Women's basketball heads to NCAAs with at-large bid
After suffering an incredibly close 49-44 loss to Tufts last Saturday, the women’s basketball team secured an at-large bid to the NCAA Division III tournament to keep its season alive. This will be Bowdoin’s 17th NCAA tournament appearance, and despite the team’s shortcomings in NESCAC playoffs, the team is hopeful about its prospects against SUNY New Paltz this weekend.
“We want to seize this moment and this great opportunity to play in the tournament,” said captain Marle Curle ’17. “Our mindset is very positive. We’re very confident that we’ll give our best effort and we’re excited to play SUNY New Paltz. Our goal right now is to make it as far as we can and play as long as we can with our teammates and the people that we love.”
Looking ahead to the matchup, the team is focusing on improving its own play before looking to counter New Paltz’s strengths.
“[Now] we’re having more of a focus on Bowdoin basketball,” said Curle. “Then later on in the week we’ll start watching what SUNY New Paltz usually does and see what we can exploit.”
Bowdoin has performed well in the NCAAs in recent years, making it to the Sweet Sixteen for the past two years. However, to continue their legacy of success, the Polar Bears will need to bounce back from their disappointing loss last weekend.
“There’s always things that you look back and want to do differently,” said Curle. “I think that just gives us an opportunity to work at those aspects of the game moving forward.”
According to Curle, the team’s slow start was a significant factor in the loss, as Tufts outscored Bowdoin 14-5 in the first quarter and extended its lead to 28-15 by the end of the first half. While Bowdoin managed to turn things around in the second half, the late push was not enough to make up the difference and the Jumbos held on to secure their spot in the NESCAC championships.
“I think that we lacked focus and intensity in the first half of the game, and then it was a little too late when we picked it up,” said Curle. “We outscored them in the quarters in the second half. [But] it was 14-5 in the first quarter, so that score put as us down for the whole game.”
Despite the result, the team ultimately played well and showcased its dynamic, deep offense. Lauren Petit ’18 led the squad with 10 points, followed by Curle with nine, and the Polar Bears out-rebounded the Jumbos 45-38.
In gearing up for this weekend’s matchup, the team is excited for the fresh start the tournament poses.
“Our season is so long that it really is beneficial to look at different sections of the season, which are like different chapters, moments or opportunities,” said Curle. “Just revitalizing yourself, having a fresh of breath air—in a way it allows us to have a time to start anew.”
Bowdoin will face SUNY New Paltz at Ithaca College at 5 p.m. on Friday in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
Women's basketball advances to 17th consecutive NESCAC semifinal round
Women’s basketball (21-3, 8-2 NESCAC) extended its winning streak to nine games with a decisive 72-47 victory over Connecticut College (16-9, 4-6 NESCAC) last Saturday in the NESCAC quarterfinals. With the win, the Polar Bears will progress to the semifinals this weekend where they will face a dominant Tufts program (24-1, 9-1 NESCAC) that is currently ranked 2nd in the NESCAC and 3rd in the nation.
Bowdoin last played Tufts in January, where it lost a close game, 46-43. At the time, the Jumbos were still undefeated and Bowdoin made them fight for the win. The three-point difference remains the smallest margin by which Tufts has won all season.
“Last time we went against Tufts at Tufts, we lost by three, which was obviously kind of a heartbreaker because it’s so close, you’re right there,” said captain Rachel Norton ’17.
However, the team is finding motivation in its strong performance against such a formidable opponent.
“We were right there in a position to win against, at that time, the number one team in the country at their gym,” said Head Coach Adrienne Shibles. “Our team isn’t coming in under any illusions that it’s going to be easy, but we’re really excited for the opportunity to match up with them again and do that at a neutral site.”
Bowdoin has found success by focusing on its own strengths: pace and pressure, depth and its offense. The team hopes to improve upon these strengths and believes its fast-paced, yet balanced offense will be integral in beating Tufts.
“I think the key to beating Tufts is execution on offense and being fearless on offense because their strength as a team is on the defense,” said Shibles. “If you look at their box scores, they don’t put up a lot of points. They definitely have good players who score, but they beat teams because they keep their opponents to very few points.”
Heading into its 17th consecutive NESCAC semifinal, the Polar Bears are excited for another chance to face the Jumbos. The team feels it is stronger than when the teams last met.
“Between the Tufts game and now, we’ve grown so much,” said Norton. “Everyone is playing minutes, we’re so deep, we love to run, we love to tire teams out, so everyone is prepared to fire from all directions. I think it’ll be a battle, but I think it’ll be a great game.”
The team hopes to build off its dominant performance in the quarterfinals against Connecticut College. Although the Camels seemed to have the upper hand during the first half of the game, Bowdoin outscored them 21-6 in the third quarter and held a sizable lead to win the game. Marle Curle ’17 led the team in scoring with 13 points for the Polar Bears.
“We came out a little slow on the first half, [the Camels] were hitting a lot of shots,” said Shibles. “But at halftime I just talked about being a little more intense on defense while continuing to keep the pace really fast, because Conn. wasn’t able to rest their key players in the first half—they just didn’t have the depth to do it. I knew we could wear them down if pushed harder on defense and wear them down on offense and that’s what we did.”
Bowdoin will take on Tufts this Saturday at 4 p.m. at Amherst.
Men's track takes silver at Maine State Meet
At the Maine State Meet last Saturday, the Bowdoin men’s track team was unable to defend its title despite outstanding individual performances, falling to Bates by nine points.
“Being close doesn’t necessarily make it easier. Sometimes it hurts more,” said Assistant Coach Damon Hall ’09. “There were a few events that could have gone our way. Track is where hundredths of a second and inches really make a huge difference, and we have to do what we really need to do to make sure we have those next time around. We look forward to seeing [those teams] again.”
“Last year we won, this year we got second,” said Brian Greenberg ’18. “And that’s especially brutal because every individual person on the team feels like they could have made the difference.”
While the meet’s result was disappointing, the team put together a number of standout performances on the weekend. A strong showing from Greenberg earned him the Peter Goodrich Award for Outstanding Field Athlete for the second year after winning the triple jump and placing second in the long jump.
“[Greenberg] had a great performance,” said Hall. “A personal best in the triple jump, a really outstanding performance—he was really fired up, and he definitely deserved that award. He gets everybody involved; the entire team gets behind him and supports him. The jumps are usually one of the first things that start the meet, so he can be a good catalyst for others performing later in the day.”
In addition to Greenberg, the team’s 4x400-meter relay won its race and John Pietro ’18 won the shot put and placed second in the weight throw.
“There were a few things that we did really well,” said Hall. “I was pretty happy with the performance of our throwers—we outscored the competition overall in the throws, and we were happy to see that. The hurdles were another great event for us, so those were the two areas where we particularly excelled.”
Although the team did well, the meet highlighted areas that still need improvement, and the team hopes to better capitalize on future meets.
“The state meet was an opportunity that we might have let get away, and we don’t want to repeat that in the future,” said Hall. “So, I think that we’re going to maximize or do more to fully reach our potential this outdoor season and the coming season as well.”
This weekend, the team will travel to Boston University for the David Hemery Invitational as they gear up for championship season.
“We just need to work to make sure that we’re prepared,” said Hall. “We need to bring along the younger guys. The top athletes need to show their talent when it most matters in these big meets, so track is kind of a sport where you build to the season and peak at the right time. We just have to make sure that everybody who is trying to peak is there and ready to go.”
Large first-year class brings healthy competition to nordic ski team
The nordic ski team has had an impressive start to the season, posting great showings in its first two carnivals at St. Lawrence and University of New Hampshire (UNH). Between the women’s and men’s sides, five skiers finished within the top 30 at UNH.
“I think that we started out the season pretty strong,” said captain Hannah Miller ’17. “We have a lot of first years this year and we weren’t entirely sure how they would perform this season, but they’ve been doing very well.”
This year, first years make up half of the team, which has grown significantly over the past three years. Head Coach Nathan Alsobrook attributes this growth to an incredible level of proficiency and competitiveness among the team’s new members.
“My policy for recent years is that people who meet a certain level of proficiency or achieve a certain level of competitiveness can be on the team,” Alsobrook said. “We’ll find a way to make it work with the numbers.”
While the first years bring new opportunities for improvement, Alsobrook is aware of the drawbacks of having a larger team.
“The team is larger this year, and on one hand it presents logistical challenges with extra athletes that need to be managed. [Yet] I wanted to give them a chance to find out who will rise to the top,” he said. “It’s a little bit outside my comfort zone in terms of the numbers I had, but I think that it’s been a really positive situation to allow everybody to challenge everybody at practice and create that healthy competitive environment.”
This new environment seems to have paid off, as the team has produced several standout performances this season. Last weekend at the UNH carnival, Miller placed within the top 15 in both classic and skate. At the St. Lawrence carnival two weeks ago, captain Mac Groves ’17 placed 10th individually.
Alsobrook is hopeful about the performances of the first years.
“Definitely the first years are making an impact,” he said. “Top 30 is sort of the gold standard for the team. That’s where you score qualifying points for the NCAA championships, so that’s a good benchmark for our team. Russell [O’Brien ’20], Lily [Johnston ’20] and Orion [Watson ’20] have all broken into the top 30 so far this year, so that’s a really good accomplishment for them as first years.”
Heading to the next few carnivals, the team hopes to focus on the little things that can improve its standing.
“The focus right now is improving the small things that we can do, like staying healthy and getting enough rest,” said Miller.
But the team also has its eyes on long-term goals.
“One of our big goals this season is this thing called the Chummy Broomhall Cup,” said Graves. “It’s a championship race for all the Maine schools and one of our main goals is to win that.”
The Polar Bears will vie for the Chummy Broomhall Cup in late February. Next, the team is competing at the two-day UVM carnival in Stowe, VT today and tomorrow.
Women's basketball opens with four-game win streak
The women’s basketball team remains undefeated this season after a 85-40 blowout win over the University of Southern Maine (1-5) on Tuesday. The Polar Bears have dominated their first four games, scoring at least 85 points and winning by a margin of more than 20 points in each.
Head Coach Adrienne Shibles attributes the Polar Bears’ early success to the team’s increased depth and number of players. The team is the biggest it’s been in the last 10 years.
“We have 16 rostered women and there’s not a weak link in the roster,” said Shibles. “I think that’s definitely our strength and it allows us to do a lot more exciting things defensively, like extending the pressures … [pushing] the ball more and [playing] at a really high pace.”
The graduation of Shannon Brady ’16 last spring has also caused shifts in the team’s strategy.
“I think we came to rely on [Brady] too heavily last season,” Shibles said. “We would look to her to do things that we needed, like when we needed a basket or anything. This year thus far, it’s still early but I really like that on any given night, it could be any one of our players who is the high scorer. It could be any of our players who is making the big play. And so that more balanced approach is really exciting.”
“Last year we only had one senior and this year we have five. That creates a different dynamic [on] the court,” said Marle Curle ’17. “Position-wise, Shannon Brady was our center and she was a dominant force on the court. This year, it’s kind of more dribble drive offense in. Just a lot more movement in our offense. It’s a different style from last year.”
While Brady’s strength was a definite advantage last season, this year’s more dynamic offense can be more difficult for opposing teams’ defenses.
“Defensively last year, a lot of teams would hone in on [Brady] because she was so talented and she contributed a lot of points for us,” said Norton. “And it’s really nice that this year we have a more balanced scoring attack. I think a prime example was [against Southern Maine]. I don’t think anyone had more than 12 points.”
The team’s closest match of the season was their 87-63 win over the University of New England, an improvement over last year when the Polar Bears fell to the Nor’easters by 20 points. Bowdoin dominated much of the game, taking a 42-22 lead into halftime. Although the Nor’easters narrowed the Polar Bears’ lead to 58-44 in the third quarter, the Polar Bears soundly won the game.
Despite the team’s successful start to the season, Shibles says that there is still room for improvement.
“I think we’ve just come out less focused defensively,” said Shibles. “We have been putting up huge points, so I’m not too concerned about offense thus far. But if you look at our third quarter defensive performance, in my mind, we’re giving out too many points.”
The team looks to focus on its defense in the future, particularly as it heads into its first NESCAC match of the season against Colby, where Brady works as the assistant coach.
“We try to think of every team as a faceless opponent so on one hand, it’s Shannon on the opposite team, but we just try see our opponents as our opponents for that day,” said Norton. “We’re trying to learn from each game and improve. We’re really not looking three games in advance and four games in the future. We’re just focused on the next one.”
The team will travel to Colby at 2 p.m. on Saturday as it looks to extend its win streak to five.
Editor's note, Thursday, December 8, 12:40pm: The headline has been updated to correct an error in the length of the team's win streak.
Full classes limit students in computer science, sociology
As Bowdoin students register for spring semester courses, many are rushing frantically to get on waitlists after finding themselves shut out from classes. In departments such as computer science and sociology, the problem is particularly acute: there are simply not enough professors for students to take classes they sometimes need for their majors.
“It’s lowkey like ‘The Hunger Games,’” said Beleicia Bullock ’19.
Interest in computer science as a discipline has skyrocketed over the past few years at Bowdoin according to Laura Toma, chair of the computer science department.
“The number of majors quadrupled over the last five years,” she said. “We went from 12 majors a year to now 39 majors a year. And the number of faculty has stayed more or less the same.”
Students must pass Introduction to Computer Science and Data Structures before they can move onto any higher level classes, although some students with programming backgrounds are allowed to skip Introduction to Computer Science. This semester, the department is offering two sections of each class. After the first round of class registration, one of each of the respective sections were full.
The computer science department is also offering six upper-level computer science classes this semester. After the first round of registration, all six were completely full.
Computer Science is not the only department struggling with over-enrollment. For spring 2017, 101 students requested places in a 50-seat Introduction to Sociology class.
Sociology and Anthropology Department Chair Nancy Riley noted that the intro class numbers are a consistent problem.
Last semester, the department offered two 50-student sections of the classes, which still was not enough to meet demand.
“We know that, if we add a section, it will fill. It doesn’t matter how many sections we add—they will fill,” Riley said. “We want that course to be available to as many people as possible, but we only have limited staffing.”
Bullock is planning on majoring in computer science, and has been frustrated by the difficulties of getting the upper-level classes she needs.
“This semester, I did not get into a single computer science class—they’re all full now—and so I had to go to the head to the department,” she said. “The department is super helpful. It’s not even an issue with the class, it’s an administrative issue.”
Bullock recognized the tension between catering to majors and catering to those who want to simply take one or two computer science classes.
“You definitely want people to be able to come in and explore computer science and to be able to have that liberal arts experience,” she said. “But there’s another point where you’re like ‘this professor should be teaching an upper level class.’”
Limited faculty is not the only problem facing the computer science department. They also have difficulty increasing class sizes due to lab space.
“We are bound by the lab size,” Toma said. “So those classes cannot grow beyond 30 because the lab can only sit 32 people.”
Introduction to Sociology is a prerequisite for all upper-level sociology classes, although some classes allow students to substitute Introduction to Cultural Anthropology as the prerequisite. Unlike in the computer science department, only two of eight 2000-level sociology classes have filled.
Department staffing is dependent upon the Office of the Dean of Academic Affairs, which announces whenever new tenure track professor positions are available.
“We talk to the Dean’s Office a lot about staffing and they’ve been really good in terms of replacing anyone who’s going on leave,” said Riley. “But the College has only limited resources and we’re not the only department.”
ELECTION 2016: Maine issues: 4 key ballot referendums
Q1: Should Maine legalize recreational marijuana?
If passed, Question 1 will allow individuals over the age of 21 to use and possess recreational marijuana. In addition, the measure would provide for the regulation of marijuana as an agricultural product, permitting licensed marijuana retail facilities and enacting a 10 percent sales tax.
Medical marijuana was first legalized in Maine in 1999. However, repeated attempts to legalize recreational marijuana within the state have been unsuccessful. This year, recreational marijuana measures will also appear on ballots in Arizona, California, Massachusetts and Nevada.
According to a poll by the Portland Press Herald in early October, 53 percent of Maine voters support the legalization of marijuana for recreational use.
What is the case for legalization?
Supporters of the measure, including Matt Schweich ’09, Director of State Campaigns for the Marijuana Policy Project, cite economic benefits such as increased tax revenue and creation of jobs. Schweich called the legalization of recreational marijuana a “social justice issue,” arguing that moving marijuana out of the unregulated market and into regulated business would work against drug-policing policies that disproportionately impact people of color.
Who opposes it?
Critics of the referendum argue that the measure does not include adequate preparations to regulate marijuana after it becomes legal. Maine Attorney General Janet Mills has argued that the phrasing of the law would also legalize the possession of marijuana by minors.
In a letter to the Portland Press Herald, Stephanie Anderson, district attorney of Cumberland County, argued that Question 1 would create a “profit-driven [marijuana] industry” in the midst of an already overwhelming substance abuse public health crisis. Furthermore, she wrote that the Department of Agriculture is not experienced enough to create an adequate regulatory system, and costs generated by the law will surpass the tax revenue it generates.
How would this impact Bowdoin students?
According to a 2013 survey conducted by the Orient, marijuana is the most commonly used drug on Bowdoin’s campus. The results showed that 58 percent of respondents had smoked marijuana “at least once to a few times” at Bowdoin, while 31 percent reported smoking “every month or two” or “weekly or more.” The survey found a slight increase in marijuana use on campus since a previous survey, distributed five semesters earlier.
Dean of Student Affairs Tim Foster declined to comment prior to the election on how and whether the College’s policy toward marijuana would change if the drug was legalized.
Q3: Should Maine require background checks for gun transfers between non-licensed dealers?
Question 3 asks Maine citizens if they want to require background checks before a sale or transfer of firearms between people who are not licensed dealers.
The law is aimed at further regulating the secondary gun market and stipulates that if neither party is licensed, they both must meet with a licensed dealer, who will conduct a background check on the transferee. Exceptions include if the firearm is used in emergency self-defense, if both parties are hunting or sport shooting together and if the transfer is to a family member.
Who supports Question 3?
The referendum is supported by political heavyweights, most notably former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, whose nonprofit organization Everytown for Gun Safety has donated over $1.7 million to the cause.
At a debate on Question 3 held by Quinby House on October 27, Associate Professor of Government Jeffrey Selinger and Gary M. Pendy Professor of Social Sciences Jean Yarborough discussed the costs and benefits of the law. Selinger defended the referendum, hailing its sensibility.
“You don’t always know who you’re selling your gun to,” he said. “The law would just ask that all citizens follow basic regulations for a second sale too.”
Who opposes it?
Twelve of 16 Maine police chiefs as well as the vocal National Rifle Association oppose the referendum. The main argument from the opponents—some of whom are supporters of gun control themselves—is that the law is too difficult to implement and enforce. They claim that since Maine law already prohibits criminals from purchasing firearms, the only people affected by closing the gun show loophole are law-abiding citizens. Others believe that the law will not stop criminals from getting their hands on guns, so this regulation is unnecessary.
Gary M. Pendy Professor of Social Sciences Jean Yarborough, who argued in favor of a “No” vote, characterized the law more as an impediment at odds with Maine’s culture that a safety measure.
“If I want to lend my gun to a student who’s going hunting for a weekend, both the student and I would have to go through so many barriers if this referendum is enacted,” she said.
Q4: Should Maine raise the state minimum wage to $12 by 2020?
Question 4 presents an increase of the state minimum wage from $7.50 to $9 in 2017 and increasing by an additional dollar until 2020 when it would reach $12 per hour. The referendum will also increase the minimum tipped laborer wage from $3.75 to $5, increasing by $1 every year until 2024 when it equals the general minimum wage. The state statute would also insure that the minimum wage will continue to rise with fluctuations in the consumer price index, which measures the changes in prices of basic consumer goods and services.
Why raise the minimum wage?
Proponents of raising the minimum wage often point the concept of a “living wage”—the idea that people who work full time jobs ought to earn enough to support their families. Real wages, adjusted for inflation, have remained stagnant across the country in recent years.
“The minimum wage has fallen in real terms, or in inflation adjusted terms. If it was kept to where it was in the early 70s it would be up above $11 an hour,” said William D. Shipman Professor of Economics John Fitzgerald.
Higher wages translates to more expendable income for consumers, which can benefit businesses, as consumers with higher incomes buy more. Increasing the minimum wage might also decrease the number of workers and families dependent on public assistance.
What could go wrong?
The main complaints levied against raising the minimum wage focus on the loss of jobs, rise in prices of basic consumer goods and the impact on small businesses.
If businesses are forced to pay their employees more, companies with thin profit margins might hire less workers. Small businesses in particular would be affected. In 2015, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated that over 500,000 jobs would be lost nationally if minimum wage was increased to $10.10.
Opponents also argue that businesses will respond to this wage increase by proportionately increasing prices, which in turn, deters consumers due to inflated costs. Furthermore, price increases could also negate the quality-of-life benefits that low-income earners would receive from higher wages.
How would this impact Bowdoin?
The law would not immediate impact Bowdoin students who work on-campus jobs—all student employees who are paid hourly already receive at least $9 per hour after the College restructured student pay at the beginning of this academic year.
The College, like all employers in the state, would be required to increase wages for hourly employees each year until 2020 in accordance with the law.
Q5: Should Maine institute Ranked Choice Voting?
Question 5 asks Mainers to consider implementing something that no state has done before: Ranked Choice Voting (RCV). By allowing voters to mark candidates on the ballot in order of preference rather than voting for one candidate, RCV would redistribute votes for last-place candidates until a majority is reached.
How does RCV work?
Voters would rank candidates for Maine elections for U.S. Senate, Congress, Governor, State Senate and State Representative in order of preference on the ballot; if no candidate receives an immediate majority, the candidate with the fewest votes is eliminated. The votes of that candidate’s supporters then count for their second choice candidate. This process continues until a candidate earns the majority.
What are the arguments in favor?
Supporters of this bill—including the Maine Democratic Party, Libertarian Party of Maine, Maine Green Independent Party, the League of Women Voters of Maine and a number of individual Maine politicians—say that this system would eliminate the voting mentality of the “lesser of two evils” and ultimately create less negative and targeted campaigning. They argue a more broadly-liked candidate will be elected, rather than a candidate reaping the benefits of “the spoiler effect,” where the vote splits between two ideologically similar candidates, allowing a third candidate to win by plurality.
Current governor of Maine Paul LePage was elected into office because of split voting—62 percent of the population voted for another candidate—some opponents of RCV argue that the bill is an attempt to get LePage out of office. Out of the 11 last races for governor, nine winners were elected with less than 50 percent of voters; five of those winners were elected with less than 40 percent.
What are the arguments against?
Opponents of the bill—including LePage and a few other individual politicians—point out the cost, ineffectiveness and potential unconstitutionality of implementing RCV.
According to the Maine Office of Fiscal and Program Review, this bill would roughly cost between $600,000 and $800,000 per year for new equipment and necessary resources. Similar costs would persist over the years.
Opponents also worry that the new, “more complex” system of RCV would detract voters, particularly “young voters, African-Americans and those with low levels of education,” according to a Bangor Daily News editorial.
Maine Attorney General Janet Mills, as well as a number of other people, believes that the bill would be unconstitutional. In a March memo, Mills cited that the Maine constitution allows candidates to win by plurality (whereas RCV focuses on candidates winning by majority) and necessitates municipal officials to count votes, rather than a multiple-round, electronic tallying.
A number of other experts—including courts in four states—disagree with Mills, determining RCV constitutional since it maintains “one person, one vote” and fairly allows the candidate with the most votes to win.
Equestrian team hosts first show
Last weekend, the equestrian team hosted its first home show in program history. The team performed well with three riders placing in the top three of their classes. The show’s overall success puts the team in a good position to host future shows.
After a show was canceled last spring, a spot opened up in the schedule, prompting Bowdoin’s league, the Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association, to ask the team to host the show.
“We always wanted to have [a home show],” captain Carly Lappas ’17 said. “Normally teams have their traditional weekend [each year] ... so it was kind of hard to fit us in the schedule before now.”
Dartmouth College won the overall show, but Bowdoin, despite having a smaller club team, performed well. Bowdoin also performed well. Both Lappas and Meret Beutler ’19 placed first in their classes—the open flat class and the beginner walk-trot-canter class, respectively—and Maddie Bustamante ’17 placed third in the intermediate jumping class.
With nine shows per season and one show in the spring, the team’s results are often mixed. It did, however, place second in the last NESCAC show two years ago.
“We do okay. We don’t do great, and in part that is because we have a very small team,” said Tilly Tanga ’19. “We don’t have riders in every class, which means that the classes where we don’t have riders we’re obviously not going to win those classes...when we do have riders in the class we tend to do pretty well.”
Horse shows are divided into individual class events based on ability. Most team members have riding experience, while not necessarily competitively, and two had no prior experience riding before Bowdoin.
Bates and Middlebury, like Bowdoin, have small club teams, while other schools in the league, like Dartmouth, the University of New Hampshire and the University of Vermont are considered varsity and therefore receive more resources and support from their institutions.
“Most of the other teams that we compete against are varsity...they’re funded like our hockey team is funded...There [are] big disparities,” said Lappas.
As a club sport, the team’s entry fees and transportations are covered by Student Activities, however, each member must pay for their own lessons, which cost approximately $1,500 per year, per student.
Yet even with these setbacks, the team has doubled over the past four years and now consists of 15 women. According to Lappas, a number of them are likely to qualify individually for the regional horse shows.
Since over half of its members are seniors, the team is looking to recruit more underclassman, both men and women.
“It’s definitely more organized than some people might think,” Lappas said. “I don’t think people really understand what it is from the outside.”
The team will compete this weekend at shows hosted by Dartmouth and Colby-Sawyer in New Hampshire.