Challenges of the chase

By Jorge A. Ramirez (TheLorian)

College is meant to be the best four years of someone’s life. Students are already adults, they move away from home, and they start interacting with people they’ve never seen before. Lifelong friendships are established, and students constantly experience growth by getting to know themselves better as human beings. Loras College constantly tries to promote the idea that you are a valuable member of this particular school setting, and community actually matters. Community in this case also entails being a part of an athletic team on campus, fighting to write history as well as fighting for your teammates in order not to let them down.

Athletes in Loras College do not get the recognition they deserve. Despite the fact that Division III sports represent the “perfect” combination between academics and competing, it is definitely not easy to balance out a schedule that requires so much effort on both ends. During season, players usually only get one day off throughout the week, while still having to complete all the school tasks assigned by professors. Student-athletes spend at least four hours of their day working out or practicing. This is considering the moment in which they step foot into their locker room, until they go back to their dorms. For those athletes who do not have time management as one of their strengths, it can become really complicated to avoid feeling stressed.  

This routine happens many times throughout a week for several months, until off-season comes along. Loras College students understand the importance of also succeeding on an academic level, in order to prepare for a career outside of sports. Nonetheless, as a former athlete, I can firmly attest that it becomes a struggle to have high levels of energy after practice or games, which makes it difficult to properly focus on finishing the assignments due the next morning.

This is the case for over 51 percent of the students in Loras College. It means more than half of this school’s population deals with demanding schedules that really drains individuals who are not getting paid to compete, and also want to have a social life. This is why formulating the question, “Should Division III athletes receive more support from faculty?” is not too far away from reality.

Non-athletes are not doing anything wrong. If they wish to make school a priority, it shouldn’t be penalized by any means. In the end, very few athletes belonging to Division III schools become professional athletes, and most of them do not really have that intention to begin with. Everyone wants quality education regardless. Nonetheless, it is tough to digest the idea that athletes usually do not get deadlines extended, do not get less class material handed to them, and generally do not get enough recognition coming  from professors.

By no means is this an attempt of targeting the curriculum in Loras College. There are still many students who perform well in their sports, and have no issues maintaining very high GPA’s. Lots of students have the capacity of doing it constantly throughout their four years of school, and never even complain about this situation. However, how many students do you think would perform better academically if they were provided more help coming from faculty? How many Dean List students would be added to the count? It is definitely something to think about.

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