The desk at the Dow may not receive a lot of questions, but Nick Lusk, Columbiaville senior, has noticed a common theme.
“All the time, lots of people complain about the field house being tied up,” Lusk said.
During the winter months, some Albion College athletic teams are forced to practice inside the Dow. The basketball court and indoor track are used daily by athletic teams such as Track, Men’s and Women’s Lacrosse, Women’s Softball and Men’s Baseball. These practices span from 3:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.
As a result, students cannot use those Dow facilities during what many consider the prime-time hours for student use. Furthermore, while athletes primarily remain in the field house, some may extend to the weight rooms or treadmills, further preventing students from using the Dow.
Dow director Jerry Block said he has heard the complaints. Block said the Dow has recently reduced the number of hours exclusively dedicated to athletic practices.
“Usually a couple of students express some concern every year,” Block said. “We used to go all hours, with late sports practices. Now from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. its open for student use.”
But do Dow users see the crowding as an issue? Blair Williams, Clarkston freshman, like many students, acknowledges the situation but does not think it is a problem.
“There’s a lot going on between about five and about ten,” Williams said. “It gets really busy, but only if you want to shoot or something.”
Others have yet to have their Dow use interrupted by athletic team practices.
“I’ve never really been here when its too busy,” said Nick Pendell, Ithaca freshman. “Normally I’ll be in the weight room, and that area is usually fine.”
Lusk, who played football while at Albion, echoed the sentiment of many other students. He said the increased time is not enough.
“There really should be one facility for the athletes and one facility for the students,” Lusk said. “The athletes take up too much time and its not really fair to other students.”
It remains to be seen how much more time students will have at the Dow come spring. Until then, students are likely to continue complaining, while athletic teams continue to need that space to bring the Britons on-field success.