PHAT Tuesdays (Peer Helping Athletes Transition) is a program targeted towards first year student athletes. This program was created by the Office of Student Services with input from the SAAC and is hosted annually by both. The goal of the program is to assist student athletes with more appropriately and effectively transitioning between high school and college. This year PHAT Tuesday’s consisted of (5) weekly meetings with the first meeting being held as an introductory meeting where student athletes meet various Athletic Administrators and SAAC members and learn about their role on campus. Additional meetings include topics being covered such as diet and nutrition, time management, grocery shopping, budgeting and finances, academic success and introduction to the Seminole Career Center. This event is a great way for first year student athletes to become acquainted with each other; to learn about the campus and resources available to them as well as have fun!
GOLD Letter Games
In order to enhance student athlete support amongst each other, the SAAC initiates an event that encourages student athletes to attend each other’s games. This event is called the “GOLD Letter” Games. Each team picks a game on their schedule that they would like to have all athletes attend and the SAAC works diligently to promote the event. During the course of the academic year and with the assistance, support, and leadership of the SAAC, student athletes were motivated to support other team sporting events. The Gold Letter games proved to be a great motivating tool for fellow athletes and displayed an amazing amount of school spirit and unity.
Freshman Survival Kits
Every semester the SAAC gets together and makes what we have tagged as “Freshman Survival Kits”. Each bag contains items that the SAAC believe to be important tools for students to have when studying for Finals Week. Some of the items included in the bags are highlighters, pencils, pens, note cards, post-its, popcorn, ramen noodles, candy, and coffee or tea. The SAAC members also go around town to local businesses and ask managers and staff of popular restaurants and fast-food chains if they would be willing to make a donation of coupons. The SAAC members also offer advice in the form of “Tips for Academic Success”. Each bag has a note from a SAAC member wishing them good luck on their finals. After all the supplies are gathered, the SAAC meet up and put them all together. The bags are then given to the Academic Advisors to be distributed to the freshman student athletes. Many student athletes have expressed extreme gratitude for the bags and many find them very helpful when planning and studying for their first finals week!
The culture fest is an annual event hosted by the SAAC to celebrate the diversity within the Department of Athletics. The event also recognizes FSU’s International
Student Athletes and provide all athletes with an opportunity to become acquainted with each other. This year each student athlete was invited and each International Student Athletes received a personal invitation as well as administrators within the Department of Athletics and the FSU community. This year the Culture Fest will be held on March 6th at the Crenshaw Lanes Bowling Alley located on FSU’s campus. Great food will be provided as well as free bowling and a “Best Dressed” contest for individuals who dress up in their native country attire. The Culture Fest is annually attended by approximately 75 student athletes and has proved to be a success as student athletes were able to celebrate their heritage and show support for an activity that prides itself on recognizing and celebrating diversity within the FSU community.
SAAC Welcome Back Picnic
The Welcome Back Picnic is an event that is sponsored by the Office of Athletic Student Service and SAAC. The picnic was held at the Seminole Reservation in September and all student athletes and many campus administrators were invited. The picnic consisted of a DJ; A barbecue with lots of great food; canoeing, sand volleyball, horseshoes, basketball and a rock climbing wall. The purpose of the picnic is to provide student athletes with an opportunity to meet and mingle with each other and get become acquainted with student athletes from other sports. This year, the welcome back picnic was more successful that it has ever been with attendance being at an all-time high. Athletes from every sport attended. Student athletes truly enjoyed the opportunity to socialize and have fun with a diverse group of student athletes in an environment conducive for developing new friendships and promoting unity.
Senior Transition Classes
Beginning in the spring of 2007, the Office of Student Services implemented a new class specifically aimed at helping Senior Student-Athletes transition from their final year of college into the real world. The main focuses of these classes are to educate the student-athletes about important issues necessary for successful transition from the life of a student athlete to the life of a business man or woman. Every student athlete who attends both classes were asked to submit a resume to be reviewed as admission.
The first installment of the class was spent discussing important topics with former student athletes Jennifer Anderson and Nick Maddox. Dr John Lata spoke about how to write a successful resume and interview techniques and tips. Former student athlete from the softball team Carey Galuppi introduced the Seminole Career Net and Seminole Career website and also spoke about how to choose and apply to graduate programs. We also had individuals from the community talk about other important topics for successful transition. Mr. Mike Campbell spoke about negotiating salaries and Dave Wengert explained employer benefits.
The second installment of the class consisted of two former athletes, Carey Galuppi, currently a graduate student in FSU Counseling program, and Keith Cottrell, a former football player now teaches American Government and coach’s football at Chiles High School in Tallahassee, speaking about transition issues. Mr. Mike Campbell returned to speak about budgeting and Mr. Dave Wengert returned to speak about retirement plans. Joining us for the first time was Mr. Monk Bonasort, the Executive Director of the Varsity Club. Mr. Bonasort spoke about networking and how to join the varsity club.
The classes were concluded with questions and answer sessions for all of the guests. Upon leaving the classes, the student-athletes are given handouts and information on all of the topics covered during both classes.