With her sophomore year almost completed, Maddie Arndt is about to take over three major leadership roles in addition to the responsibilities of a student-athlete.
Arndt, a pole vaulter on Manhattan’s track and field team, was named both the president of the college’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference’s SAAC. In addition, she was appointed to represent the MAAC’s SAAC at the NCAA Division I level.
“I’m ecstatic,” Arndt said. “I can’t explain it any better because there’s no other word that I can put to this opportunity.”
As the NCAA representative, Arndt will be a voice for the MAAC student-athletes at the national level. She will work with conference representatives from the other 31 Division I leagues. As the president of the MAAC SAAC, she will report back to the conference members with the information she received from the national meetings.
“I’ve been in leadership roles my whole life,” Arndt said, “it’s just natural for me and when I heard about this I thought, ‘I’m going to be competing against other people, what’s the chance I would get picked?’ But I knew I couldn’t pass up the opportunity because if I didn’t apply, I’m going to regret it.”
In addition, she will serve as the president of Manhattan’s SAAC for the upcoming academic year, taking over the position from Casey Silvestri, a senior on the women’s lacrosse team.
“She’s passionate and enthusiastic about SAAC and our mission in developing the whole student-athlete,” Silvestri said to GoJaspers.com.
One plan Arndt has as Manhattan’s president is to work with the strong community relationship Silvestri has built during her presidency. Arndt will stress the fact to student-athletes that community service is important while hoping to change their outlook on it being just a requirement.
“It can be really eye-opening,” she said, “and it’s good to give back to your community. Everyone in the Bronx knows Manhattan College and I want people to know that we’re doing this; we’re being athletes but giving back to our community.”
She also plans to build a bigger alumni connection between past athletes and current athletes with a mentorship program, hoping to develop it within the next two years and that it’ll be successful beyond her presidency.
Arndt explained that while having these positions seem like a lot, they overlap. When something works well for one school, it will most likely work well for other schools in the conference because they are all quite similar.
“I’ll meet with a lot of important people, in and outside of our conference,” she said. “I get to represent what we stand for, what we need, what legislation we like or don’t like. There’s a lot of aspects where you vote and I’m the student-athlete vote once I talk to my school and the other MAAC schools. So, it goes from institution to conference to national and I’m the liaison through all of that.”
Although it wasn’t her original intention to have multiple positions, she’s excited for the opportunity. Arndt sent in her application for the NCAA position first and received recommendations from Manhattan’s SAAC Advisor Allison Fitzgerald and Silvestri, who said Arndt was the first name to come to mind.
“Maddie is a great student, athlete and community builder,” Silvestri said. “Her recommendation was a no-brainer. I’m confident that she’ll do an amazing job and I’m excited to see what amazing things she has in store.”
Then, it just so happened that no one was going for Manhattan’s SAAC president after Silvestri leaves, which led to Arndt fulfilling this role as well.
“Everyone says this is a résumé builder but that’s not what it’s about to me,” Arndt said. “It’s about getting myself out there and doing what I love. It’s about being an athlete and trying to make a change at the same time.”