Athletes air their grievances at student forum

Students cite lack of transparency about athletic teams’ future

Ciera Lavigne, Reporter

SGA President Nicole Ross hosted an SNC Student Forum Thursday evening, April 6. Seated beside her were President Dr. Alan Walker and Dean of Students Will Hoida. About 20 students attended the event, many of whom were student athletes. As the evening progressed, the forum quickly turned into a heated debate about SNC’s athletics programs.

The athletes posed questions ranging from why the women’s lacrosse team was cut at the end of last semester to whether or not the golf team will be cut in the future. They also asked about whether the administration had any plans to construct an athletic facility with a gym, playing field, and perhaps even a swimming pool on campus.

“Some of the concerns I have with the athletic program are that not all of the athletes are on the same page about what’s going on with the future of the programs,” said freshman golfer Teah Fisher. “Also, there doesn’t seem to be much of an interest to make an effort in constructing a sports complex all the athletes could use. There also seems to be a conflict of interest with SNC’s athletic director serving as a coach of one of the teams on campus.”

Fisher was referring to athletic director Branko Zagar heading up of all the sports teams and simultaneously serving as the coach of the alpine ski team.

Macy Mannix, a senior who had been a member of the women’s lacrosse team, said “It is disappointing to see the sports teams be undervalued by the very institution that started them. I’m mostly bummed that there has been no explanation or recognition from the administration about the cancellation of women’s lacrosse.”

Walker, Hoida, and Ross weren’t able to address the athletes’ concerns, stating that those issues required the input of SNC’s coaching staff. Ross suggested that SGA could schedule an athletics-only forum in the future and request the presence of athletic director Zagar and individual team coaches.

“The Student Forum is a great way of having students air their grievances with the administration,” Ross said. “In that vein, I think the best aspect of this year’s forum was the fact that the athletes decided to have their own forum in the future to hash out any issues in the athletics department.”

Other concerns that were aired at the forum included why the menu at the cafeteria has not been expanded, whether or not the wireless network in the dorms can be improved, and what gift the graduating senior class will give to the college. The final decision on the senior gift will be announced at commencement.