Activism in social media
Thank you both for the wonderful, warm, and completely accurate article in today’s issue of the consistently stellar Campus Times (“Class explores activism,” Feb. 24). It’s not easy to glean the “inner essence” of an endeavor like this one, but the piece nails it.
Devorah Lieberman and Matt Witt each emailed me this morning to the effect that they were equally impressed by the coverage.
Professor of Education Technology
As Chair of the Movement and Sports Science Department, I would like to respond on their behalf to your Campus Times editorial “More fitness classes needed” (Feb. 24).
First of all, we could not agree with you more. Students have previously requested and deserve more and better activity classes and recreational opportunities. However, the MSS department faces significant challenges that are not addressed when you simplistically state, “the university needs to look at getting more fitness teachers and/or more classes.”
Staffing: The MSS department is currently down two full-time faculty positions. While fitness classes are primarily taught by adjuncts who specialize in a certain activity, a significant amount of the budget is going to hire other adjuncts to teach major classes and Fitness for Life. Also, our adjunct salaries are so pitifully small, the fitness instructors we do have are doing us a huge favor by teaching at La Verne when they could be making far more money elsewhere. Simply hiring more is not an easy solution.
Facilities: Most current students do not know what we have lost in the past few years. In 1994, in addition to the Gym and Stadium, we had six tennis courts for classes and Athletics; the Old Gymnasium, heavily used for activity classes and recreation; and the softball field, used not only for Athletics, but also as an archery field. Last year, we lost Ben Hines Field, also used by both Athletics and MSS. With the reconstruction of Ortmayer Stadium, we are completely shut out of formal outdoor activity spaces, and have to use the Quad area whenever possible. While tennis classes have moved off campus, other activities have had to be cancelled due to lack of space. Also, off-campus activities are not as accessible to students for classes and recreation.
You state, “If math classes were filled beyond capacity, the University would find a way to make things right,” and “Hopefully, they (the University) will take this as a learning experience.”
Time and time again, the university has moved forward on initiatives that benefit the students in some ways – the Campus Center and the new residence halls, for example – but detract from opportunities for activities and recreation. While there are plans for outdoor recreational facilities that could be used by MSS, funding for these is uncertain.
While the West Campus project will be a huge boon for Athletics, this will generally not serve the needs of MSS classes or student recreation.
While your editorial reflects a serious student need, the MSS department needs more resources and greater consideration when planning capital projects to make this a reality.
Movement & Sports Science Department Chairman
Athletic Training Program Director