New club on campus SACC created to bridge gap between students and student-athletes

Jenny Gonzalez

Pole vault coach and faculty advisor Alycia Wagner decided it was time to start a club that involved the athletic department and student-athletes.

The Student Athletic Captain’s Council is comprised mainly of student-athletes to, “be a student-athlete voice and to bridge the gap between athletics and the general student body in addition to the gap between us and the community, as far as athletes are concerned,” according to Wagner.

The club was officially started in September 2016 when the executive board members were chosen. Wagner points out that the club members are currently working on finalizing the constitution they will abide by. She is reviewing it and making sure that everything is legitimate.

Her goal is to make the club a voice for student-athletes, and hopes to expand the club and “to grow to where we visit every community college in the state of California, so that we can start a club at each institution so that athletes in our [California Community College Athletic Association] then know what we are about and why we exist,” she said.

The current roster holds approximately 20 people, but there are possibilities that the number will grow because Wagner believes that the number is small in comparison to the number of athletes there are on campus.

She expressed the motive behind the implementation of the club, “At the [National Collegiate Athletic Association] level, I was heavily involved with presidency, secretary and vice presidency for the SACC Committee at the NCAA […] it is bridging the gap [and] it is mostly student voiced for legislation that is sent to the NCAA, so it is a huge movement.

“My motive at Cerritos College is to not send the exact same message, but to allow students here who are transferring, student-athletes, in particular, have that experience so they can get on a board at the NCAA level, because once you get to the NCAA level, there are grants, scholarships, travel,[and] interpersonal skills they will have access to.”

She noticed that there was not a club that catered specifically to the athletic students, so she started the program and hopes that it becomes successful in the next three years.

Wagner mentioned that this will be the second time she tries to start the club. She did not have the support before at another institution, but she believes that with the current board members, the club will be successful.

Andrew Fowler, President of SACC, and member of the men’s track and field team said, “I wanted to join because I feel that there is a gap between student voice and the student body. This is my first year here and I’m a freshman, first-semester [student] and I also see that there is a giant gap between the sports.

“In high school everyone was connected, all the sports were together, [but] here, there is a giant separation. [The] track [and field team] stays to themselves, [the] basketball [team] stays to themselves, [the] baseball [team] stays to themselves, and I really want to bridge that gap and become a community in ourselves and within the sports aspect of Cerritos [College]. I’m a strong advocate for community service and bringing everyone together, you know like share the love.”

Both Fowler and Wagner expressed the importance of wanting to participate in community service and making it an important factor in the fundraising techniques they will implement in the club so they can, “potentially send certain individuals on trips [and] conferences,” but they are currently focused on going to college campuses in California.

They have ideas on fundraising for establishments such as Ronald McDonald House, Toys for Tots, or smaller, less-recognized charities or non-profit organizations.

Fowler aims to discuss hosting a toy drive in December at Cerritos College with the club as an item for the next meeting.

He said, “Our communities are our number one supporters and we should definitely give back to them supporting us so by bridging that gap between we are bringing our own sports community together, and in bringing our sports together, we can then be a larger voice to make that connection easier between student athletics and the rest of the student body.”

Wagner expressed her thanks to Athletic Director Dan Clauss, Director of men & women cross country and track & field Christopher Richardson and Student Activities Coordinator Amna Jara for all the support and guidance.

“We are still working on getting the word out right now, even to the coaches anybody on campus, whether you are staff, faculty or student anyone is more than welcome to come to our meetings,” Wagner added.