Nov. 7, 2011
BERKELEY - California men's basketball freshman guard Alex Rossi was voted Pac-12 Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) president at the Pac-12 SAAC meetings in San Francisco, Nov. 4-6.
One male and one female representative from each of Pac-12 institutions gathered at the Hyatt Embarcadero to discuss new NCAA legislation, share their campus projects, participate in a community outreach program, and engage in other leadership activities. Women's track and field senior Linda Oseso joins Rossi as the other Cal representative.
"Spending the weekend with Linda was great," Rossi said. "I got a chance to get to know one of my own classmates on a different level."
Former Cal star Theo Robertson--now a Pac-12 Administrative Fellow--assisted in organizing and facilitating the meetings. Over the course of the weekend, the representatives heard presentations by several key speakers. Pac-12 Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Commissioner Kevin Weiberg spoke about changes to student-athlete financial aid, former Cal women's tennis coach Kathy Toon spoke about leadership, and a former Oregon State football player addressed attendees about a community service program - "Beavers without Borders" - where OSU student-athletes built a house for a family in Guatemala.
Student-athletes also took time to meet and bowl with Special Olympics athletes in Daly City, Calif. They served as coaches during the Pac-12 Bowling Olympics, in which each lane represented a different country. In addition, student-athletes were given the chance to hold a mock debate and vote on current NCAA legislation.
"Everyone was really down to earth, genuine, and inclusive," Rossi said of his time with his fellow representatives. "It was a lot of fun getting to know everyone and getting to pick their brains about their experiences-in athletics, SAAC, and other things."
The weekend concluded with Rossi being elected the Pac-12 SAAC president by his peers. As the new president, Rossi will chair in-person SAAC meetings and moderate conference calls. He plans to create a new Pac-12 SAAC Facebook page to allow all members to easily share their ideas and get more involved.
"Being chosen by my peers to be the Pac-12 ambassador was an incredible and humbling honor," Rossi said. "The fact that everyone thought enough of me to trust in my leadership ability is a cool feeling. I hope that Julia (Pac-12 SAAC Vice President from Oregon) and I can help out with all the Pac-12 endeavors."