Artists can be athletes too

By Jazzy Davenport

AS I watched the controversy about DePaul University’s decision to hire Oliver Purnell last week, I could not help but think about Columbia’s sports programs, or lack thereof.

Columbia is a school too often labeled as “just an art school full of nerdy art kids.” But I know I am certainly much more than that. I am not sure where the theory came from that art school kids don’t like anything besides art.  I personally dislike labels and think this one in particular is insulting. This notion implies that artists are one-dimensional and do not have the capacity to find interests in anything besides their specific industry, which is just plain wrong.

Too often I hear this excuse as I travel through Columbia’s campus, sit in classes or talk to other students, professors and even administrators. But it’s time to put the theory to rest. There are plenty of students at Columbia who are interested in many things in addition to art. But more specifically, there are many students at Columbia, like myself, who are interested in sports and incorporate their love for sports into their area of study. It is time we received

more support.

It is time for Columbia to invest more in those interested in studying sports and those who want to play them.  More specifically, it is time Columbia invests more into their Athletics Department. The athletics teams are failing. The athletes lack proper equipment to perform at a competitive level and are forced to fundraise for their needs. They are stuck practicing in an elementary school gym—and might I add, they do it all without complaining. The Athletics Department is looking to expand, and the lack of support is stifling its growth.

Sure, the efforts of the Athletics Department have been a teaching tool for them to learn entrepreneurial skills, but this is just simply unfair. Columbia does an incredible job of making sure every department has current equipment and tools and the Athletics Department should be no different. Columbia spent a whopping $21 million on the Media Production Center just to make sure film and video students have access to the same tools as those already working in the field. Why should those interested in sports be any different? It is unfair for us to suffer, especially when Columbia offers programs such as Reporting and Writing Sports and Sports Management.

We are all artists, but some of us also love sports. Why should we be forced to choose?