As a senior student-athlete, I was very upset when I read the Daily’s article about the Ross Academic Center (At Ross Center, athletes only, 04/21/2009). I have been at the University for four years, so I can recall a time during my freshman year when we did not have such a facility.
I go to the Ross Academic Center regularly, and I know that at 6:45 p.m. the place might not be packed because most athletes are at practice. However, at 7 or 7:30 p.m. there is no way anyone could find a free study room and a very small chance even a single computer would be free. Athletes use the Academic Center. I do not doubt for a second that it is often at its full capacity.
While I understand that non-student-athletes may want to use this facility, the problem is that during prime study hours, between 7 p.m. and midnight, the Center is full.
Also, available tutors are there to help the student-athletes because we often miss class and need a way to get up to date with the information that was presented. If the limited number of tutors available were used by the non-student-athletes, then athletes would not have access to them. If I did not have access to those tutors then I would be at a serious disadvantage compared to other, non-athlete students.
The Academic Center offers student-athletes like me a place to get help with schedules, which is very important for athletes because we do not have a lot of free time. For example, I cannot remember the last time that I was able to attend a professor’s regular office hours because I have practice during most of them.
Finally, I would like to note that there are other buildings on campus like the Ross Business School and the Computer Science and Engineering Building on North Campus that provide limited access to students not in the Business School or College of Engineering respectively. Students outside these schools understand the importance of giving priority access to students in these schools who need the tools the facilities offer.