SAS Corner: Taking back the pool

By Meredith Kertzman ’13 and Emily Jovais ’13Student Activities Chair, SAS President

As SAS board members, our main priority is to listen to feedback from the student body and address student concerns. Last semester, SAS and the Field House staff received numerous complaints about the lack of space and feelings of general discomfort at the pool attributed to the growing number of students from the other colleges. Frequently, Scripps students were turned away due to overcapacity and some reported feeling alienated and uncomfortable with conversations and the overall culture of the pool area.

After a meeting between Tamsen Burke, the director of the Field House, and SAS President, Emily Jovais, it was determined that a survey was necessary in order to find out how students are (or are not) using the pool and why. In Nov. 2012, SAS and the Field House drafted a survey that was sent out to the student body via the SAS-L. Our goal was to gain a better understanding of student’s opinions regarding the pool and its atmosphere so that we could justify any changes to the hours.

When asked about the nature of their visits to the Scripps pool, the majority of participants (69%) said that they use it for study breaks and leisure time. Participants were also given a list of reasons for not using the pool and were asked to choose all that applied. The top three were: concern about body image (48%), lack of lounge chaises/chairs (43%), and inconvenient pool hours (32%).

We also wanted to understand the student body’s opinion on women- and Scripps-only hours. 57% of respondents found women only hours very important and 30% found them somewhat important. When asked about their initial reaction to the idea of Scripps only hours, 44% of participants were strongly in favor of them and 40% of participants were somewhat in favor.

After hearing the initial concerns raised by students and seeing the results of the survey, the Tiernan Field House reviewed its pool program with CMC and HMC, with whom we share our facilities, and sought further feedback from SAS. The new pool hours are the result of these conversations with our CMS counterparts and meetings between SAS Executive Board members and Tamsen.

The Tiernan Field House’s new weekend pool hours are a direct reflection of student feedback and an example of positive collaboration between SAS and Scripps administration. While this was a difficult decision that entailed lengthy discussions and many different potential options, SAS is happy with the result and confident that these changes address the principal concerns raised by students.

While this is a significant change, our hope is to create a space on campus where all Scripps students can come and enjoy this part of our beautiful campus. We believe that there is something unique about a Scripps-only space and our hope is that the pool with become a place for the Scripps community to gather, mingle, and relax.

The new hours for the pool on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday are:

12-2 p.m.—Scripps undergraduate students only, no guests (this means Scripps students ONLY—does not include post-bacs).

2-3 p.m.—women only, guests allowed (CMS Women and their female guests).

3-5 p.m.—Coed, guests allowed.

Now that we’ve lived one weekend with these new hours, SAS wants to know what you think. How will the new hours affect your pool usage? Do you think they are a positive change? Feel free to let us know at beheard@scrippscollege.edu or come to one of our meetings (which are always open to the community) on Sunday nights in the Student Union from 7:00-9:00 p.m. We would love to hear your input on the recent changes so that we can continue to advocate for Scripps Students and make the pool a pleasant place for all of us to enjoy.