Viterbo’s Student Athlete Advisory Committee makes changes to constitution

Noah Nelson, Sports Editor

Numerous athletes from Viterbo’s athletic teams have committed their time to the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC). In doing so, they communicate with faculty to promote a better environment for the school’s athletes. The SAAC has organized many events over the past years, setting up team fundraisers and sports “Huddles” every semester. With new structuring, they are looking to improve efficiency and effectiveness in semesters to come.  


The SAAC is a collective group of many of the schools’ top athletes who help to promote Viterbo University in a positive way. In past years, the team has organized multiple events. In 2022, they organized Christmas with the V-Hawks, a community service event. On Halloween in 2021, they brought athletes to hand out candy and work at the volleyball game. The team also organizes events for games, selecting themes, helping to promote the teams, selling 50-50 raffle tickets, and many other activities. 


Every semester, SAAC leadership works with community members and guest speakers to organize athlete “Huddles” at the start of every season. Wristbands with yearly themes are passed out to athletes in attendance and serve as reminders of the collective goals set at the start of the season. They also offer informational events for athletes, preparing them for their seasons and providing resources for anyone who needs help.  


Viterbo Men’s Golf Captain, Owen Bernsdorf, knows the importance of a team atmosphere in creating a positive environment. Bernsdorf, a Junior Business Major, has been an active captain for the golf team and serves on the SAAC Executive Team.  


Bernsdorf discusses SAAC’s past events and ways that the team is improving, stating that even with all the past accomplishments and value provided by SAAC, there was room for improvement. “Last year,” Bernsdorf said, “they had the President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasury and I think that put a lot of workload on the President.” He went on to say, “The President often was in charge of the Spring Huddle, the Fall Huddle events, and the workload wasn’t evenly dispersed.” 


There have been amendments to the SAAC constitution to help deter that issue. Part of that change was the implementation of the Executive team, forming a more evenly portioned workload for the group. “We now have co-presidents, two Presidents and a Vice President, as well as five board members that are each in charge of one aspect of SAAC,” Bernsdorf said.  


With these changes in operational capacity, the SAAC is also looking to improve their event planning, specifically the way in which Huddles are organized. “We want the Fall Huddle to be more informational, you know, you’re coming back to school, maybe information about how to get resources has been lost,” Bernsdorf said. “And then we’re changing the Spring Huddle to more of a wrap up – acknowledge the success that Viterbo Athletics has had over the academic year.” 


There are many benefits to the SAAC Student Organization. Bernsdorf emphasizes the importance of the SAAC for athletes, stating, “If you’re an athlete, I encourage you to get involved.” Athletes involved can help in forming a greater athlete-to-community connection. 


Having SAAC as a student organization is valuable for building relationships between students and faculty, and also helps contribute to Viterbo’s core values. The SAAC team implementing new changes will help the team operate more effectively, and new constitutional amendments will better balance their team workload. The Student Athlete Advisory Committee’s past events and dedication to improvement is a positive sign for a student group ending its semester.