Pace’s SAAC Giving Student-Athletes Opportunities to Engage in Activism


Pace’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee members speak on the organization’s activism as it prepares for its upcoming fundraiser. Photo Courtesy of Pace U Athletics.

Kwadar Ray, Managing Editor

Most student-athletes believe that “ball is life,” but for Pace’s Student Athletes Advisory Committee (SAAC) members there is more to their collegiate careers than this idea.

SAAC members are responsible for notifying the school administration and athletic department of any problems impacting student-athletes—a responsibility Dan Citardi, a senior and men’s cross-country member, has gladly taken on.

“Being that bridge between athletes and the administration is very important,” Dan Citardi, a senior and second-year member of SAAC, said. “Being the voice for not only my team but being a representative of all athletes on campus has been a really cool opportunity.”

Another huge responsibility of SAAC members is being activists throughout the campus and the nearby community.

SAAC will be front and center when the organization hosts its annual bingo night, a fundraiser thats proceeds go directly to St. Jude’s Hospital, April 9 in the Goldstein Fitness Center.

The organization’s advocacy, which also includes “Pace Goes Pink,” a campaign that raises money for the Northern Westchester Hospital Breast Institute, is significant to first-year member and junior softball player Annie Carberry.

“You are only an athlete for four years, so it is a big thing to be a good person, not just a good athlete,” she said. “That is why it is important when we do things outside of sports that helps us give back and bring the community together.”

A key issue for SAAC and the Pace Athletics Department is LGBTQ inclusion, which is why when Matt Anthony—the organization’s advisor—informed students last month of the LGBT SportSafe SAAC Challenge, they immediately jumped on board.

The LGBT SportSafe SAAC Challenge is a mobile video challenge in which SAAC leaders and other student-athletes express their support for inclusiveness in athletics.

“We thought it was a great idea to express how we are inclusive of everyone and how we want to be a safe environment for everybody–athletes included–on and off the field,” Carberry said. “And by doing this, it opens us to challenge other schools to get involved and bring it to light that everyone should feel comfortable where they are and with what they are doing.”

Pace was one of the first athletics programs to take part in the challenge and Citardi believes that is one of many examples of the department’s and student-athletes’ dedication for positive social change and advocating for those who are marginalized or less-privileged.

“I know for many of us being an athlete, especially a college athlete, is a huge privilege and with this being the case, a lot of us feel that we can give back and help others who may not have the same privileges or same advantages and experiences we were able to get,” he said. “So being able to help the community and Westchester and expanding nationally to help other causes is awesome and an amazing experience.”

The upcoming bingo night will be one of the final events hosted by SAAC this semester. Carberry says she looks forward to next year and what the future holds for SAAC.

“We have a couple of new ideas that we’ll be playing with next year and it is very exciting to have the chance to expand on what we do,” she said.