Open Letter: Regarding Todd Field

Opinions

We are writing because we see a problem on campus with the state of Todd Field. It is in the center of campus and one might call it the community’s “living room”. That being said it is a soggy one and is not conducive to lounging around for much of the year. It becomes unusable after rain and the reality is we live in the Pacific Northwest, one of the rainiest parts of the country! For the rugby teams in particular this has stopped us from being able to play games on campus so we have decided to take action by asking the administration to renovate it through a letter. We know we are not the only ones who want the field fixed in the near future, so we ask that you sign our letter if you too want a better field to play sports on or sun tan or simply walk across to get to Wyatt faster! The letter is posted below but the link to the google doc is: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1DOHQhhl83SJSFgL0lJbg9XdhrwVnTu3sz9w7ETYMjdg/edit?usp=sharing.

Since this is a long link you can also email pugetsoundwomensrugby@gmail.com with your name and we can add you to the letter. Thank you all for your support on this issue!

Sincerely,

Emma Spalding (On behalf of the Women’s Rugby Team)

To whom it may concern,

We are writing to you as concerned students who attend the University of Puget Sound. As a rugby community we have shared our concerns with ASUPS at senate, the body which oversees our operations, and now we would like to communicate those concerns with you.

This has been an exciting year for the rugby community here at Puget Sound–the men’s team had a successful recruitment and the first women’s rugby team was established. Due to past rugby use, by the men’s team, we anticipated being able to host home games on Todd Field. Two days before our first home game we were told the field could not be used due to weather which exacerbated field damage from a prior group. Consequently we had to move off campus which cost us time, money, and reduced our fan base. The field does not have adequate drainage and when other student groups misuse it we are no longer able to play on the field due to the damage which facilities cannot easily remedy.

In previous years we have been prohibited to use East Field, Peyton, or Lower Baker as areas to host games because we are a club sport and do not have varsity status. The compromise has therefore always been Todd Field. Now that we are not able to have games on Todd, our home games cannot be at our home here at Puget Sound. In the past, the men’s team was able to receive a lot of support in using Todd Field since the event was easily accessible to our peers, faculty, and the larger community. With the assumption that we would be able to use Todd Field for games this semester, renting out other means of field time and equipment, which costs $150, was not taken into account when establishing the budget. This was a problem for one of two home games this semester and we expect it to happen again in the future. We expect this to happen again because we are not able to use the field in bad weather and it rains most of the school year here in the Pacific Northwest.

By now you have probably recognized that we use the term “community” many times throughout this letter, which is intentional. To us rugby is not just a sport but it is a community such that we are able to refer to our team as a family. In order for us to continue to build and foster this community, it is necessary for us to be able to host home games on the Puget Sound campus. As members who support your community, all that we ask is that you please continue to support ours and help solve the problem for future use.

In communicating with facilities extensively we understand that Todd Field has not adequately been renovated in the past decade, as has been planned many times. With much new construction happening in other athletic areas on campus, which will directly help our varsity athletes, we are asking as athletes ourselves for this to be the next project. Joe Kovolyan has a budget put together and we are firmly stating that Todd Field renovation needs to be a priority to help the club athletes, student groups, and the whole campus community at this school who are in need of a field to complete their activities. While there are many other projects for facilities to undertake this problem affects a large percentage of the campus community and necessarily needs to be addressed first and in a timely manner.

Todd Field is an asset not only to the women’s and men’s rugby teams, it also is used by other club sports, the Greek houses, and students at large. The women’s rugby experience is not a unique one, many groups have trouble with the muddy field. Todd Field is the center of campus and when it is nice out students gather there to throw a frisbee or simply lounge in the sun. One of the largest campus events which is hosted on the space is logjam. This event helps frame the communities that  are created on this campus and necessarily needs a useable field to convene on. The field is used by a large number of students who are not organized groups and simply utilize the field. Because there is not adequate drainage and the field is easily damaged we get punished as a student group when trying to reserve the field. The field needs improvement so when individual students use the field it does not hinder the groups who reserve the field for games. The field is necessary for the larger student population, club sports, and community members. This is the only field available as all other fields are reserved for varsity athletic events only.

Although we, as a rugby community, need this field for games it is also important to club sports, students who casually use it, community members who walk their dogs, and the perspective students who see this space as the center of campus. Because this is such an important issue on campus we have asked all those concerned to sign this letter. Please take this letter and the signatures into deep consideration when budgeting for renovations on campus.

Sincerely,

The Puget Sound Women’s Rugby Club

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