Would Columbia prosper with an athletic program?

By The Columbia Chronicle

Part of Columbia College’s mission and purpose via the 1997-1999 college catalog, is to “provide a college climate that offers students an opportunity to try themselves out, to explore and to discover what they can and want to do.” All of which is true, to a certain degree. That degree being its decision not to include sports as part of the program. Students are being denied the opportunity to excel in the area of athletics. Others are being the overall excitement and unity that athletics brings to the collegiate table.

It’s easy to say, “Well there are several other schools with athletics, go find them.” Even though this is an arts and communications school, it would seem contradictive for Columbia to deny such a privilege to students. After all, their main objective is to increase enrollment and student population. It’s only logical to assume that not having sports has played on the minds of students who have selected other schools. DePaul has it, UIC has it, and Loyola has it. So the million dollar question is: Why doesn’t Columbia have an athletic program? If carefully analyzed, there is no doubt that sports would be a positive for both the students and the college.

From an economic standpoint, the school would benefit in ways never seen before. It’s no secret that college athletics generate huge amounts of money. Location should make this idea look even more inviting. Chicago is second to none in terms of sports and team loyalty. This city offers a super market, one in which college athletics has prospered for years. Furthermore, athletic scholarships could be offered and would help students financially and provoke interest in Columbia.

The question, “Why doesn’t Columbia have sports?” is heard throughout the classrooms and in the elevators on a daily basis. With such conversation one would think that Columbia might consider and attempt to make sports a reality. Perhaps a start might be offering physical education courses or even instituting some type of intramural program. From there the college could evaluate the interest level and make a decision. Both ideas would serve as a solid foundation from which a formal athletic program could later evolve.

If Columbia’s goal is to grow and increase popularity and enrollment why not complete the total collegiate experience by opening the door of opportunity and adding some type of athletic program.