Coming soon: Repairs to the athletic fields

Coming soon: Repairs to the athletic fields

Interim President Ara Aguiar smiles during an Academic Senate meeting on Zoom on May, 9, 2022. Screenshot by Nikki Kober.

Gopher holes and outdated turf are several examples of poor maintenance the athletic facilities have.

So the Academic Senate discussed on Monday about repairing the many fields that have been in disarray during the pandemic.

Vice President of Administrative Services Rolf Schleicher said that athletics never received investments and that being out for so long, repairs were needed.

“Our fields have gone in disrepair,” Schleicher said. “We’re moving very quickly to try to get some contracts to get some of the work done.”

Several members of the Western State Conference Committee came to campus and checked out the facilities.

Athletic Director Susan Armenta said that the committee saw some things with the facilities that need to be addressed. 

“The committee also felt that there were some issues that are health and safety issues that should be addressed sooner rather than later,” Armenta said.

Dean of Student Services Claudia Velasco said that the contracts should be signed this week.

“I am very happy to let you all know that we are moving forward with the fixing,” Velasco said.

The repairs will be for the men’s baseball field, basketball court and the softball field.

Once the contract is done, the repairments for the baseball field can immediately begin. 

The many athletes at Pierce fought hard against this and were even willing to not play to get these fields repaired, Interim President Ara Aguilar said.

“The teams did not hold back in terms of basically saying either fix it or you will need to cancel the sport,” Aguilar said. 

Another topic discussed was whether Pierce should be a non-smoking campus. 

There were mixed opinions, but the Health Department members were leaning toward the non-smoking campus.

Physical Education professor Sabrina Prieur said that she is in support of a non-smoking campus and that it should be common sense. 

“As part of the Health Department, I’m sure everyone in our department would be in support of this but coming off of COVID it’s a common-sense argument,” Prieur said. 

Smoking has caused many deaths, and this is why Denise Robb is in support of a non-smoking campus. 

Robb, a professor in the Political Science department, said that this rule can change many students’ thinking.

“My mother died of lung cancer, and also I think as we make it more difficult to smoke on campus some students may just feel like it’s not even worth it and give up smoking,” Robb said. 

The arguments against this were that if the school mandated a non-smoking campus this might keep students from enrolling at Pierce.

Psychology professor Chad Snow said that he doesn’t like smoking, but that if they did mandate this, this decision wouldn’t line up with the other decisions previously made.

“I would like to have a not only non-smoking campus but a non-smoking world,” Snow said. “I can’t stand cigarette smoking. It gives me a headache and it drives me crazy, but we are concerned with enrollment, and that this would seem non-consistent behavior to suddenly restrict this but not need the vaccine anymore.”

Auto Service Technology professor Alex Villalta said that the members making this decision should be mindful of everyone who smokes.

“We have instructors, staff, faculty, deans and obviously our students. So we need to be mindful of not making our campus an unwelcoming education facility,” Villalta said. “But I think we also need to be mindful of having designated areas.”

The winners of the Faculty of the Year and the Adjunct Faculty of the Year were announced. The Faculty of the Year Winner is Kalynda Webber McLean and the Adjunct Faculty of the Year is D’arcy Corwin.

The next Academic Senate meeting will be Monday, May 23, at 2:15 p.m.

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