Student, Athlete, New SAAC President: Ivory Randle IV

Michelle Newblom, Copy Chief

Sophomore Ivory Randle IV from the men’s soccer team has been selected as president of the Seattle University Student Athlete Academic Advisory Committee (SAAC) for the 2018-2019 year. Randle hopes to use this platform to bridge the gap between student athletes and non-student athletes as well as become more involved with the community.

Randle transferred to Seattle U from St. Mary’s during winter quarter of 2016. Beginning at a new school can be tough, but Randle was thankful for the immediate acceptance he was greeted with.

“I felt very welcomed on both sides—academically and athletically. I wanted to be able to share my experience and continue fostering such a welcoming community at Seattle U,” Randle said. “We’re such a small school and you notice everyone…so putting our best foot forward as far as getting out there, supporting the academic groups and athletic teams will make everyone’s experiences here a lot better and I want to be a part of that.”

According to Randle, student athletes often get a bad rap at universities. One of his main goals is to disassemble that preconceived notion by uniting those who are part of an athletic team and those who are not. This is the first year SAAC has been formally recognized as a club, making it easier to engage with events happening on campus.

“I’ve noticed that student athletes don’t get the best image, there’s misconstrued ideas of who we are as a group of people and what really happens within the athletic department,” Randle said. “But once you get to know both sides, you realize that we’re very similar—we’re both going through the same thing. I find it important to come together through the shared experiences, to navigate Seattle University because everyone’s struggles are very similar.”

SAAC holds bimonthly meetings where two or three representatives from each athletic team come together to go over issues that are being talked about on a national level or through the conference SAAC. The focuses last year were on mental health, substance abuse, and helping the homeless. While this year’s topics are still being discussed, there is already a large emphasis on helping Dance Marathon raise money for the children’s hospital.

Over the summer, Randle traveled with co-vice president Jenessa Schulte—a senior on the women’s swimming team—to University of Texas Rio Grande Valley to participate in the conference’s annual summer meeting. Student representatives were able to bounce ideas off one another and learn from the opportunities other schools were involved in.

“It was such an honor to represent our school within the conference,” Randle said. “We’re revered and looked highly upon because we are in such a progressive city where there’s opportunities for people—the tolerance and recognition of different lifestyles is amazing.”

SAAC looks to enhance the student athlete experience athletically and academically. Representatives are proud to be advocates when it comes to talking to coaches, advisors, and athletic administrators. Being able to learn from the other schools in the conference was a “big think tank,” as Randle describes it.

On top of holding such a high role in SAAC, Randle is a key contributor for the No. 22 preseason ranked men’s soccer team.

A defensive player, Randle started in 15 games last year and was part of the key lineup that contributed to the team’s 10 shutouts last season. The Redhawks will host the Western Athletic Conference championship tournament this year, taking place Nov. 7-11.

“During that time it will be great to have as many students, faculty, anyone tied to the university brand out there at the game because it’s great, it’s such a rare opportunity for college athletes to play their conference tournament at home.”

Randle takes the presidential position with new co-vice presidents Schulte from the women’s swim team and Delaney McCann from the women’s basketball team. Emma Mitchell from the softball team was selected as secretary while Jayna Van Stone from women’s swim is treasurer and cross country runner Shannan Higgins is the social media chair.

While there is no definite focus for the year, Randle and the rest of SAAC want to dedicate their time to working on activities that will benefit the community.

“I wanted to find community service opportunities and ways the athletic department can give back to the community. Whether it be through ourselves or working with on campus groups, that’s another way to bridge the gap—us coming together as a school to help with what’s going on in Seattle because there’s so many things that are happening.”

The editor may be reached at
[email protected]