As UCSB students and sport club athletes, we are constantly fed the line “fun, fitness and friendship” by the administration and higher athletic authorities on campus. We are told to “participate and not vegetate during your stay in this beautiful Santa Barbara environment both on campus and beyond.” However, the actions taken by the administration seem to contradict what is being preached, especially for those sport clubs that are the biggest and most consistently successful in competition.
How many of us remember being pestered and told to vote for the new all-weather turf on Rob Field, and how it would benefit all of the students, especially those in intramurals, sport clubs and future athletic events? Well, we got the new field — except now our 2004 national champion men’s lacrosse team is told that it cannot use it. And if I remember correctly, the lacrosse team was one of the most active driving forces in advocating and campaigning for the field, since it was told that it would be able to use it as well. On top of that, the accessibility of Rob Field is now limited. I remember when I would bike to the Rec Cen and see random pickup games of ultimate, football or just plain physical activity on the field. Now with the fence up and the hassles it takes to reserve and/or get on the field, it seems emptier.
The UCSB rowing team is touted by Rec Sports as the example of a “model” club program, yet it has also been the recipient of these contradictory actions. The women’s lightweight team is ranked seventh in the nation against varsity programs like Stanford, Georgetown and Princeton — which recruit athletes and funding — and the team as a whole brings trophies, medals and recognition back to UCSB year after year. However, the on-campus facilities of the team have dwindled over the years. The team went from having a trailer on campus, which they used for practice and storing their rowing machines, to a room under Harder Stadium, to having only a small storage closet in Rob Gym.
Don’t assume we’re asking for new multimillion dollar facilities, but rather promises that get carried out, and the ability to maintain and use — or at least equally replace — facilities. How are we able to keep competing at the level we are at if we can’t even use or keep and maintain the simple facilities that we have?
The actions taken are discouraging the present and future athletes and killing the main resource that Rec Sports needs to grow to fulfill their goal of “fun, fitness and friendship” in the student population.
Aston Lim is a senior global studies and international studies major.