HADLEY, Mass. - NESCAC institutions participated in a variety of events surrounding Division III Week, which took place April 3-9. Events ranged from using social media to promote student-athletes’ reasons for “WhyD3?” to hosting Special Olympics events and field days for local children to hosting clothing drives for local homeless shelters and schools.
Division III Week was an opportunity for all individuals associated with Division III to observe and celebrate the impact of athletics and student-athletes on campuses and in the surrounding community. During the week, every Division III school and conference office was encouraged to conduct an outreach activity that falls into one of three categories: academic accomplishment; athletic experience; or leadership/community service/campus involvement. More information about Division III Week can be found here.
Starting on Monday, April 3, members of each institution's SAAC took over the NESCAC Instagram account for a day to show what a day in the life of a Division III student-athlete looks like. The takeover series wrapped up on Thursday, April 13. Connecticut College student-athletes took over the Camels' Instagram each day of Division III Week as well.
Bates, Amherst and Hamilton honored the academic accomplishments of its student-athletes during the week, with Bates' Academic Honor Roll honorees receiving certificates during a special night in the Commons on April 5. Three Amherst student-athletes presented their theses during an athletic department luncheon that recognized student-athlete classroom accomplishments on April 4. The Hamilton student-athletes with the highest GPA on their respective teams were recognized at a scholar-athlete luncheon with faculty members.
Several institutions participated in community service events before, during and after Division III Week. Amherst participated in a pair of community service events as it collected clothing donations for a local homeless shelter, Craig's Doors, and first-year students packaged 10,000 meals for Rise Against Hunger. Hamilton SAAC also helped organize a campus-wide spikeball tournament on Sunday, April 9 to raise funds for the Utica Rescue Mission which offers shelter to battered women and their children. Connecticut College SAAC was in charge of the ring toss game, handed out t-shirts and had members sit in the dunk tank at the campus-wide Relay for Life event on April 7. Trinity softball officially drafted the newest member of its team, a local 12-year old girl, through Team IMPACT on April 4.
Wesleyan hosted local elementary students on campus, with Cardinal student-athletes participating in recess activities with elementary school students, and promoting sportsmanship with the students. Wesleyan also hosted the second annual WesTHON, a six-hour dance marathon that raised nearly $20,000 for the Connecticut Children's Medical Center. Bowdoin will be focusing on its partnership with Special Olympics, hosting clinics in track & field and bowling following Division III Week.
Hamilton created a video highlighting the Division III experience that included interviews with coaches and players about why they chose Hamilton and how they are making the most of their Division III experience.
Tufts utilized social media platforms using the "WhyIWentD3Tufts" hashtag throughout the week to highlight its student-athletes sharing why they chose Division III.
Williams will continue its work in sexual assault prevention for the third straight year. On April 17 as part of the Student-Athlete Day of Action, Williams SAAC will collect pledges from the Williams campus community to stand up against sexual assault. Individuals who sign the pledge will also write their initials on a teal ping-pong ball and put it in a display box. The box will symbolize how many people at Williams have decided to raise awareness and prevent sexual assault on campus and in the community. The goal is to have 2,200 initialed ping-pong balls.
Events taking place during athletic events included Hamilton's "Teal Out" game during the April 8 women’s lacrosse game versus Tufts to raise sexual assault awareness by handing out "It's On Us Hamilton" t-shirts.