Friday, January 12, 2007

Adding sports=compliance

SUNY Potsdam will be adding a women's hockey team to its roster in a move to bring their athletic department in compliance with Title IX. This is what President John Schwaller had to say about the decision:
The College had the choice to increase women's participation in athletics and to add women's sports or to cut existing men's sports. Unfortunately, some colleges across the country have been forced to disband men's teams. Anytime we can increase opportunities for our students, we are eager to do so. We saw a definite advantage to adding opportunities for women, and it reinforces SUNY Potsdam's commitment to invest in gender equity in all facets of the institution.
The school decided to add ice hockey after surveying the interests of current students. Enough interest was expressed in hockey to go forward with the implementation of a program.
But what I am confused about is why Potsdam felt it was not in compliance. According to the Chronicle of Higher Education stats from 2004-05, the institution is within the 5% range of substantial proportionality.
But as a fan of women's hockey I am always pleased to see its expansion at the collegiate level. And if a men's team is already in place, the addition of a women's team is not especially difficult. And the continued growth of the game guarantees a high level of competition. The team will be at the club level next year and achieve varsity status the following which allows for recruitment of players.

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