"We are NESCAC"
Issue   |   Wed, 02/12/2014 - 01:16

I’m sure many of you have seen the pictures all over social media of Amherst athletes with “milk” mustaches on their faces. I’m going to let you in on a little secret, that isn’t milk! In any case, the social media campaign has not only garnered a lot of attention itself but also has brought attention to a previously little known group on campus called the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC).

“SAAC provides a voice for student-athletes within the Amherst College Community, represents the interests of student athletes to the administration, undertakes projects that benefit all members of the surrounding community, and fosters a positive student-athlete image,” said the group’s president Chris Tamasi ’15.

In it’s inaugural year, the organization has been working hard to create a presence on campus.

“We have an improved website and new social media presence (excuse the shameless plug). Community engagement is stronger than ever, with more teams actively working on community projects,” said SAAC NESCAC representative Katherine Britt ’15.

SAAC’s current campaign is a NESCAC wide initiative proposed and led by Amherst. After receiving a grant from the NCAA, NESCAC schools presented the ideas on the intiative to other schools.

“During a meeting earlier this year, SAAC members came to the conclusion that a campaign would be stronger if it was conference-wide instead of just multiple school-specific projects,” said Britt.

After Katie Paolano ’16 created a t-shirt design, each school agreed to produce them in their respective school’s colors.

“The “We Are NESCAC campaign” is designed to raise awareness that, although we all want to beat our NESCAC opponents, we still should take pride in the fact that we belong in one of the most competitive academic and athletic conferences in the country,” said SAAC Secretary Thomas Gilligan ’16.

Even though the main thrust of the campaign is to promote sportsmanship for athletes and students, there is also a community service aspect to the campaign that varies at every school.
“With the campaign, SAAC is both showing our respect for the integrity of athletic competition and supporting the Amherst Survival Center’s Milk Fund. We want this project to be inclusive of not only varsity and club athletes, but also of the entire college community,” said Britt.

The Amherst Survival Center’s Milk Fund provides fresh milk to the broader Amherst community. The Survival Center receives many food donations; however, they do not get one of the most frequently requested items, fresh milk.

“As athletes we know how important fresh milk is to the growing process, and we realized that we could have a special impact on families by launching this campaign in concurrence with our t-shirt project,” said Tamasi.

When brainstorming how to market the campaign, the group immediately focused on the catchy “got milk?” television commercials. SAAC will be giving out “We are NESCAC” t-shirts in Keefe on Friday, Feb. 21 from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and on Saturday, Feb. 22 from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. during the men’s and women’s basketball NESCAC quarterfinal matchups.

The t-shirts will be free, but a donation of at least $10 is highly encouraged. All proceeds will go to the Amherst Survival Center’s Milk Fund.

Amherst SAAC has very high expectations for the campaign, and believes that it will be a big success in a multitude of ways.
“Hopefully this campaign will reaffirm the importance of sportsmanship in not only athletes, but also in our supporters as well,” said Britt.

The SAAC has a number of other exciting initiatives planned for the remainder of the year but don’t want to give away the surprise just yet, so we’ll just have to wait and see!