Athletics: share the wealth

By on February 7, 2007

Some of us have already grown weary of the TD Banknorth hype. But most of us are still painting our faces and catching a shuttle up the hill to a Super Fan’s paradise. With students cloaked in yellow, a new sense of school spirit fills a void that was undeniable before the new athletic center was built.

I was on my way to Friday’s hockey game when something made me cringe. The athletic department now casts a shadow over our university with a ridiculous $52 million arena equipped with ostentatious spotlights just in case you can’t see it in the dark. However, there is hypocrisy in my discontent.

I have proudly worn my blue and gold to “Banknorth” several times. My house has accumulated a multitude of free promotional junk from the games: Yellow “Bobcats Live Here” foam sticks, t-shirts, posters and water bottles. Several days ago I was sitting in the second row of the student section chanting “This is our house” and “God’s on our side” with the rest of them. I digress.

I am part of the alternative spring break trip to Nicaragua with Quinnipiac’s Albert Schweitzer Institute. When we decided to ask the Athletic Center for help with fundraising, the response, in a nutshell, was, “sorry ain’t happening. Try selling candy.”

If I was looking for someone to fund spring break in Cancun where I’d be paying to enter a wet t-shirt contest, I would expect that sort of response. But such blatant apathy from such a wealthy university and the refusal of a nominal donation to help a group of students bring running water and a kitchen to a school in Nicaragua leaves me baffled and disgusted.

The athletes at this university, some of my best friends included, get many things handed to them on a silver platter. I do not have a tinge of athletic ability in my body, so I respect what they do, but when porcelain bobble-heads of Boomer the Bobcat are being handed out for free to hundreds of people, one has to realize there is something wrong with this picture.

In five short weeks I will be living with a family in Leon, Nicaragua, who will not have doors or walls or bathrooms. I will work at a school where children’s faces will light up when we bring school supplies and a few bags of used athletic equipment.

Though I still plan to watch the Bobcats in action at TD Banknorth Sports Center, I am wracked with guilt knowing this university does not blink an eye when spending $52 million on the sports teams, but a donation to a humanitarian cause can not be found anywhere in Quinnipiac’s blueprints.


About Alysis Richardson