Pac-12 SALT members reflect on their first Pac-12 Council Meetings

SAN FRANCISCO – The Pac-12 Student-Athlete Leadership Team (SALT) officially joined Pac-12 Athletics Directors, Faculty Athletics Representatives, and Senior Woman Administrators in Pac-12 Council meetings last week. One student-athlete from each institution joined their school’s delegations and became full voting members of the Council. The student-athletes present offered their reflections on their first Pac-12 Council meetings:

McKenna Witt, Arizona
“I am honored to have had the opportunity to make history this week alongside my fellow student-athletes at Pac-12 Council meetings. Taking part in these meetings instilled confidence and reassurance that our Athletics Directors, Senior Woman Administrators, and Faculty Athletics Representatives are working hard on behalf of the student-athletes. I look forward to witnessing the evolution within college athletics that stems from the discussions taking place at these meetings.” 

Matt Schneider, Arizona State
“In each of our meetings, we discussed issues that have a major impact on us, our teammates, and our fellow student-athletes. It’s nice to know that we can now represent the student-athlete body personally. It goes without saying that each school’s Athletics Director, Senior Woman Administrator, and Faculty Athletics Representative keep our best interests in mind, but it is also important to hear the voice of someone who is affected by each decision directly.”

Taylor James, California
“The meetings over the past few days marked a historic start to the next century of the Pac-12. Allowing student-athletes to be a part of the autonomy process brings the athletic experience full circle. It was a learning process for everyone involved and it was so exciting to be able to change the course of our conference.”

Clare Wise, Colorado, SALT Chair
"These meetings were a great opportunity for the student-athlete voice to be heard in regards to both NCAA legislation and several issues pertaining to student-athlete wellbeing and the student-athlete experience. Every member of the SALT committee came to these meetings prepared and each gave insightful, informed opinions that led to meaningful discussions. I believe our presence at Pac-12 Council meetings was extremely useful, and I feel very fortunate to have been part of the inaugural Pac-12 Student-Athlete Leadership Team."

Alison Scharkey, Oregon
“These past few days have been an incredible experience for all of us student-athletes. Directly involving the student-athletes in the legislation process speaks volumes about this conference and the importance it places on student-athlete welfare. I am very honored to have been a part of these meetings, and to have been given the opportunity to provide insight into student-athlete needs. I can't wait to see how SALT progresses and the impact that it will have in the future.”

Silvia Colussi-Pelaez, Oregon State
“It was an incredible opportunity to be able to attend the Pac-12 Council meetings and to represent the student-athlete body.  We discussed a lot of important legislative issues that affect athletes directly and our new SALT committee really allowed us to have a voice and put our input into the decisions that were being made.”

Rachel Daum, Stanford
"At the meetings, we discussed and voted on many important legislative proposals pertinent to student-athlete welfare. As members of the first SALT team, we were able to see firsthand the in-depth thought and discussion surrounding the student-athlete experience. By allowing the SALT team to participate in the meetings, we realized how much our conference values our voices and wants our experience as student-athletes to be as enjoyable and rewarding as possible." 

Aliea Clark, UCLA
"This Pac-12 Council meeting is important because it is the first time that student-athletes have had a seat at the table where decisions that directly impact us are made. Having the opportunity to represent my friends and all the student-athletes at UCLA was such an honor, and we are so lucky that our conference is the leading force in a future of governance that appreciates the unique insights student-athletes add in different areas of the overall discussion. Thank you so much to Commissioner Scott and all of the Council for having us!"

Sara Hughes, USC
“I had such an amazing experience at Pac-12 Council meetings these last couple of days. It was a great opportunity for us athletes to voice our opinions on matters that directly affect us. I am excited to tell my fellow USC student-athletes about some of the legislation and to get them more involved and enthusiastic about the opportunities SALT has created for us.”

Luis Macias, Utah
“Student-athletes representing a new body called SALT (Student-Athlete Leadership Team) were able to have a significant input in the Pac-12 Council meetings. We were able to discuss, comment, and request further review to new and current legislation. The Pac-12 is giving a voice to the student-athletes, who, at the end of the day, are the ones who either benefit or suffer from the decisions made. This way we can propose and promote better ideas. The Pac-12 is doing an amazing job of listening to their athletes and I'm so honored to be part of this opportunity!”

Faith Morrison, Washington
"At our meetings, we were able to dive into legislation with a fine tooth comb and discuss not only our own opinions on each proposal, but also discuss our school's position alongside our Athletics Director, SWA and FAR. The administrators have done a wonderful job advocating for student-athletes, but these past few days were important because they allowed student-athletes to speak on behalf of themselves. The administrators have been doing this for a long time, but they trusted our opinions and interpretations. SALT was very committed to doing a great job and setting the tone for future Council meetings. I think it was a very productive moment for collegiate athletics and I will not be surprised if other conferences follow our lead"

Kelsie Taylor, Washington State
"This week was all about collaboration: working together with our peers and representing not only our individual universities as we make history, but also our conference and the entire student-athlete population of the NCAA. During the meetings we delved into heavy topics with varying opinions, but it was amazing to see the passion shared by student-athletes and administrators alike. There was a clear feeling that student-athlete wellbeing was at the forefront of everyone’s mind. It was really an incredible experience and I am so thankful to have been a part of it."

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