DSU SAAC: Creates safe space to express voice, give back

Students and those involved in the athletic department march together in unity holding posters to express what they are standing up for. SAAC hosted the “We Are One” march Sept. 25 allowing students and athletes to stand up for things they believe in like Black Lives Matter and human trafficking. Photo by Breanna Biorato.

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The Student-Athlete Advisory Committee at Dixie State University provides an opportunity for all athletes to not only share their individual voice, but also provides a platform for DSU athletes to come together and share their collective voice.

As athletes must be able to communicate to each other during competition in order to be successful; off the field their communication and voice is just as important. SAAC also unites the different sports teams effectively, so they can find ways to give back to the campus.

“We push the envelope on community service,” football player Deven Osborne, a senior business administration major from Los Angeles, said. Osborne got involved with community service his freshman year of high school, and now serves as the SAAC president.

“We love St. George and we love Washington County,” Osborne said.

Osborne isn’t the only member of the committee who feels it is important to give back. Each athletic team at DSU has two representatives that meet monthly with the other SAAC members to discuss what needs to be done next.

“When [the SAAC members] put their minds together and they bring that competitive edge to things that are outside of sports, some powerful things can happen,” DSU SAAC adviser Mike Olson said. “Our biggest message is that we have some amazing student-athletes here who are ready and willing to generate change.”

With these unprecedented times Covid-19 has caused, the SAAC members are determined to continue serving and giving back.

“Right now we have a lot of good time on our hands where we can use that to focus on the community with service,” Osborne said.

DSU has had several instances where they have been serving the community and finding ways to help, so much so that they have been awarded for it.

Along with the coronavirus, SAAC members have chosen to focus on other major topics the country is currently facing. DSU held a Unity Fest on Sept. 25 where the SAAC contributed a great amount of time to assemble tents for topics like with organ donation, census checks, and other pressing topics for the community, students and athletes to learn more about.

“I feel like in our country today there is a lot of divide, a lot of hate, while today [Unity Fest] is a day where we are able to come together on things that we all agree on,” SAAC Vice President James Baird, a senior recreation and sports management major from Trenton, New Jersey, said.

“I have always wanted to be the person that helps make a difference,” Baird said.