Athletics: share the wealth

Alysis Richardson

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.