NCAA Division III Week is a positive opportunity for all individuals associated with Division III to observe and celebrate the impact of athletics and of student-athletes on the campus and surrounding community. During the week, every Division III school and conference office is encouraged to conduct a type of outreach activity that falls into one of three categories: academic accomplishment; athletic experience; or leadership/community service/campus involvement. Division III Week took place from April 1-7, 2019.
The specific charge is to conduct and promote at least one academic, athletic, co-curricular or extracurricular activity. On the macro-level, each institution will be encouraged to report its activity to the national office so the collective impact of our division can be shared on a broader scale. Ultimately, through both local and national activation, the goal is to build a greater awareness and understanding of Division III athletics.
Here is a glance at what Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) institutions did to celebrate NCAA Division III Week:
For DIII Week, the Caltech athletics department worked with SAAC on an Instagram series of mini-features/spotlights, highlighting one student-athlete on each team in the words of their teammates. The week was wrapped up on Saturday by looping in Faculty Appreciation Day at the Beavers' men's tennis match with a DIII Week Celebration, bringing it all to a close.
The California Lutheran Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) hosted a Special Olympics event. Around 30 athletes, ran volleyball, basketball, and soccer drills for about 30 Special Olympians. The Special Olympians then competed against each other in those same sports. April 3 also marked Cal Lutheran Giving Day as the athletics department raised $57,900.
Claremont-Mudd-Scripps and the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) hosted a full week of programming for NCAA Division III Week. Monday the SAAC provided free donuts in a meet-and-greet with the general student body outside the Claremont McKenna student center; Tuesday provided a session of vignettes before an audience of faculty and staff as the Stags and Athenas discussed their personal experiences as Division III student-athletes; Wednesday the SAAC conducted a raffle at the women's water polo match with California Lutheran; Thursday saw the athletic training staff host a nutrition program; and Friday the SAAC hosted a pie in the face fundraiser after its annual 5K to benefit the Foothill Family Shelter. Saturday's final day was a cross-promotion with Strike Out Cancer Day, as the CMS softball program conducted fundraisers and helped raise awareness to fight childhood cancer at its home doubleheader.
La Verne celebrated DIII Week with its annual DIII Day Student-Athlete Barbecue to show appreciation for its student-athletes and their hard work. Coaches and department members cook hamburgers and hotdogs for students. Lawn games and a dunk tank where students can try to dunk some of the La Verne coaches was also provided. The campus radio station Leo FM comes out to provide music and this year ULV stickers and a La Verne rally towel were handed out to all who participated.
During DIII Week, Occidental SAAC aimed to recognize its student-athletes. It had Dr. Mimi Nartey, a former Ghanaian national soccer player and adjunct professor, come and speak to the student-athletes about how to use their sports experience in the workplace. Oxy SAAC also promoted "blackout" themed home competitions throughout the week to increase fan engagement. The most successful event was asking the student-athletes why they chose DIII athletics and featuring them on the Oxy Athletics instagram. To round out the week "All in for Oxy" wristbands were distributed to all varsity athletics teams to wear in order to make the number of student-athletes more visible on campus.
The University of Redlands promoted DIII Week through social media graphics that included quotes from various student-athletes about why DIII, and why Redlands. The we was capped off with a statement from our ASUR President-Elect, junior diver Jacob Miner. In addition, the SAAC hosted a food drive for the student pantry, which encouraged people to give non-perishable food in exchange for a Redlands Athletics t-shirt.
The Whittier department of athletics hosted a barbecue on Friday of Division III Week during the Poets Twilight track meet, and the baseball game versus Chapman.