Ellee Ruskamp | Photo by Joseph Craven
Ellee Ruskaup will be representing Wright State University (WSU) in the OneHL Working Group. This group will focus on bringing meaningful change to social and racial issues that we face in society today.
The OneHL Working Group is a subset of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), which has a broad range of responsibilities. The working group focuses on specific issues and how the student-athletes can tackle them.
“This group is so important to me because in all honesty, I have recognized my privilege. Privilege is a word that many see conflict around, but it is very important to recognize that differences exist,” said Ruskaup.
How the group got started
“Over the summer we started this platform, we thought it would be really important for student-athletes to get together and talk about the social issues that are going on,” said Horizon League Director of Communications and Digital Media Strategy Dan Gliot.
The group consists of 16 student-athletes and all 12 member institutions are represented. Ruskaup is a junior on the volleyball team at WSU and a marketing major from Fort Wayne, Ind. She is extremely passionate about these issues and hopes to bring change to the university and society as a whole.
Ruskaup was recommended by her teammate and SAAC member, Lainey Stephenson, to be a part of this working group and she didn’t hesitate to join.
Although these schools and student-athletes compete against each other, the Horizon League thought it was important for them to make an impactful change on their campuses.
Their first initiative
The first thing that the group focused on was getting 100% of student-athletes registered to vote.
“Our initiative to get 100% of athletes registered to vote began as a response to the other D1 conferences announcing that their entire student-athlete body was registered to vote,” said Ruskaup.
Ultimately, WSU and other Horizon League schools were unable to get every student-athlete registered to vote, but they were able to stress the importance of using their voice and platform to educate themselves and people around them.
“I hope that this group will allow students, athletes, professors and administration to have real and open conversations about race and ways we can build a society where truly everyone is treated equally,” said Ruskaup.
The group is student-athlete driven and they will meet twice a month throughout the 2020-2021 academic year to discuss ways in which they can make a difference on their campuses.
“Our OneHL Working Group has been making tremendous headway, and we are proud of their diligence and collaboration,” said Horizon League Commissioner Jon LeCrone.