If you aren’t a member of the Butler University tennis club, the men’s or women’s teams or tennis for enrollment credit, then you most likely won’t be enjoying a game of tennis
Butler has succeeded in making some of its best sports facilities nearly inaccessible to students who aren’t athletes.
If students were to attempt to use the indoor or outdoor tennis courts for an average game of tennis, their plans likely would be impeded by practice for the university teams or physical well being classes.
While I understand that the athletic department can’t give students keys to the Butler Bubble, it is the university’s responsibility to make sure that all students have access to the athletic facilities at the appropriate times.
The problem is not that students do not have options to play any sports on campus unless they are on a team; the problem is that some sports are more accessible than others.
Students wanting to play a pick up game of basketball have to look no further than Ross Hall or the Health and Recreation Complex.
If students want to play a game of volleyball, they can set that up at the HRC or visit Phi Psi’s yard.
Butler should work harder to increase the availability of their facilities to all other students.
For example, the HRC, for which students pay a fee to use, is claimed to be accessible.
It isn’t always open for swimming, though.
According to Butler’s HRC website, “swimmers who want more privacy should consider our off-peak hours: Monday through Friday, 6:00 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.”
To swim for pleasure, students are provided nearly five hours out of 24. Never mind that these hours awkwardly are placed in the realm of a student’s schedule.
Most classes and lunches occur between the hours of 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. I don’t know a soul who is not an athlete who has the willpower or desire to wake up for a swim at 6:00 a.m.
Also, even though students can’t always access facilities at a more convenient time than sunrise, they still pay a fee—$275 per semester.
If all students are going to pay $550 per academic year for the HRC, shouldn’t they be allowed more flexible hours to swim, play tennis and do the activities they want to do?
Teams need time to practice. The swimming teams and tennis teams need to have access to their facilities for practices, meets or matches.
But when student-athletes aren’t practicing, why can’t we be playing?
The university needs to succeed in making its students feel as though they are part of the bigger community.
Allowing time to use athletic facilities would help this. Let’s continue the tradition of focusing on all students, including non-athletes.