Athletic fields

Coming soon: Rehabilitation of sports fields

Acting President Ara Aguiar smiles during a Zoom Academic Senate meeting on May 9, 2022. Screen capture by Nikki Kober.

Gopher holes and outdated turf are several examples of poor sports facility maintenance.

So the Academic Senate on Monday discussed fixing the many areas that have been in disarray during the pandemic.

Vice President of Administrative Services Rolf Schleicher said that athletics had never received any investments and had been absent for so long, repairs were needed.

“Our fields are in bad shape,” Schleicher said. “We are moving very quickly to try and secure contracts to do some of the work.”

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

Athletic director Susan Armenta said the committee had seen some things with the facilities that needed to be addressed.

“The committee also felt that there were health and safety issues that should be addressed as soon as possible,” Armenta said.

Dean of Student Services Claudia Velasco said the contracts are expected to be signed this week.

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

Repairs will affect the men’s baseball field, the basketball court and the softball field.

Once the contract is concluded, repairs to the baseball field can begin immediately.

Pierce’s many athletes fought against this and were even willing not to play to get those courts repaired, interim president Ara Aguilar said.

“Teams haven’t held back by basically saying either fix it or cancel the sport,” Aguilar said.

Another topic discussed was whether Pierce should be a smoke-free campus.

Opinions were mixed, but members of the Health Department favored the smoke-free campus.

Physical education teacher Sabrina Prieur said she was in favor of a smoke-free campus and it should be common sense.

“As a member of the health department, I’m sure everyone in our department would be in favor of this, but getting out of COVID is a common sense argument,” Prieur said.

Smoking has caused many deaths, which is why Denise Robb is in favor of a smoke-free campus.

Robb, a professor in the political science department, said the rule may change the way many students think.

“My mom passed away from lung cancer, and I also think we’re making it harder to smoke on campus, some students may just feel like it’s not even worth it and quit,” said said Robb.

Arguments against this were that if the school mandated a smoke-free campus, it might prevent students from enrolling at Pierce.

Psychology professor Chad Snow said he doesn’t like smoking, but if they prescribe it, that decision would not be in line with other decisions made previously.

“I would like to have not just a smoke-free campus, but a smoke-free world,” Snow said. “I can’t stand cigarettes. It’s giving me a headache and it’s driving me crazy, but we’re concerned about enrollment, and it would seem like inconsistent behavior to suddenly restrict that but not need the vaccine anymore.

Automotive service technology professor Alex Villalta said members making the decision should be aware of all smokers.

“We have instructors, staff, professors, deans and obviously our students. So we have to be careful not to make our campus an unwelcoming educational institution,” Villalta said. “But I think we also have to be aware of having designated areas.”

The winners of Faculty of the Year and Adjunct Faculty of the Year have been announced. The winner for Faculty of the Year is Kalynda Webber McLean and Adjunct Faculty of the Year is D’arcy Corwin.

The next meeting of the Academic Senate will take place on Monday, May 23 at 2:15 p.m.


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