SGA takes interest in SBU athletics plan

By Joe Pinter, News Editor, @JPinter93

ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. (Oct. 31) — “Your teams—our extraordinary future” became the main focus during the biweekly St. Bonaventure University Student Government Association meeting last night.

Steve Watson, athletic director, presented the St. Bonaventure University Athletic Department Strategic Outline to begin the hour- and fifteen-minute-long meeting.

“St. Bonaventure’s a special place,” Watson said. “We don’t need all those bells and whistles to be able to play at a high level; we’ve already proven that. But by putting a foot on the same level as our competitors, the sky is the limit for our teams, our coaches and for our school.”

Three separate athletic fields comprising of one complex makes up part of the strategic plan.

“Imagine looking behind the Reilly Center and seeing a huge, distinct athletic complex,” Watson said. “Three separate fields: baseball, soccer, lacrosse and softball. All with lights, press boxes, and seating for hundreds to come out and watch the Bonnies play in the Atlantic 10.”

The fields, all made of artificial turf, would also be used for more than just Division 1 athletics.

“Picture the students coming out to participate in intramural competitions, flag football championships on a Friday night under the lights, our rugby team competing on Saturday afternoon on artificial turf,” said Watson.

Watson envisions the complex also being used by area youth and high school teams.

In addition to the outdoor athletic complex, the plan calls for a pool to be attached to the Richter Center and also a renovated Reilly Center.

These plans include the natatorium to be used both for recreational and for competitive activities.

The Reilly Center would get a decent amount of renovations and most notably, a state-of-the-art video board to hang right above center court.

Increased enrollment makes up a major component of the plan. In order to successfully and properly accomplish these goals, the university needs to have more revenue. Generous donations from alumni and outside organizations will also be a component the plan calls for, said Watson.

All eight parts of the plan include:

                *NCAA & A-10 rules compliance

                *Academic performance

                *Athletics facilities and academic services

                *Annual revenue (sponsorships/ticket sales)

                *Fundraising

                *Athletic performance

                *Enrollment and retention

                *Staff compensation

While Watson expects fundraising for the outdoor complex to be completed relatively soon ($1 million towards the $2.84 million total), the total cost for the entire facilities needs is currently at $18.8 million.

The outdoor complex project is expected to begin in November.

Watson said one of the most disappointing parts of being a smaller school is watching a successful coach leave for another job that pays better and makes his or her job easier by offering more scholarships.

His goal is to have every head coach being paid full time. In addition, he wants to add 20 more coaches. Currently, the baseball team has two coaches whereas most A-10 teams have four or five.

The comprehensive plan is the result of years of research by an outside organization. Recently, the organization formed a committee of different administrators and staff from Bonaventure to come up with the a new direction.

The plan, a piece of the larger, “Becoming Extraordinary, 2015” was accepted by the Board of Trustees last June.

Watson hopes to maintain 240-250 student-athletes a year (14% of the student body).

A crucial part of finding these kids and keeping them at Bonaventure is the facilities. Watson said the majority of the A-10 has made substantial improvements such as George Washington—it paid $43 million for a new basketball facility. (The Colonials finished nine spots behind the Bonnies in the A-10 last year)

In addition to competing with other conference schools, Watson said Bonaventure has to compete with high school complexes that are becoming very expensive.

Watson said it is currently not known how significant the increase in student fees would be.

A significant obstacle spring teams have to continuously overcome is the fact that the players on the team have to fundraise for their own spring training trip down South and their own equipment. Watson said that is extremely rare for a Division 1 program.

“It’s not just about athletics,” Watson said. “It’s not even just about the university. It’s about the community. It’s about the alumni, bringing back support from our alumni. And not just the student-athletes but the students in general.

“What I’m trying to convey to you is where we see ourselves five years from now.”

Once Watson left the floor, the 2016 SGA freshmen officers were inducted. SGA president Cody Clifford led them during the swearing in.

Afterwards, six campus clubs presented to the SGA officers: SBU for Life, Mountain Community Leaders, Alpha Phi Omega (APO), Search Retreat Team (SEARCH), Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) and the Knights of Columbus.

In other news, Robbie Chulick, SGA executive secretary, announced that Brown & White Night will be Friday, Nov. 2 at 7:45 p.m. Immediately afterwards, Senior 200 days will take place in the Rathskeller.

pinterjo11@bonaventure.edu

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All Deserve Respect

[Photo by Amanda Koneski]

March for Life teaches

By Daulton Sherwin, Executive Video Producer, @sherwidc10

Raindrops darkened the roads, potholes became puddles and snow slowly turned to running water.  Once outside, the thought of hypothermia stuck in the back of my mind.  Still, weather conditions that would have kept many indoors didn’t stop those at the pro-life movement.

Having been to the SBU for Life meetings and the March for Life, it has made me think and question my morals, and that made it worth being there despite the weather.

Thousands upon thousands arrived on Jan. 23 to support the March for Life.  They squeezed onto Constitution Avenue at the National Historic Museum and walked to the Supreme Court building.

From Nebraska to Maine, from North to South, from priests to children and from men to women, the diversity of supporters was unbelievable.

St. Bonaventure’s SBU for Life club had 13 members present for the march.  For many, it wasn’t their first, having participated with youth groups in previous years.

“This is my fourth march,” said freshman theology major Koty Mann.  “What I really, really liked was during the march, we go up this one hill, and at the very top, my youth minister taps me on the shoulder and told me to turn around.  And I look back and I just see thousands and thousands of people flooding up the street.  I can’t see to the end of the line because there is so many people. It’s a bigger than me experience.”

A “bigger-than-me” experience that included pro-life marchers and pro-choice protesters.

“At the very end of the march, there will be just a handful of pro-choice people who are there to express their opinion, too,” said literacy graduate student Taylor Janak.

She wasn’t kidding.

After a tour in the Supreme Court building, I saw the handful of pro-choice protesters.  They were severely outnumbered.  Let’s just say the pro-choicers were the 300 Spartans going up against the 500,000 Persian soldiers. Yet as outnumbered as they were, I continually heard the pro-choicers chanting, “They want no choice. We are pro-choice.”

At around 1:30 p.m., I made my way toward the National Historic Museum.  The march started around 1 and continued until 3.  Once I got to Constitution Avenue, I knew getting to the museum wasn’t going to be easy.  I felt like I was swimming against the current.  The rush of pro-lifers made it difficult to walk up the streets or even on the sidewalk.  Once I thought the coast was clear, a police officer told me to get off the street because more pro-lifers were about to walk.  The swarm continued, and I thought it would never end.

I finally caught up with the group around 2:15 in front of the museum. Waiting patiently were even more pro-life protesters.  I moved into the crowd and found a tight spot.  Looking down at my phone, the clock changed to 2:25.

Everyone started walking.  The one- to two-mile journey began at a slow pace.

I passed vendors selling jumbo pretzels, Rick Santorum supporters handing out stickers and the Knights of Columbus asking for donations.  They knew this was a place to raise money, and I didn’t blame them.

Chants of “Hey, Obama, your momma chose life;” “We like babies, yes, we do. We like babies, how about you,” and the Hail Mary kept repeating like broken records.

It never stopped.

I kept walking and looking at my phone to see how long it would take me to get to the Supreme Court building.  At 2:40, I wasn’t even halfway there.  I could see the building but wasn’t sure how much farther I had to go.

Around 3, I received a call from SBU for Life president Kevin Cooley.  He told me we were getting ready to leave and had to meet him at Union Station.

I made it halfway through the march.

Though it was supposed to end, the vast amount of people made it impossible for it to happen.

Walking to Union Station, I reflected on what I saw. 

Unity.

Rights.

Peace.

As a student of St. Bonaventure University, I had a part in it.

Whether you’re pro-life or pro-choice, you have the ability to have your voice heard.  It’s here, on campus, as a member of SBU for Life.  Don’t let the name fool you into thinking we all share the same beliefs.

We don’t.

The club is about life issues and how we should handle the seriousness of abortion, torture, the death penalty and more.

“To me the issue doesn’t really involve religion,” said Cooley.  “Regardless of what you believe, killing is wrong…A lot of our core members aren’t necessarily affiliated with any religion, but I would like to see even more so that we can really reach out to people who don’t even agree with us.”

I am neither for nor against abortion. After being a part of the march, I have realized we all have our own opinions.

But we all deserve respect.

As long as we know why we support a side, we have all the right in the world for our voice to be heard.

sherwidc10@bonaventure.edu