Board trying to balance use among students, clubs, band
Farrand Field is about to become the center of another controversy.
On Oct. 2, the UCSU Recreation Board implemented a new policy limiting the number and type of events that can take place on the field.
“We want to find a balance we can strike in usage of the field,” said John Meyer, associate director of Recreation Services.
The new policy focuses on large groups holding events on the field. The Rec Board decided there can be no more than one big event every two weeks during the fall semester and no events at all from the beginning of November to the end of March. Only one large event per week is allowed during the spring semester.
“We want to be able to protect the field itself and allow open recreation,” Meyer said.
Meyer said a big event is something that involves more than 200 people or any combination of live bands, food, tables, tents and chairs. The policy is intended to curb damage to Farrand Field, which despite the recent renovations is already showing signs of “major wear and tear,” Meyer said.
He brought the issue to the Rec Board’s attention after consulting Facilities Management.
“We’re not going to wait until the field is destroyed to enact a policy,” Meyer said.
The policy does not apply to practice sessions for the Golden Buffalo Marching Band. Some students said the band is receiving preferential treatment.
“Get the band out of there, it’s ruining the field,” said Tim Hessenbruch, a 23-year-old senior and sociology major. “It’s pretty upsetting that we have this new, expensive, beautiful field that’s being destroyed by a group that could move somewhere else.”
Hessenbruch is not alone. The Campus Press recently reported that several complaints have surfaced with regard to the band’s presence on Farrand Field.
“We would prefer that the band practice on the business field. They are, after all, a marching band. Can’t they just march over to the business field and not destroy Farrand, the centerpiece of campus?” said Kris Schoech, Collegiate Club Sports director, in an article on Sept. 16.
Band officials said they’re doing what they can to make sure the field isn’t damaged.
“We’re working really hard to make sure the field stays in beautiful condition,” said Matt Roeder, the GBMB director, in the same Sept. 16 article.
Other students are disappointed the decisions was made without significant input from students.
“If students want to hold events, they should be allowed to. The renovations were paid for by student funds,” said Matt Mermel, a 19-year-old sophomore and international affairs major. “It’s a little shady to do this after it’s all said and done.”
Contact Campus Press Staff Writer Rob Ryan at firstname.lastname@example.org