By Zhuo Kang
Seattle Central student Cary Liu likes to play basketball. Liu always goes to the Mitchell Activity Center (Seattle Central gym) after his class ends at five and tries to find a place to play basketball with his friends, the big word here being ‘tries’.
“When I borrow a basketball from the front table, they tell me I can’t play basketball because the badminton club, the soccer club or the football club has reserved the basketball courts,” says Liu. Another student Gareth Zhang, says he can’t play basketball even during the weekends. “We only can use the basketball courts outside of school, such as the one near Cal Anderson Park,” says Zhang. “The basketball courts in the school gym are usually reserved by other sports’ clubs and organizations outside the school.”
Students who want to play basketball recently made complaints about the problem. Polulani Aniga, a front desk staffer at the gym, says the gym has enough space for students, and there is a clear schedule for the use of the basketball courts. Students can manage their time by looking though the schedule.
The schedule shows the basketball courts as open for students to use between 7 am to 3 pm. The basketball courts are usually reserved by other sports clubs and organizations from 3 pm to 6 pm. From 6 pm to 10:30 pm, the gym is rented by Underdog Volleyball and Puget Sound Basketball. Puget Sound Basketball sometimes rents the basketball courts during the weekends.
Carlos Hernandez, supervisor of the Mitchell Activity Center (MAC) explains the gym is self-supporting and that it must be rented to other clubs and organizations to keep it open and available for students.
But those some of those students are frustrated. “The open time for students is really not enough,” says Liu. “Most students finish their classes around 4 pm, but all the clubs reserve the basketball court at this time every day.” Aniga suggests students set up a Basketball club, which has now been done, and reserve time from the front desk because a tennis club is going to be set up and taking up some space. Liu and others have another idea to play basketball, build it.
Liu says our school should extend the space of the basketball courts, he hopes our school can build one additional floor based on the current gym. Haocheng Yang, an accounting student advises the gym to consolidate seemingly unused space. “The yoga room is quite big. I seldom see students using the yoga room.” says Yang. Though grabbing space from those stretching likely wouldn’t sit well with the Yogis and Hernandez says this is not an option.
Hernandez says the cost of building an additional floor is huge and impossible. He suggests three other possible ways to solve the problem adding some strong words on the football club. “Students should separate the basketball courts into half by using the shutter in the middle. That way, two or more clubs can play at the same time. I also don’t think football club deserve the use of the whole basketball court on Monday and Friday. They are just destroying the basketball courts. They should play outside at the football court in the Cal Anderson Park. Students can also use the basketball courts more effective by forming their basketball teams and playing together team by team.”
“If people try to understand each other and have more patient, it’s not such a big deal.” says Yang “We simply share the basketball courts and lay down a clear, fair and reasonable schedule. Every student can enjoy it.”