Chief Copy Editor
On March 9, the College announced that effective March 12, students, faculty and staff who are a part of the on-campus weekly testing program will be permitted to attend home athletic competitions with capacity limits, masks and physical distancing in place.
The policy, located on the Wooster Athletics website, outlines spectator conditions for each sport. Specifically, each venue is restricted to 30 percent capacity and physically distanced seating will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis. However, there are some competitions that require a team pass list which allows athletes to invite one guest per competition; this includes golf, basketball, tennis (if competing inside) and volleyball. For sports such as volleyball and basketball each senior is permitted to have two guests on the pass list. Upon arrival or as requested, each attendee will be required to show their “good to go” badge, which is received after submitting their Scot’s Daily Health Check form.
When asked about the updated spectator policy, volleyball player Katie Billetdeaux ’22 mentioned, “I’m very grateful that the updated spectator policy went into effect the day before our first official game against Ohio Wesleyan … Some of the invited fans at our game were cheering loudly, which was a fun atmosphere to play in again. I wouldn’t say that it felt ‘normal’ per se, but it’s a new normal that we must adjust to as athletes, just like wearing masks when we play.” Tennis player Becky LaRue ’22 added, “I’m glad that we are starting to return to more normalcy. I just hope that members of the campus community are still taking the same precautions and that because we are opening things, more people don’t think they can become reckless.”
In addition to limiting capacity to those already among the campus community, visiting team fans are not permitted to attend competitions nor are families and friends. The policy currently states, “We are sorry that we cannot invite families and other fans at this time as visitors to campus are currently limited to admissions or interviews and other critical campus operations.”
In terms of those allowed to attend the athletic competitions, baseball player Stephen Spidell ’21 stated, “I would love to have my family and friends at games to see our team play, but the College as well as the student body has done a great job with the weekly testing policy and containing the spread on campus. I feel that we have earned the privilege for attending on-campus events and activities.” Despite the restrictions on families and friends visiting, the Athletic Department is offering to livestream as many events as possible. Streaming will be available on the schedule page on the Wooster Athletics’ website.
The policy statement closes by reminding the campus community of the College’s commitments during the course of the pandemic, stating, “The health and safety of The College of Wooster’s student-athletes, coaches and staff is the highest priority during the coronavirus pandemic. We recognize that families and friends are eager to watch our contests in person, and we will continue to evaluate our capacity for opening our events more broadly.” Optimistically, Billetdeaux remarked, “With everything that has been taken away from us this year due to the pandemic, I’m very thankful for every step forward in cultivating a more normal athletic experience, with hopes of a traditional senior season next fall.”