At many peer institutions in the Big Ten, sports are a defining element in community building and school spirit. At Northwestern, there has often been trouble creating that same sense of togetherness. Ultimately, it is ASG’s role to promote this sense of community and collaborate with administration to develop solutions that better Northwestern’s athletic and recreational opportunities.
Field Usage and Renovation
Northwestern’s grassy fields are heavily used in the fall and spring while the weather is nice but sit abandoned during the winter. ASG must work with the athletics department to create solutions for more effective field usage, including turfing and creating a track at Long Field for all-season use. These solutions would go a long way towards alleviating the inconvenience of club sports practice scheduling.
Electronic IM Sign-Ups
Every quarter, IM sports sign-ups result in long lines at Patten. An electronic sign-up process is long overdue. Through its relationships with IT and athletics, ASG should push for an online sign-up system for IM sports as a matter of convenience and fairness.
Attendance Incentives for Athletic Events
Despite the current incentives for athletic events, attendance has been less than stellar. Men’s football and basketball games are often criticized for their low attendance and other varsity teams at Northwestern fare even worse. As the governing body for the students, ASG is in powerful position to promote a sense of school spirit and attendance at athletic events. ASG must work with Wildside and the athletics department to develop programs that further incentivize attendance.
One way to incentivize attendance is to feature IM and club sports champions at halftime. Seasonally, IM sports champions could be honored at prominent athletic events. This would not only build a stronger sense of community but would also encourage students to attend to see their friends at half-time.
Furthermore, ASG should lobby the athletics department to feature various student groups at athletic events. Including advertising for student groups would provide an additional outlet for publicity and outreach for groups and also provide an incentive for attendance.