We at the Record are concerned over the recent decision to ban intramural broomball from the Lansing Chapman Ice Rink. Almost every upperclassman at the College can recall a memory of this time-honored first-year tradition. Held during Winter Study, a time when first-years are encouraged to solidify bonds with friends both in, and outside of, their entries, broomball has become a vital ingredient to the first-year experience. From gracelessly falling and sliding on the ice to scoring the game-winning goal on an unsuspecting and clumsy goalie, broomball allows students to escape the cold, harsh New England winter, bringing them a moment of fun and sport. And yet while it is the hilarious combination of competition and clumsiness that makes us laugh and smile, part of what makes this game so special is its home.
Broomball would not be the same if it didn’t take place at the ice rink. Not only do we find it difficult to imagine an alternative location on campus for such an activity to be held, but we also believe that doing so will change the nature of the game. The ice rink already has all the resources needed for broomball; creating a new one would be inefficient and environmentally wasteful. Instead, we feel that a new culture of change and respect is all that is needed to solve this dilemma.
We do acknowledge the lack of respect that has been shown to the Facilities employees who maintain the rink over the past few years. They are the ones who clean up the dirty ice after every game, and we thank them for that. However, while we do realize that students have failed to heed Facilities’ warning to take their shoes off before entering the rink, we do not feel that the Class of 2018 and its Junior Advisors (JAs), as well as invested upperclassmen, should be punished. Instead, they should receive an opportunity to rectify this issue by following these simple measures that can ensure the rink stays spotless. First, we ask that there are more volunteers monitoring what kind of shoes are coming onto the ice. Second, JAs should inform their entries about the rule regarding dirty shoes and make sure nobody is breaking it. Finally, we would like to suggest that slip-on shoe covers or spare sneakers be provided at the rink to provide an extra set of alternatives. These recommendations would certainly go a long way in changing the culture around broomball.
On the condition that these stipulations are not followed the first time, however, we accept that a zero tolerance policy could be implemented that takes away the privilege of using the rink. If this is the case, the Record urges that an alternative ice rink be made available. While we recognize that the student body has brought this problem onto themselves, we also hope that they can solve it.