Rachel Wyman ’16 represented both Union and the Liberty League at the 2016 NCAA Convention last month. The event was held Jan. 14 through Jan. 16 in San Antonio, Texas.
Wyman was there as both the president of Union’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and the president of the Liberty League’s SAAC.
In addition to her SAAC duties, Wyman helped guide Union Women’s Volleyball team to a 29-6 record this past fall.
The team also earned a berth in the Liberty League tournament, and Wyman made the All-ECAC First Team in the process.
As president of the Liberty League’s SAAC, Wyman acts as the student liaison between the Liberty League and the NCAA legislation that affects its student-athletes.
Wyman will be holding a seminar with other SAAC student representatives in the Liberty League this spring to educate them on what she learned at the convention.
“I was there to attend panel discussions, round-table discussions with athletic directors, as well as business sessions with other student-athletes,” Wyman said. “I was there to learn about how to enhance the Liberty League, to see what other schools are doing and to see what we can improve on.”
Panel discussions focused on a wide range of topics, from the mental health of student-athletes, to academic integrity.
“The session that I think affected me the most was entitled, ‘Transition After Your Sport,’” said Wyman. “It was about how student-athletes transition from an active lifestyle to a competitive training lifestyle. It was definitely something I feel all student-athletes can identify with.”
Although Wyman mentioned this was her favorite discussion, it was not her biggest takeaway from the convention.
“Definitely what hit home with me the most was how much the voices of student-athletes matter,” Wyman said. “When I sat in on the legislative process, you had student-athletes getting up to the microphone and really expressing how they felt. Directors and commissioners listened, and we won a lot of votes as a result of that. The perspectives of student-athletes from different geographical locations was really interesting. There was a lot of admiration for others and being able to hear their experiences.”
One of the most common issues brought up by student-athletes was privacy, and how social media has worked its way into the recruiting process.
Another common issue Wyman mentioned was student welfare, and how being a student-athlete often limits one’s ability to participate in other activities around campus.
“One thing that was talked about a lot at the convention was social issue awareness,” Wyman said. “Considering the effect that student-athletes have not only on the school, but also on the community, taking part in social initiatives is huge.”
Something the convention highlighted for Wyman was what Union specifically does well for its student-athlete community.
“I found that a lot of schools didn’t have a pathway of communication between their athletic departments and their student-athletes,” Wyman said. “That’s something that Union