Friday, August 08, 2008

Midland College Softball Team to Get Locker Rooms

Congratulations to the Midland College (Texas) softball team, who will finally have locker rooms and equipment storage at their practice facility starting next year. A local, city park serves as the home field for Midland softball, so the college had to get permission from the local Parks & Rec board to erect a $30,000 temporary structure for use by the college team.

This story may seem insignificant, but I think it underscores a couple of bigger points about the role of Title IX. First is the fact that the college could not use as an excuse the fact that they do not own or control the city park where the softball team plays. If parks and rec had said no to the temporary structure, Midland College would have had to figure out another way to get equivalent facilities for its softball team as the men's teams enjoy. (I assume by the way the article references Title IX that all the men's teams have locker rooms at their facilities.)

Second, I want to highlight the last line of the article, a quote from Midland's vice president of student services, who expressed gratitude for the city for finally giving approval to the structure, saying, "The last time the project fell through, I had all 18 players in my office upset about it. They will be very happy to know that they will have locker rooms." Does this line remind anyone else of A Hero for Daisy? In 1976, the Yale women's crew team was similarly "upset" about the lack of locker room facilities at their practice site, which they famously protested in the office of a female administrator (by taking off their clothes to reveal the words "Title IX" written in marker on their bare bodies). Despite the progress made under Title IX, female athletes are still battling for the basic right to a place to change their clothes.