In the Locker Room with Bradley Hamilton and Samma Regan


Benjamin Shepherd, Photo editor

Samma Regan (left) and Bradley Hamilton

Sarena Malsin, Sports Editor

This week, the Review sat down with Student-Athlete Advisory Com­mittee co-chairs junior Bradley Ham­ilton and senior Samma Regan to discuss their roles on the committee, SAAC’s impact on Oberlin’s student-athlete community and the benefits of being a representative of a campus community.

What is the Student-Athlete Ad­visory Committee, and why is it important?

Bradley Hamilton: Basically, what we do is that we have repre­sentatives from ideally every team — not every team sends a repre­sentative — and we [hold] meet­ings every other week and discuss things that are happening both here at Oberlin and on a bigger Confer­ence, or national level, which can be anything like changes that are hap­pening in our sports [or] our division in general, or more particular things, like if there’s a problem going on on campus that needs to be addressed. We act as a conduit from athletes to administration and the other way [around].

How would you guys describe your roles on SAAC?

BH: I think just planning what needs to get done. So many people have so much that they do, but it helps if we can just direct that. So when we show up to the meetings, we have to have [our schedule] set to what we’re going to work on, basically.

Samma Regan: I would agree. Definitely in terms of meetings, [our job is] having productive and effi­cient conversations about athletics and the role that it plays in Ober­lin, and also [to make] everybody’s voice known in a very comfortable manner.

What made you want to get in­volved in SAAC?

SR: I went to a SAAC meeting originally during my freshman year because somebody on the swim team said “You’d be great for this!” And I was like, “Yeah, okay, cool!” And I went to show up and put my two cents in — didn’t say a word — but I joined and I realized that it was just a group of people who re­ally care about student-athletes, and I think that’s a great thing. I mean, student-athletes do a lot of work [at] this school and have a lot of respon­sibility. I love that shared connection that I have with Oberlin students.

BH: For me, it was a little bit dif­ferent. I know Coach Hudson, who is the administrative head of SAAC here, and I just really wasn’t involved in anything on campus. I mean, I did sports, but … I was just looking for something else to do. So I defi­nitely went just out of curiosity, but I stayed after I learned what it was and that you actually had the poten­tial to do something. Because I feel like in most areas on campus I don’t really have the potential to change things, but here there is so much we can and do get done.

What do you recall as a memora­ble or important change you guys have achieved through SAAC?

SR: I think my favorite thing is we brought a speaker in — his name was Dr. G [Dr. Derek Green­field], and he was the coolest guy ever — and he wanted to come to talk about communities and how we can bring communities together, because that seemingly was an is­sue. And he asked very emotionally charged questions, and it was amaz­ing to see people take that in full stride and really connect with one another. I think that was one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen, just to have a bunch of people stand up in a crowd and say, “I’m really thank­ful for these other people.” I think that’s one of the most memorable things. But also, we do so much and it’s hard to pinpoint one thing. Any function that we hold I think is re­ally fun. Like we just had a cornhole tournament, a dodgeball tourna­ment, we’ve had bouncy houses; it’s just a lot of fun.

BH: I have a two-fold answer for this. My favorite thing is definitely that we have instituted this policy where all athletic teams need to par­ticipate in community service once a semester. Just the fact that we now have hundreds of athletes going out in the community and doing things all the time is really satisfying to me. But unfortunately, since I’m on one team, I don’t always get to see it. So probably the most immediately gratifying thing is that there’s a pro­gram called the Obies at the end of the year, which is where all the ath­letes come together, and, you know, you feel like you’re at the Oscars or something. It’s really great how they put it together, they make it really dramatic, and it feels like a nice cul­mination to get recognized in front of your peers. That’s one of the most easily gratifying things there is.

What do you think non-athletes should know about SAAC? How can it impact them?

BH: Probably the most immedi­ately applicable aspect of SAAC is that if they have some type of organi­zation that has some goal they’re try­ing to accomplish, particularly if it’s community service-minded or im­proving the lives of students on cam­pus, then we [can] help collaborate, bring in a speaker, or plan something in general. So SAAC is always up for working for a good cause, and that’s not something athlete-specific.

SR: It’s a tough question, because we also talk a lot about athletes and the wider community, and what we can do better to facilitate discussion between everyone.

BH: For example, the gym is a topic that frequently comes up, be­cause you don’t have to be an athlete to use the gym and plenty of people who are not on a team go to the gym here. And things have been brought up about different situations about people feeling uncomfortable [at the gym]. And this has been addressed in certain ways, for example, now Phil­ips has been starting to implement different [sets of] gym hours — is­sues that can affect a larger commu­nity that intersect with athletics are also our business.

SR: It’s for all athletes, but athletes have other friends that aren’t ath­letes, and it’s hard not to in such a small school. Concerns are brought to us that are for the wider public.

What has been SAAC’s most positive impact in your life as a student-athlete?

SR: SAAC has pushed me to be more of a leader. It definitely has. I can now speak in front of a group of people, get ideas, and really think about a community and how you can better it. Coach Hudson always says, “I’m here to push your comfort zones,” and he really does. If before you had asked me to stand up in front of a group of people I don’t know, I would have had a break-down. But now I can do it easily. It’s just awesome to understand differ­ent people’s opinions and go home at night and think about them.

BH: When I started coming to SAAC, I may have participated more than I should have. I was definitely saying things before I knew [enough about them] and before I had enough experience to back them up. But in doing that, and keeping with SAAC, I eventually got to the point where I did know what was going on and I did really have the place to be talking and saying things. Because I have been participating for so long, people recognized that I do par­ticipate a lot. Me and Samma were elected [as co-chairs] and I think that was because people saw us as people who take initiative. So I’d like to think they saw some potential. And together we’ve gone to bigger conferences — SAAC is not just an Oberlin thing, it’s a national organi­zation — and twice a year we go to larger meetings for the Conference. And if you look at the chairs for the other schools in the Conference, most people aren’t comfortable say­ing anything at all and are not com­fortable with talking. So something I think might be a little more unique to our SAAC is how it brings you out of your shell. It’s good for the people in it, and good for the community it’s supposed to be for.