Increase Athletics FundingThe Tech criticizes MIT’s recent decision to eliminate all junior varsity sports team and to limit participation in varsity sports. With this blow, MIT only continues to reaffirm its lack of commitment to improving student life at MIT.
The administration’s decision to allow athletics funding to stagnate for a ten year period is the direct cause of the cuts to the many teams MIT prides itself on fielding. Even prospective freshmen are informed that our 41 varsity sports are the most of any university in admissions recruiting material.
Proportionally, athletics funding is only a drop in the bucket of MIT’s entire budget. Directing large amounts of capital to the construction of new buildings at the same time student programs such as athletics are being cut gives the strong impression that external, physical structures are more important to the administration than ensuring the happiness of students within those structures. Once again, the administration has demonstrated that it is loath to realize the importance of directing funds to projects that benefit student life.
Athletics are an oft-used avenue for stress relief and relaxation at MIT, and students who don’t make their varsity teams of choice often fall back on junior varsity to provide the same extracurricular effect. As the cutbacks include reducing, in some cases halving, the number of members on varsity teams, many students are left without options, other than the large, but much less rigorous, intramural sports program, for competitive sports at MIT. The Tech applauds the athletic department’s efforts to preserve the valuable intramural program and their efforts to maintain varsity sports over the years despite much needed budget increases.
The Department of Athletics has also claimed that the cuts were motivated by Title IX, a federal gender equity regulation. The most crucial issue is not Title IX but rather the lack of sufficient athletics funding. MIT was already in compliance with Title IX prior to the new cuts. Additionally, athletes with whom The Tech spoke said that when they were informed of the cuts, the issue of Title IX was never raised.
It is The Tech’s belief that current athletics funding is woefully inadequate. MIT should remedy the situation quickly and nourish the starving Athletics budget.