Last week, there were numerous campus emails and advertisements for a week-long event called “DIII Week.” Division III Week is a celebration for student-athletes who have chosen to play Division III sports. As most sports enthusiasts know, the main difference between DI, DII and DIII schools is that DIII athletes cannot receive athletic scholarships. This week recognizes DIII athletes’ commitments to their sport(s) and their education. DIII Week celebrates the long hours and hard work that DIII student-athletes put in year-round.
Senior Megan Vodopich was selected as the Division III Week Chair for the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) for this year’s event. As the chair, Vodopich was responsible for selecting and organizing the many events that took place throughout the week.
This year’s events included Tiger Spirit Day, a tailgate before the Women’s Lacrosse Code Red Game, a Throwback Thursday Instagram Contest, a kickball game with Special Olympics and a Cornhole Tournament. Winners of these competitions received different prizes, including gift cards to restaurants around town.
You may have also seen SAAC representatives advertising for DIII Week throughout the week in the HPER. Students were able to sign their names to a poster if they got an “A” in a class during the week. Students were also able to write on a poster their reason for choosing DIII. Many student-athletes cited academic commitment and winning traditions in Wittenberg athletics as their reasons for coming to Wittenberg to play. Wittenberg’s student-athletes also said that they chose Wittenberg to be more than just an athlete.
Vodopich said that her reasoning was the same as most of the other Wittenberg athletes.
“I chose Division III because I wanted to be more than just an athlete,” she said. “I wanted to make sure I was at a school that always put my education first and gave me the opportunity to be involved in more than just volleyball.”
This is an opportunity that Vodopich has seized, as she is involved in not only volleyball and SAAC, but also Student Senate and the Gamma Phi Beta Sorority; she also holds a job in the Admissions Office — just to name a few.
There is an importance in celebrating and recognizing the hours that student-athletes put in.
“The commitment to athletics and academics can often be overlooked, and it is nice to have a week committed to student-athletes’ dedication and ability to balance the two,” Vodopich said.