Recreational Sports opening more on campus

María Fernanda Rubí

Starting in spring semester, Augustana College became more flexible with recreational sports by allowing more intramural (IM) events with spectators. However, students struggle to adhere to COVID-19 guidelines.
The regulations Augustana had during the fall semester limited recreational sports by not offering many activities. Now, students can participate in more activities. In contrast to previous years, there are more single and double events available, where students compete against only one person. Some are bags, golf leagues, ping pong and more outside events.
Senior Bailey Bambrick is a lead staffer at PepsiCo Center, where she is in charge of planning and assisting any recreational activities there, including IMs. “As someone who has worked here for four years, I have enjoyed the new events we have added,” Bambrick said.
Teams are looking different too. “In the past, there were only guys and girls leagues, but now they are mixed up, and we have more teams than what we thought we would,” Bambrick said.
According to Bambrick, students have been struggling to follow the new guidelines. “We’ve been through the pandemic for the whole year. Sometimes [staff] are like babysitters to some students who are not following the rules.”
The week of March 22, many spectators of the tournaments violated the use of masks. Lead PepsiCo staff member Molli Naber said that left consequences for future events.
“This past week, we have had tons of people not wearing their masks properly during the volleyball and badminton games, so we changed the rules. And right now, we are not allowing spectators in volleyball,” Naber said.
Volleyball was affected because it was currently the only event PepsiCo was running. However, the rule may not be permanent.
“As far as right now, we decided to not have spectators on volleyball, but Don Umland [director of the campus recreation] would probably reevaluate depending on how it goes this weekend,” Naber said.
During the fall semester, there was IM softball, but fewer spectators were coming and they followed the COVID-19 guidelines.
Naber explained one of the reasons students are no longer coping with the guidelines.
“It was the beginning of the pandemic, and people were still following guidelines, and pretty much as regulations had loosened with the government and at Augie people started not following the rules,” Naber said.
Recreational sports are not the only events opening up more on campus.
“I think Augie has been more open to expanding events not only in Campus Recreation but in general. [Augie] has been conscientious about what they’re offering and expanding it in a safe way that helps students get that social interaction,” Bambrick said.
According to Naber, it would not have been safe for the changes to happen last semester. “With homecoming and more IMs taking place, students have more opportunities to get together.ut if this would have happened during the fall, it would have resulted in a covid outbreak.”
First-year Jorge Ocampo is part of the IM volleyball team with the Greek Group Delta Omega Nu and Sigma Pi Delta and thought it was hard to accommodate with the guidelines as he was not used to it.
“At first, it was harder to breathe and to communicate with each other… we need to raise our voice more,” Ocampo said.
However, he still thinks it is important to respect the rules to keep enjoying the benefits of sports activities.
“Now students can get together and stay active, so I would say as long as we all keep holding ourselves accountable, I wouldn’t be surprised if more activities are opening up,” Ocampo said.