Where’s the “S” in “CMS”?

Lauren Prince ‘14Editor-in-Chief

When was the last time you came out to support one of our sports teams? The majority of you are probably thinking “never.”

CMS sports teams are often rewarded for their hard work with empty stands and little attention from the student body, regardless of the score.

The lazy explanation for our lack of sportsmanship might be that we go to a women’s college and girls don’t care about sports. But that idea is outdated and false, as evidenced by the sheer number of Scripps students who play sports. What other factors might contribute, then?

Some people speculate that we’re all just too busy. “Most of the time it’s a combination of either not knowing where or when the game is or being busy with other things,” said Laura Wessbecher (’15). While I can sympathize with any double-majoring, over-committed Scripps student, many of us played (and supported!) our sports teams in high school, where we were similarly overloaded with work. “I remember supporting my friends’ games in high school and getting all painted for homecoming. We would compete to see which class had the most spirit. I didn’t even know when the homecoming game was last year,” said Megan Peterson (’15).

Personally I think that because the CMS home base is located at CMC, Scripps is put at a disadvantage. We are not given updates about when and where the games are or how the teams are doing. Alexandra Ronco (’15) believes that if students were kept up to date about how the teams were doing, more students would come to games. While every other event on campus gets a bunch of posters, a Facebook event, and a space on the weekly SAS emails, sports are notably absent. Ronco sees such promotion as the job of the athletic department coaches.

It may also be that Scripps students do not attend CMS sporting events “because most games take place at CMC, it feels more like a CMC event rather than CMS,” said Scripps student and CMS basketball and lacrosse player Kyra Ray (’14). “Especially since a majority of both teams I’m on are CMCers.” I understand that CMS means we share resources. It makes sense. But all of the sporting events, offices, coaches, and practices are located at C. Where’s the MS?

Is this a lack of communication between schools? Or do Harvey Mudd students feel just as disconnected? Scripps’ new Alumnae field, built in 2008, is not regulation size. With all the money we spent for our fabulous Field House, it seems odd to not build a field that could be used for competition. It would have made varsity games on Scripps campus possible.

Is Scripps really that committed to being a pristine campus void of cheering fans? Is that why we do not have a gymnasium, basketball hoops, or volleyball nets? When all of the other four schools have a gym— a place for their students to go support their friends and blow off some steam— this seems like a deliberate choice. All of these factors contributes to our lack of CMS spirit.

Scripps culture also appears to be blatantly hostile to sports. “Twice now I have had a recruit tell me that while doing the on-campus tour for Scripps, the student leading the tour talked negatively about sports and sports attendance.  They even went as far as to say that the students at Scripps don’t support athletics because it’s not part of the culture at Scripps.  Because of that, it is hard to encourage families to take the tour if they are potential recruits. After all of this though, I still push very hard for Scripps players,” said Kurt Vlasich, CMS head volleyball coach. While CMS coaches want all three schools represented on their teams and continue to search for the best athletes possible, the recruitment process becomes Scripps sports are stigmatized.

While Vlasich is hopeful that the culture can change, I am skeptical. There are a lot of factors that have influenced the Scripps sports culture we have today. Scripps students do not attend games, which cyclically shapes a Scripps culture that does not include going to games. As incoming students see that sports are not a part of the culture, generation after generation of Scripps students will not attend games. We as students are perpetuating the lack of sports culture and continuing the cycle by telling prospective Scripps students that sports aren’t important here. While few students attend games, Scrippsies are well-represented on CMS teams.

I would love to see Scripps rally around sports and make it a bigger deal. A larger sense of camaraderie can only benefit the Scripps “community” that we so dearly pride ourselves on.

So, I ask that community: would you like Scripps to care about sports? Would it help if The Scripps Voice reported on how the teams are doing and upcoming games? Do you want to know who the Scripps athletes are? Or do we really not care?