Letters to the Editor

Sports add to educational experience

I would like to dissent strongly from Niketa Brar’s column suggesting that GW de-emphasize its commitment to building dorms and sports (“Time out for GW sports and dorms,” Feb. 9, p. 4). Intercollegiate athletics offers more than simply a way for a campus to come together.

Varsity sports are GW’s public face to athletic peers and competitors. They offer opportunities for student-athletes to attend schools like GW that they may not have otherwise. For the athletes, the playing fields are an extension of the classroom, where you can learn about yourself and life in ways you cannot while working out alone or playing for fun. Looking back at my four years at GW, some of the greatest learning experiences I had and which I still lean on happened while on the Potomac. To deny future generations of GW students those same chances would be a missed opportunity. Karl Crow, Alumnus, Class of 2003

Sports program is important to GW

I would like to respectfully disagree Niketa Brar’s opinion piece of February 9, 2009 (“Time out for GW sports and dorms,” p. 4).

The author’s analysis of sports at GW is pretty far afield in my view. What I see at GW is a community of students who are balanced in their focused on academics, community service, internships and enthusiasm for GW athletics. The measure of the value of a university’s sports program should not be based on a team’s win/loss records or attendance at basketball games, as the Hatchet writer would seem to believe. Every coach understands that there are ebbs and flows to a program’s life. The value should be measured by what the athletes gain from their experience on a given team and how that experience helps mold them into healthier, happier and more productive alumni and citizens of the world.

I take exception with the author’s view that “if the goal of athletics is to bring the campus together, GW teams have failed.” I don’t know what measure Ms. Brar is using, but from my vantage point as the GW head men’s squash coach, the crowds of a hundred or more that have come out to our home matches have been growing with every match to now record-breaking numbers at the Lerner Health and Wellness Center. I can’t describe how exciting it is to see our program grow and prosper, in large part, due to athlete, parent, alum and University support.

Ms. Brar is clearly out of touch with GW athletics if she thinks that in the past four years, sports have only brought GW together once, at a game against Duke. Anyone who has witnessed a GW game, match or meet in the past four years will tell you how wrong and limited a view that is.

GW sports are on the rise, not the decline – not everything is measured by one high-profile sport. Wendy F. Lawrence, Men’s squash coach

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