New place to play – Staff editorial

The University is tentatively planning to move several varsity athletic teams to the Mount Vernon campus. This idea is a welcome move – it would create a win-win situation for students at both the Foggy Bottom and Mount Vernon campuses.

The men’s and women’s soccer teams play in South Riding, Va., near Dulles International Airport. GW’s home soccer field sits farther away from Foggy Bottom than the fields of the University of Maryland, Georgetown, American, Howard and George Mason universities. This fact is an embarrassment to the University. Why even bother to have athletic teams if only a few students can get to the fields to see the games?

The Department of Athletics, pending approval from the University’s overall campus plan and the D.C. Board of Zoning Adjustment, would improve and expand already-existing Mount Vernon facilities. For example, the athletic field at Mount Vernon campus would be enhanced to accommodate both the men’s and women’s soccer teams and the future women’s lacrosse team.

Student support is an intrinsic component of traditional college athletics. Having GW’s “home field” a 45-minute drive away makes student attendance nearly impossible. Under the new plan, Foggy Bottom students could take a 10-minute shuttle ride to the Mount Vernon campus to watch several Colonial teams compete.

In addition, having GW athletics become a mainstay at the Mount Vernon campus would improve ties and student contact between the two campuses. Mount Vernon residents who often feel excluded from the rest of the GW community will have the new and improved facilities right outside their doors.

The plan to move some of GW’s sports to the Mount Vernon campus is an excellent idea that’s long overdue. It would build student support for athletics as well as bridge the gap between the two campuses.

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