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Student Congress asks for field use

March 7, 1997

Use of soccer field yields controversy

By Wilson Aurbach

Lariat Reporter

In 1991, Student Congress allocated $10,000 from the Student Life Fund for the preparation of a soccer field with the idea that it would be available for student use. However, University students are no longer allowed to use that field.

The soccer field, which is located adjacent to the Streich Tennis Courts, is now only used by the University women's soccer team. Student Congress has recently been trying to regain student possession of the field or receive compensation for their original investment.

Martin Varley, coach of the Baylor Men's Soccer Club, said his team was supposed to be able to use the student-funded field to at least play its games against other teams from the Big 12. He said the athletic department told him that they did not want his team tearing up the varsity girl's field.

'If fields are taken care of, you can play a lot of games on them. They only get worn out when nobody takes care of them,' Varley said.

Jeff Van Houten, a member of the Baylor Men's Soccer Club and a Richardson junior, said the team only got to play one game on the field.

Student Congress is familiar with the situation.

'It's been this way for at least two years,' said Justin Clarke, a Fairbury, Neb., junior and chair of the Student Congress Finance Committee. 'This has been an ongoing battle between the athletic department and us (Student Congress).'

Student Body President Collin Cox said, 'We've been really confused as to what the field is being used for.'

Cox and Dub Oliver, director of student activites, have worked out what they feel is a solution that will satisfy both the athletic department and the students.

Clarke said that Student Congress' finance committee suggests that the Baylor Athletic Department follow Cox's plan and reimburse $8,500 to the Student Life Fund. This lesser sum is derived by subtracting $500 for each year of sudent use, based on a supposed 20-year life of the field.

Tom Stanton, University athletics director, could not be reached.

Cox and Student Congress are looking at Edgefield Park as a possible site for a new soccer field.

'$8,500 back is a lot better than no money back,' Cox said.

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