Hitchcock strikes out

Principal Karen Hitchcock released her response to the Athletics Review last Thursday, following more than seven months of consultation with students and other invested parties.

The review was released last June. Its major recommendations included having fewer interuniversity teams to allow for more funding per team, raising athletic fees for students and allowing varsity athletes to pre-register early.

Hitchcock’s report, originally due Dec. 31, suggested all interuniversity and competitive clubs stay active until April 2009, unless Athletics and Recreation Director Leslie Dal Cin calls for a change.

Hitchcock dismissed the proposed early pre-registration as “unviable.” She said a fee hike will be determined by a referendum.

Hitchcock’s much-anticipated report was disappointing, to say the least. Although it’s commendable Hitchcock undertook the review and gave students the opportunity to voice their thoughts, a lot of time and effort were apparently wasted on something that accomplished little to nothing.

The review’s suggestions are long-term projects and Hitchcock’s delay only pushes implementation back further. The principal’s verdict effectively ensures another, identical athletics review will be performed in two years to obtain almost identical results. Given the protracted nature of the latest report, that seems hard to justify.

Hitchcock has taken a cautious approach in her report—something she affirmed after its release when she said she wanted to be “absolutely positive” about what she wrote.

But Hitchcock has erred so much on the side of caution she has effectively made no changes at all. With a whole school year nearly passed before her haphazard response, Queen’s athletics hardly seem to be a top priority for Hitchcock.

The Athletics Review had the potential to improve Queen’s athletics and do so within a foreseeable timeframe. Hitchcock’s call to review interuniversity and competitive teams in another year renders that aspect of the initial report useless and doesn’t say anything concrete about the teams’ futures.

It seems ridiculous that so much time and money went into the Athletics Review, only for it to be reviewed again. As for improving the existing Athletics and Recreation programs, Dal Cin has little room to manoeuver—any major changes could be nullified pending the results of an April 2009 review.

The Athletics Review had a lot of potential and Hitchcock’ s response—and the eight months it took to generate it—knocked some serious wind out of its sails. Without an administration enthusiastic about Queen’s athletics, it’s hard to pump up the crowd.

When commenting, be considerate and respectful of writers and fellow commenters. Try to stay on topic. Spam and comments that are hateful or discriminatory will be deleted. Our full commenting policy can be read here.