Oct. 22, 2003
Quality over quantity. We hear it all the time, but really don’t pay much attention to what it truly means. This year, Georgia Tech’s Student-Athlete Advisory Board has taken the statement to heart, and is learning its true meaning.
Amy Dock, a four-year veteran of the Board, was elected its president for the 2003-04 school year and has stressed the fact that emphasizing certain projects over participating in multiple ones will mean more to the school and Atlanta community.
“I guess the thing that I have tried to stress for this year is that we shouldn’t try to do everything, but rather choose a few key things and do them all the way,” Dock said. “We have frequent requests about participating in activities, and it gets to a point where we want to say yes to everything but then spread ourselves too thin.”
One of those key events occurred this past weekend, as over 100 Georgia Tech student-athletes participated in the school’s TEAM Buzz events, a day in which Georgia Tech students and faculty join together to provide community service to the Atlanta area. “TEAM” stands for Tech Enhancing Atlanta Metropolitan and participants work together on one of over 55 service project opportunities in and around the city.
Student-athletes and Athletic Association staff participated in beautification projects at the Carter Outdoor Center and Reynoldstown and an elementary school carnival at R.N. Fickett Elementary.
“The entire swim team, all 40 members, worked at the Reynoldstown Revitalization project, immediately following their two-and-a-half hour practice that morning,” said Rob Skinner, Director of the Homer Rice Center for Sports Performance and advisor for the Georgia Tech Student-Athlete Advisory Board. “The entire women’s basketball team, following a midnight practice, worked with football athletes and various staff members at the carnival while the track and field and men’s tennis teams volunteered their time at the Carter Center. We took posters and had the football players autograph them and then handed those out with candy to the kids at the school before playing games including a football toss and beanbag throw with them.”
The Georgia Tech student-athletes are looking forward to the next project that the Board has undertaken, the third-annual Michael Isenhour Toy Drive to benefit Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Isenhour, a former member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Board, had the idea over two years ago to begin the toy drive when, while undergoing treatments for leukemia, he noticed a great need for children undergoing similar treatments and presented the idea to the Board. Isenhour passed away in 2002, but the Board continues to support this cause in his memory.
“Several of us that are on the board this year are in our last year, and we were on the board with Michael when he first came up with the idea,” said Dock. “We had the idea to collect the toys at this year’s Georgia game. I have been in contact with the president of the University of Georgia’s Board, and have proposed having student-athletes from both schools collecting the toys at the gates as people enter the stadium. Almost all of our student-athletes are going to be involved, and we’re hoping that theirs will be also.”
While brand-new toys are to be collected at the Georgia game, there is also the option of dropping them off early for those people that can’t attend the game. After receiving over 2,000 toys for Children’s Healthcare last year, Skinner has set the same goal for this season.
“Children’s Healthcare can only accept so many toys, and I hope that we’re in the situation that we will be searching for organizations to give the excess toys to, which is a better situation than not having enough,” Skinner said.
While community service and relations is one aspects of the Student-Athlete Advisory Board, it is not the only one. The Board is in place to provide insight on the student-athlete experience. It also offers input on rules, regulations, and policies that affect student-athletes lives on campus. The members of the Student-Athlete Advisory Board act as liaisons between coaches, student-athletes, and the administration, and they meet once a month with director of athletics Dave Braine to discuss concerns from the student-athletes.
“Coach Braine and the administration are very good about meeting us in the middle on several things,” said Dock. “One of the biggest things about this year, and my personal mission, has been to make the Student-Athlete Advisory Board more of a focal point-to let people know who we are and what we are doing.”
“One of their major duties is that they are the voice to the administration and the representatives to the campus and campus projects,” said Skinner. “Their goal is that the student-athletes still recognize them as people that they can come to when there is a problem, whether it’s an issue within the athletic association, an issue or request for community service, or just to speak. The Board is the group of people that can make that happen.”
Each athletic team regularly schedules community service activities throughout the year, including the baseball team, which will be holding a clinic for the Boys and Girls Club of Atlanta this weekend.
“Each individual sport has its own community service projects,” said Skinner. “TEAM Buzz is one that we try to do with the Institute, but the majority of our athletic teams hold clinics and participate in other activities, and that is encouraged by our Board. To me, the members of the Board are leaders among leaders,” Skinner said. “They may not necessarily be a team captain, but they are still leaders on their team.”
Members of the 2003-04 Georgia Tech Student-Athlete Advisory Board Robert Brooks (Men’s Basketball) Michael Barbosa (Golf) Nate Curry (Football) Amy Dock (Women’s Cross Country) Itai Eden (Men’s Swimming and Diving) Kele Eveland (Volleyball) Brian Ford (Men’s Track) Sekita Grant (Women’s Tennis) Brendon Mahoney (Men’s Cross Country) Amandi Rhett (Women’s Track) Chris Reis (Football) Scott Schnugg (Men’s Tennis) Ashley Skala (Women’s Swimming and Diving) Jeremy Slayden (Baseball) Alex Stewart (Women’s Basketball) Erin Voeltz (Softball)