July 19, 2013
Florida Atlantic University women's soccer player Amanda Odato recently took part in the Conference USA Student Athlete Advisory Committee summer meetings. The purpose of the annual meetings is to collaborate and discuss the impact each member school's organization has made on their campus. The event lasted from July 11-13 in hopes of encouraging an exchange of information among the different universities and regional associates.
"It was an exciting opportunity to meet some of my fellow student-athletes and get to know them as people," said Odato. Odato will serve a two-year as president of FAU's SAAC chapter and remarked on some of the ideas she picked up from other conference schools. "There were a lot of great things that other C-USA schools are doing, that I feel we can do and put our own spin on," commented Odato.
She attended the summer meetings at the request of Marlon Dechausay, director of FAU's Student Athlete Center for Academic Excellence.
"We're basically starting (SAAC) from scratch, so we're laying the foundation for the future," said Dechausay. "Knowing that Amanda will be here and involved in the process for the next two years will help a great deal."
After the initial welcome message from the C-USA staff, different panel participant groups led presentations on how to effectively handle transition and change in regards to both the SAAC and one's own growth. Discussion of the National SAAC followed as the next topic, in which Brian Lozes of Tulane University, the National SAAC representative, guided the attendees through a review of past accomplishments and an introduction of next year's legislative agenda, goals and objectives.
Among other topics addressed over the course of the event were student-athlete welfare, leadership training, how to raise awareness of and increase involvement in SAAC and other issues. The meetings also included a community service event at the North Texas Food Bank.
Video from the visit to the food bank can be seen here, while video of the group's golf outing can be seen here.