By Emma Mae Sheedy
This month, it has been memorable for many St. Thomas Aquinas College athletes. Fall sport senior athletes have officially ended their college athletic careers, teams have advanced further in their conference than ever before, an athlete made it to nationals, and winter sports have begun. With over 20 emails a week coming from the STAC activities center, much of this information has not spread.
On Friday, Nov. 8, the St. Thomas Aquinas College Athletics sent out an email about the weekend athletics, just as they do each week. The STAC women on the field hockey team were ecstatic to see that they were featured in the weekly email, alongside the basketball and soccer teams. Throughout the season, they were only featured a number of times compared to other STAC teams.
Lotte Strijbos, a sophomore on the women’s field hockey team said, “It felt really good getting the recognition we deserved by the STAC athletic emails. Everyone at STAC receives these emails… we have great programs that deserve to be treated equal as other teams that get more recognition in the emails.”
Another example of lack of communication is shown when the STAC cross country team had their regional championships. There was no email sent out to the public about this national qualifying event.
“Other sports teams in this school are also working very hard and having amazing results in their season; look at cross country and track and field they are an amazing program that don’t get as much recognition. School should us update more about those achievements as well,” Strijbos says.
Cross country star, Abigail Kimbrell, qualified for the upcoming NCAA Division II National Championships in Sacramento, California on Nov. 23. She will be representing STAC as an individual runner after placing 10th overall at the regional race.
On Tuesday, Nov. 12, days after the event, an email was finally sent congratulating Kimbrell on her achievement. Although the email publicly informed STAC about the regional race, it took three months for the school to send a single email about the cross country team’s season-long success.
“I suppose you could say that although publicity for all sports teams has been improving over the years, cross country especially is one sport that does not get a lot of attention,” Kimbrell says. “I understand it is harder to get pictures of us because we don’t have any home meets, but not putting in the extra effort makes our sport seem less important compared to sports like basketball or football.”
With over 20 emails from school per week, with a large number of them being focused on athletics, the publicity for the athletes is not equal among the teams and does not equate to the success of the athletic teams either. The athletic teams that are most successful aren’t getting equal or more publicity than teams that aren’t as statistically successful.
With the STAC athletic emails improving throughout the years, there is still a lot of work to do when it comes to equality for athletics in regards to publicity at St. Thomas Aquinas College.