Council for Student Athletes hopes to increase involvement in campus sporting events

Council for Student Athletes hopes to increase involvement in campus sporting eventsCouncil for Student Athletes discusses ways to increase the student body's involvement.

*This article was originally published by the Mount Mercy Times on Sept. 12, 2019 by Courtney Hoffman, campus editor.

The social divide between athletes and non-athletes, particularly among sports and the arts appears as a common TV trope, but it’s also an issue that’s been documented in student newspapers for years.

This is a common disconnect that students have noticed at MMU, and it’s one that the Council for Student Athletes plans to take head-on this year.

The Council, created to serve as a voice for student athletes to athletics and overall administration, has worked to advocate for the health, welfare, and overall issues challenging its athletes according to Faculty Athletics Representative and Assistant Professor of Psychology Matt Bejar.

Created last fall, the council includes representatives from all sports teams and has taken on initiatives like advocating for air conditioning in the Hennessey gym and is working on establishing a peer mentoring program within each team.

According to Bejar, creating a deeper connection with non-athletes has been on the agenda from the beginning.

“Bridging the gap between student athletes and non-athlete students has been an action item that’s been identified from day one of our council—from the first meeting. The student athletes said they would really appreciate it if they had more students come to their games and competitions. Even from other student athletes.”

Council for Student Athletes President Alyssa Weldon says they’re hoping to get more student involvement with games and other athletic events.

“We know in the years past there hasn’t been much attendance to athletics and involvement with that, so we’re trying to get more out to students, like advertising games more,” she said.

“Having that ‘game-day feel,’ getting everyone together, having that Mustang spirit to make it more enjoyable for all students.”

Among these efforts is the inclusion of non-athlete students Emily Northup and Cailtin Scully as voting members.

Scully, a freshman music education major, says her experience as a band member gives her an important perspective on this topic. She hopes to serve as a voice for the arts and to help get student support for campus events.

“There’s a disconnect between arts students and sports students,” Scully said. “I think if we can get all the students to get to different events then it would be better than what it is now.”

Bejar and Weldon are looking forward to the valuable input of these new members.

“We just thought it would be good to have a different perspective,” Weldon said. “If we have all athletes, we’re all thinking the same thing, but having a few people on the other side of things, they can see things that would benefit all students.”

Group meetings are open forum and student input is welcomed and encouraged.

“If you have any good ideas on bridging the gap or anything, that would be good for the Council for Student Athletes to know,” Bejar said. “You’re welcome to come to the meetings, email the President, Alyssa Weldon, or me.”

The council meets once a month in Flaherty.

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