Recreational activities to continue during fall semester

Athletics & Recreation plans to host physically-distanced events throughout the semester at the guidance of the Allegheny College Health Agency and the college. 

“As of right now, (Athletics & Recreation) will not be doing any intramural or recreation events inside,” said Director of Recreation and Facilities Jared Luteran. “(We) have some indoor events planned for the second semester, but they are tentative.”

Events are scheduled to occur throughout this semester and will take place both on campus and around the surrounding Meadville area. There are five main events scheduled for this semester, which include both virtual and in-person activities. 

For students interested in participating in the Music Jam, Allegheny Recreations requests that students create a song and send it to them before Sept. 24. The students’ original songs will be featured on their Twitch account.

On Sept. 26, Athletics & Recreation is hosting a day trip to explore Woodcock Lake from 1-3 p.m. Students will be able to use the golf course, take a hike or swim in the lake during the trip. Transportation will be provided by the college at no charge to students, however, due to COVID-19 protocols the capacity will be limited to 50%. 

In an email to the campus community from President Hilary Link on Sept. 10, the college announced an extension of the on-campus quarantine, which prevents travel off campus. 

In an update from the ACHA, on Sept. 14, the extension to the campus quarantine has been lifted and students are allowed to travel off campus on Sept. 15. This event is tentatively scheduled to take place as long as the off campus travel remains unrestricted by the date scheduled. 

The college is utilizing outdoor spaces on campus to host recreational activities such as glow-in-the-dark capture the flag scheduled for Oct. 4 and the kickball-spikeball event scheduled for Oct. 10. The campus-wide capture the flag game will occur in the evening from 7-9 p.m. Students interested in participating can meet the staff at Brooks Circle that evening. Kickball and spikeball will occur in the field next to the David V. Wise Center from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and prepackaged snacks will be provided to participants. 

For individuals interested in small group or individual activities, the college has placed volleyball nets at various outdoor locations around campus. There are nets outside of Murray Hall and in the field next to the Wise Center for students to stay active while socially distanced. 

“(Playing volleyball) is a great way to get outside and work on individual skills,” Athletics & Recreation wrote on their Instagram account. “There will be two goals, but right now full pickup games are discouraged.” 

Students are encouraged to utilize outdoor facilities in Meadville such as the local basketball court at the H. Paul Way Memorial Park. Students should abide by all college COVID-19 protocols while utilizing local amenities. 

“There is also a basketball court next to the field at the H. Paul Way Memorial Park,” Athletics & Recreation wrote. “This is another great place for individual shooting.”

This provides students with an extra location to play basketball due to the capacity limitations for  the blue courts this semester. According to the Wise Center Reopening plan, students interested in using the basketball courts in the Wise Center must play on an individual basis this semester. 

Basketballs will not be provided to limit contact; therefore students are required to bring their own. 

Given the recent spike in COVID-19 cases on campus, some students are concerned that community-wide events may create risk for potential exposure.

“I can see (recreation events) being a risk given the recent (COVID-19 spikes),” Andrew Briercheck, ’23, said. “I am not sure that (large events) are a good idea as much as I would like them to occur.”

According to Briercheck, he is maintaining physical distance with other community members and will avoid large group gatherings, such as these events. 

“(Hosting large events) makes me more uncomfortable than people working off campus,” Noah Bebee, ’21, said. “With large groups, you do not know where all of those people have come from, but with individuals you are able to keep track of them.”

Bebee recommends that the college hosts smaller, club-centric events instead of large recreation events, which may increase the risk of exposure. 

“Small events throughout the week even just setting up study groups would work,” Bebee added. “Creating different ways for students to connect without having to be in a big group.”

Other students, such as William Nese, ’23, believe that community-wide events may be safe if all COVID-19 protocols are followed during the event. 

While Nese expressed concern regarding activities that require participants to share a ball such as the kickball tournament, he believes that the event will be safe with proper safety measures. He anticipates that the kickball tournament will be very popular among the student population and may participate in the event as well.

Anyone interested in participating in other outdoor activities has the opportunity to join the Outing Club. The club offers a wide array of recreational activities that allows students to explore the surrounding area. 

“The Outing Club is committed to providing safe, educational and challenging adventures to all members of the Allegheny College community regardless of experience or skill level,” the club announced on the Athletic & Recreation website. “Through a core group of leaders, we are committed to sharing our enthusiasm and passion for the outdoors by teaching the skill required to safely and respectfully explore the delicate wonders of nature.”

Students are able to rent the organization’s equipment and gear free of charge to use for individual trips. Any requests to rent gear should be made to the Gear Manager 48 hours prior to the event, according to their website.