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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    There is not enough field space for students

    “We can’t get enough field time!!” This was the response screamed by a group of 250 Resident Hall Assistants two weeks ago when asked “what is the biggest problem with the campus recreation fields?” Such an overwhelming cry reflects how many students are negatively affected by a lack of field space.  Stony Brook has 26,000 students, 300+ clubs and organizations, 10 sport clubs, and a hugely successful campus recreation program. So how much field space is there for all those groups? Well, a dismal two and half soccer fields worth.

    You don’t have to search far to witness just how inadequate this is for the student body. On any typical weeknight, a mob of about 200 students will have this space packed. As you watch, you will see the different groups struggling with their activities as balls are constantly launched into their space by other groups.

    This is not to mention that the groups are unable to play their game in a space with the proper dimensions. But these groups are the lucky ones. Many students can’t even get any time on the fields to begin with. Take Women’s Club Lacrosse for example: they used to practice on a narrow strip of space next to Stony Brook Road.

    The University, however, tore up the field this summer in order to expand the South P parking lot. With the rec fields already overly congested, the club is now unable to get any space to practice. The situation is worse for students who just want to use the fields for a pickup game with their friends. Because the fields are booked so far ahead of time, students looking just for a fun game are often forced to leave the fields. All of this is having a destructive effect not only on the individuals, but also on the University’s student life.

    Ironically, in the early 1990’s there were about 17,000 students enrolled, but those students had 3 full soccer fields, 3 softball fields, 12 tennis courts, and more. How is it that students today have less recreation space than we did more than 20 years ago?!? Moreover, Ohio State has 43 acres of Campus Recreation space (not space for athletics, but for students) compared our rec fields that are a measly 5 acres.

    UC Berkeley and Rutgers offer their students turf fields for their campus recreation activities. How is Stony Brook, being the premier University that it is, providing less to its students that its peers?

    The University has options to elevate the problem and help support student life. For example, look at the 9 full sized soccer fields in the corner of South P lot. This beautiful field space is owned by the University but leased to Three Village. The tragedy is that Three Village turns around and charges student clubs to use those very same fields the University owns. Why aren’t students allowed to share the fields with Three Village? After suffering with these obstacles for so long, the sport clubs want to show the University just how important this issue is to students. We have started a petition and already enlisted over 1500 signatures; a list that is continuing to grow as more and more students become energized about the issue.

    The inadequate field space is a disservice to students, and as a result, has had a hugely negative effect on the campus’s student life. Join the students that are uniting on this issue by signing our petition on Facebook at “Sign our Petition for more Student Field Space!!” Together we can show the University how important this is to the student body.

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