At the parent Q&A sessions I’ve been hosting over the past few weeks, inevitably a mom or dad asks what sports or recreation opportunities we have for our students. I usually respond by telling them we have relationships with some of the nearby recreation facilities, a regular Yoga class, then shrug and say “Um… it’s an art and design school.” They get it.
But it made me wonder if our assumption that OCADU students are not that interested in and/or don’t have time for sports is true. I looked through some of the open-ended comments in the last major student survey we did, and found a surprising number of students took the time to write about the lack of fitness and recreational opportunities:
“It would really be nice to enjoy playing a game of basketball between classes to give my brain a break and not have to resort to sitting around in a lounge for 4 hours waiting for my next class.”
“A gym would be nice.”
“Friendly competition between art and design faculties! Yes!”
I’ve asked a few folks and learned that there have been some years where a relatively robust student-run recreation program did exist but faded away this year. And, of course, University Settlement House is within spittin’ distance and does have a gym, a pool and other facilities for a pretty reasonable monthly fee.
So I’m asking: is this a priority? Do sports matter in an art + design school? And if so, what are your ideas for introducing fitness, recreation and healthy competition into the life of the university? (Tetherball anyone?)