Student-athletes from the MIAA member colleges, including Hope,
participated in the conference's first-ever Student Athletic Advisory
Committee (SAAC) retreat the weekend of August 4-5 at Mackinac Island.
The retreat was organized as part of a league-effort to enhance
student-athlete leadership and heighten institutional commitment to
student-led initiatives on the various MIAA campuses. The Student
Athletic Advisory Committee is part of the MIAA's governance system.
The retreat was supported by the National College Athletic Association
The group of 40 students and advisors heard from league officials on
topics such as the history of the nation's oldest collegiate
conference and the philosophy of Division III athletics. They were
also brought up-to-date on issues facing NCAA Division III.
Representing Hope were students Kylee Brouwer of Hudsonville, Mich.,
Jenny Cowen of Dexter, Mich., Julie Hoogerhyde of Grand Rapids, Mich.
and Kyle Waterstone of Holland, Mich. They were accompanied by
women's athletics director Eva Folkert.
Each school's representatives shared how they have sought to involve
their campus communities through activities, service projects and
educational initiatives such as sportsmanship, substance abuse and
gambling. They also shared their plans for the upcoming school year.
"As this was our first retreat, I was very pleased by both the group
that attended, and the energy and commitment they brought to our
discussions and activities," said Commissioner David Neilson. "We
expect to see some very positive outcomes as a result of our efforts.
We are blessed to have outstanding student-athletes on our MIAA