Just days after students began arriving back at SVSU, the volleyball and basket- ball nets were removed from outside the residence halls and living centers.
University President Donald Bachand said this decision was made in the best interests of the campus community.
“Our first goal is always student safety,” Bachand said. “We want to create a safe environment for our students, but the sports courts cannot be maintained well enough to warrant staying open.”
Bachand explained that the fairness to student athletes was a factor.
“Our volleyball and basketball players
were not allowed to be practicing at the time of the decision,” Bachand said. “I was not able to justify them not being able practice in a controlled environment while anyone could use these outdoor courts maskless and shirtless.”
Bachand also said he wanted to make it clear that he was not the sole voice in this decision.
“We contacted our dedicated health professional at Covenant to see if keeping the courts open was safe,” Bachand said. “When we were told that it could create a risk for more spread, we decided that closing the courts was a necessary step.”
Brandon Stockwell, a biology senior, said he was disappointed by the decision.
“It is disappointing that we are not able to play [on the courts], but I completely under- stand why they did it,” he said.
Brendan Evenson, an engineering technology management senior, said he was frustrated by the decision, though he understood it.
“We had a lot of new faces interested in playing this year on top of the numbers we already had,” Evenson said. “But at the same time, we also understand that it’s for the safety and greater good of the university that (the nets) were taken down.”
President Bachand said he hopes more campus facilities opening around campus will help limit the disappointment of the students.
“The Ryder Center is offcially open again, even though there is limited capacity,” he said. “I hope that students are getting the chance to be active enough until we are in a place to safely open the courts again.”