While it’s valid to question whether or not Ithaca College should renovate Butterfield Stadium to have a new turf field, which would put athletes on the frontline with Division III competition, the more pressing question should be what the college can do to improve the conditions its academic buildings.
By investing money in buildings such as the Athletics and Events Center, facilities that primarily benefit athletes versus academics, the school fails to prioritize students paying nearly $50,000 in cost of attendance for academic facilities. Ithaca College has also invested in the Hill Center, a facility used by athletes as well as students in the school of Health Sciences and Human Performance.
But the Ceracche Center, commonly known for housing athletes and trainers, and also art students, is still due for an update. The art labs and studios, rooms where emerging artists should have space to produce and create their work, are crammed on the lower level beneath weight rooms and athletic training facilities.
Based on student interest alone, the college needs to focus on making everyone feel as if they are getting a relatively equal value for their education. As of now, certain facilities are more in need of renovation than others, yet Ithaca College has repeatedly invested in buildings that benefits extracurriculars versus academics.
As the college plans future fundraising campaigns, it needs to prioritize academics instead of athletics. At a minimum, all students should feel like they are getting their money’s worth for their education regardless of their school or major.