November 11, 2009

More Response To Rowing Cut

Since news broke last week that the varsity rowing teams would be cut, current and former rowers have come out in response against the decision.

The latest email to administration we've seen is from Jaime-Alexis Fowler '04, a former captain and co-captain. Among other points and anecdotes, Jaime-Alexis enumerates the ways Vassar will be negatively impacted by not having a varsity team:

  • Prestige: Vassar will now be the only Seven Sister school to not have a Varsity rowing program
  • Tradition: Since 1866, the sport has had a presence on campus and a rich tradition of investing in women’s sports
  • Recruitment: High school rowers number in the tens, if not hundreds of thousands, and consistently are recognized as some of the most well-rounded student athletes with the highest GPAs
  • Visibility: Major regattas like Head of the Charles, ECACs, etc bring national exposure unrivalled by some of the other teams on campus
  • Outreach: Many other athletes who did not row in high school are attracted to colleges that offer rowing as something new to try; it also offers a great talking point for talking about Vassar
  • Alumnae/i: Rowers and non-rowers alike have expressed outrage at this decision, consistently pointing out that this is not the Vassar they knew
  • Donations: In my circle that includes me, my partner (class of ’04), his parents (class of ’74), his grandmother (class of ’49), my friends, and my parents (from whom I usually solicit donations)…
"I will always have my memories," Jaime-Alexis writes, "of early morning practices where blades dipped in fog and hulls slipped through the echoes of barge wake, of bus breakdowns on the way back from regattas where we trekked down deserted highways to the local gas station, of bonds so close and dear that at our last race we stood 10 arms linked together shaking on the dock at the sheer power of being together. But now, sadly other Vassar students never will."

Click here and here to see what alumni John Gregory '04 and Jason Adam Stahl '08 had to say.

Image via V-Encyclopedia.
11.11.09 3:27pm

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