Dear President Esteban and Athletic Director Pat Lyons,
I am excited that the university is taking steps to better itself, but I am severely disappointed in one "improvement." I think that the new fitness center will be a great thing for our school, but it is completely unnecessary for the new fitness center to impede on the indoor track. Not many colleges have a full-sized indoor track, and I think that this was something that we could pride ourselves on. Right now with a wall cutting it short, we cannot say that anymore.
Our recreational center has a lot to offer for all of the students, which is something that I like about it. I think that of all the things our rec center has to offer, the indoor track is the most highly utilized. Throughout the day, as I go in and out of the rec, I see all kinds of people on the track. Students are dedicated to using the track, as are adults, some middle-aged and some older. Running is a popular form of exercise that most people are capable of doing, and so the indoor track is always bustling. It is so nice to have a place where people can easily calculate that 8 laps on our indoor track is equivalent to 1 mile. In addition, it is great because it has many wide lanes for people of all "speeds." Though we have a lot of great aspects of the rec center and of sporting fields on campus in general, every team uses the indoor track, whether they are on the cross-country team or not. We cannot say the same about the pool, the basketball/ volleyball court, the baseball field outside, the soccer field outside, or the golf area downstairs. The swimmers, tennis players, golfers, baseball players, and soccer players also use the indoor track to run laps. Many teams even use it for time trials. It already tends to get crowded in the morning when both ROTC and cross-country are trying to use the track, and it is getting even more crowded now that it has been shortened. Not only that, but people play basketball with the hoops in the middle, and by shortening the track, the perimeter is closer to the basketball courts, putting people running on the track at an even higher risk of getting hit with a basketball.
Finally, I will talk about the impact of a shortened indoor track on me and my team as cross-country athletes. During cross-country season we mostly train outside, but when the weather is severe with rain, we do our workouts on the indoor track. We especially need to use it when it is icy, snowy, or super cold outside. As a team, we don't require very much; we mostly just need sneakers and a place to run. Altering the indoor track has a negative impact on us. A few of my teammates are on the border of injury because of the severe turns we must take now that the track is shorter and the turns are so sharp. In addition, it makes workouts more difficult because there is no precise measurement on the track, and Coach must set up cones each day at practice and measure it all out; the lengths are very awkward, and we must do a strange number of laps in order to fulfill our workouts.
I was looking down at the rec center from an upper level of the parking deck, and there appears to be plenty of space to construct the multi-level fitness center without impeding on the indoor track. The fitness center can start where the 200 meter track ends. Since construction has only just begun, I am hoping that this wall can be taken down. It is my hope that something can be done to keep the track the way it was.
I love Seton Hall with all my heart. I truly hope that everyone carefully analyzes every aspect of construction improvements.
Mary Migton, student