Letter from the SAAC Chair, Kristina Hoppe...

Kristina Hoppe headshot

Hello! Welcome to the Student Athlete Advisory Committee page of the America East Conference website.  The SAAC is the vehicle for student-athlete input into NCAA sports, and your SAAC representatives are integral parts of the Conference because they serve as liaisons between other student athletes and athletics administrators.  SAAC gives student-athletes an opportunity to better their experiences in their schools, communities and throughout the Conference by giving them a voice. In America East, the administrators truly care about the views and experiences of student-athletes, and the Conference keeps us busy with new goals and encourages ideas of our own.

In addition to academics, competition and college life, our SAAC representatives have two annual meetings in which we meet to discuss legislation, regulations, and character values that we seek to adhere to and exemplify throughout the Conference.  One of these values that has special promise for the America East Conference is community outreach and participation.   We are students not only of our respective schools, but also of our respective communities.  All nine America East schools will be participating with the College For Every Student program, with athletes serving as mentors to elementary and middle school students, with the goal of encouraging and enabling those students to pursue their education after high school.  Other programs, such as Special Olympics, offer America East student-athletes the opportunity to enhance their experience by sharing their gifts with others.  Each year we strive to partner up with more programs and organizations that help us to better serve and interact with our communities.   

Being visible in the community is a priority of the America East Conference.  SAAC continues to help brainstorm ways to achieve this goal, and your suggestions are encouraged!

If you have any questions about the Student -Athlete Advisory Committee please contact Jessica Descartes, Assistant Commissioner for the America East Conference, or myself, Tina Hoppe, America East SAAC Chair.  Thank you for visiting our page and be sure to come back soon! 


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America East SAAC Mission Statement:
The mission of the America East Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, which represents diverse views and backgrounds of student-athletes, is to enhance the total student-athlete experience by protecting student-athlete welfare, fostering a positive student-athlete image via community service, encouraging growth of the campus SAACs, and providing a forum for student-athletes, conference administrators and institutional representatives to discuss rules governing America East and the NCAA that links campus SAACs with NCAA SAACs.
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History of the AEC Student-Athlete Advisory Committee:
The Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) was created in 1999 with the purpose of reviewing America East Conference (AEC) and National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) activities and proposed legislation. Its creation also established an avenue for student-athlete input to be offered to a variety of Conference constituencies. The formation of the AEC SAAC provided student-athletes from member institutions with an opportunity to share ideas and cultivate relationships with peers.

The initial committee was comprised of one student-athlete from each member institution ensuring that the student-athlete voice accounted for the myriad of educational and athletics experiences of both female and male student-athletes at all AEC member institutions. A member from the committee also represents the AEC on the NCAA Division I National SAAC.

In April of 2007, the Conference began the process of establishing membership requirements. In September of that year, the Conference decided to recommend that two representatives from each school be elected; it was preferred that participants were chosen from different seasons with hopes of all sports being represented and with careful consideration given for gender and ethnic diversity. The Conference also decided to assign two alternates from each institution with the intent of always having two representatives at every meeting.

Each school is responsible for nominating at least four student-athletes to represent their institution on the Conference SAAC. The AEC will select two student-athletes from each institution as its representatives, and the other two will serve as alternates. One student-athlete from the SAAC will continue to represent the AEC on the NCAA Division I National SAAC.

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