A place students need

Intramural sports are finally underway

Uriah Aguon, staff writer

Intramurals began during week three of fall quarter with Royal Brougham Pavilion hosting “open gym” sessions for volleyball, basketball, ultimate frisbee and soccer on Wednesday evenings. Between 7 p.m. and 11 p.m., groups of students would flock to the gym to play whichever sport they wanted with friends and fellow Falcons.

What draws students to intramurals is competition and fun, and, despite great turnouts, they have so far only minimally succeeded in meeting some students’ expectations.

Karthik Kachana, a junior computer science major, has recently joined intramural soccer with his friends. He maintains that the sessions are a lot of fun but believes they could afford to expand the time windows.

Sophomore Zak Lopez celebrates with his teams keeper after scoring a goal. (Rio Giancarlo)

“This is my first time participating. I saw the flyers outside Gwinn and just thought it looked cool, so I joined it. It’s been pretty good, but I wish [the sessions] could last a little longer,” Kachana said.

Open gym sessions are currently structured with volleyball and basketball held in Royal Brougham from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. and ultimate frisbee and soccer held in Wallace Field from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. While they are relatively large windows, these sessions are only held once a week.

Junior business administration major Benyamin Yeimo believes that a single session per week is inconsiderate of student schedules.

“I think I liked last year more, because it was pretty balanced compared to now,” Yeimo said. “The schedule’s kind of messed up. It’s like they’re only doing it on Wednesdays at nine, and some people don’t have the free time to do sports. I think it’s better to have it more often so it doesn’t conflict with any schedule and everyone can enjoy it and participate.”

Sophomore psychology major Ruth Greene and freshman physiology major Zach Kao both agree that the current time and organization of intramurals is something that needs to be improved.

“We both play volleyball, we made a team and we’re excited about it,” Kao said, “but there’s already half a quarter gone and the games are just now starting up.”

Greene further elaborates that there seems to be a lack of communication and coordination with students.

“There just seems to be a lot of confusion, and their organization is definitely slower than last year, but that can easily be improved. I feel like there’s a lack of communication with the student body, especially with those who’ve done intramurals for a long time.” Greene said.

Compared to last year, Greene shares a similar view to Yeimo, saying the organization worked much better before.

“The use of IMLeagues, for example, was much better,” Greene said. “It just takes a lot less time to organize and put together our teams as opposed to this year… I also feel ike they weren’t prepared for the crowds. The first night, there was just too many students on the courts and basketballs were bouncing over to volleyball and volleyballs were flying over to basketball.”

Produced by Max Wieske, Edited by Ethan Erickson

Coordinator for Campus Recreation Grant Rasmussen, a recent graduate of Seattle Pacific University, encourages students to bear with the slow start.

Junior Sam Allen advances the ball during the Wednesday night soccer intramural. (Rio Giancarlo)

“I don’t want it to have to take this long for the program to start for the quarter,” Rasmussen said, “but it’s just an unfortunate reality of the fact that – during COVID – this is a program that wasn’t running at full capacity … I do recognize there’s been a minimal presence … but as we move the program forward, it’s going to be an ever-larger and ever-expanding space on campus.”

Rasmussen recognizes the students’ issues but is confident they will be soon resolved as the intramural tournament is set to begin in week six.

“We’ve just made teams, so we’re going to be posting those. … We’ve got teams for soccer, ultimate frisbee, basketball and volleyball. It’s a shorter season this quarter because we spent a lot of time just getting everything up and running, but we’ll have a couple weeks of sports, and we’re looking at getting an awards ceremony planned after we’re able to do some of those competitions,” Rasmussen said.

Open gym sessions will continue to be held Wednesday nights; however, a more organized system will be implemented for the official intramural teams. Official games for volleyball, ultimate frisbee, basketball and soccer will be held Monday, Tuesday and Friday evenings respectively.

Rasmussen has a lot of hope for the intramural program this year. As a former participant from his own days as an SPU student, he recognizes the role it has in student life and engagement.

“I want intramurals to have a much larger presence on campus, whether it manifests as just more games, more events, or even these large plans I have about wanting to do some cross-program, like, cross-university version, where we could make like really big nights where people could get really excited,” Rasmussen said. “The vision is truly just to have this program serve as many students as possible.”

Beyond the usual sports, Rasmussen encourages student input on possible additions to the program.

“I would invite any and all students who are interested in contributing to the program to stop by my office sometime. I’m really trying to make a space where students feel welcome to stop by,” Rasmussen said. “I’m really interested in doing flag football come spring, and I talked to some students about their interests in some sports. I think something we could potentially do off campus would be croquet.”

Rasmussen’s office is located on the third floor of Weter Hall to the left of the front desk. He will be releasing office hours soon but encourages students to reach out however and whenever they can.

“I just see the way that sports and getting outdoors and exercise generally can exist to serve certain needs – just to create a space outside of classes, outside of work – just to create a space to hang out,” Rasmussen said.