founder of Hope Happens Here, and Dr. David Landers, Saint Michael’s College Faculty Athletics Representative. Hope Happens Here is a student-created organization dedicated to removing the stigma of mental health issues on college campuses. The presentation discussed the elements of individual wellness, why mental health can be challenging for student-athletes to address, and ways to help a friend or teammate. NESCAC SAAC engaged in small-group conversations to work on developing active listening skills and conveying empathy and create action plans to bring back to their respective campuses.
The second half of the meeting featured a dialogue led by Jen Chuks, Williams Assistant Director for Student Athlete Services and SAAC advisor, about campus engagement and integration. The group spent time talking about their own experiences and potential initiatives to implement on their rspective campuses.
NESCAC SAAC is comprised of representatives from the conference’s eleven institutions. The SAAC group serves as the liaison between the student-athletes of NESCAC member institutions and the administrators through addressing and discussing concerns and issues facing student-athletes in the NESCAC.