They’re technically there to study, but more often can be found eating, sleeping, socializing or watching movies.According to the Castleton State College Student-Athlete Handbook all freshmen athletes are required to attend “Step Time,” an academic program designed through the Academic Support Center program to help freshmen with their academic skills during their athletic season. They’re required to attend two hours a week, and although this may not seem like a lot, to some athletes this is a burden and very time conflicting with their busy schedule.
“We are already busy enough with practices and games,” said Angelica Mazzola, a freshman on the field hockey team. “I go there with a friend so I just end up talking some of the time and not getting my work done anyway so it ends up taking up some of my time that I could use doing work in my room.”
Some days at the Academic Support Center are very hectic. Sometimes there are more than one tutoring session going on and some athletes find this very distracting.
“Sometimes it’s hard to concentrate. There are some days where it is very loud in there from different people doing different work,” said Brittanie Nolan, also a freshmen on the field hockey team.
Student athletes say they have very busy schedules balancing homework, practices, games, and leisure time. Some feel having to go to the Academic Support Center only makes it harder to balance their schedules.
“I feel like it brings more stress because I know I have to take two hours of my time out of the day to go there, to sit in a room, and do nothing,” Nolan said.
But not all student athletes feel that way. Some say they find this requirement very helpful because it gives them a reason to study during their busy schedule.
“I think it helped me because it kind of forced me to do my homework,” said Kelley Tetreault, a freshman on the women’s soccer team.
Men’s ski team member Jeff Giegler agrees.
“I think it helps athletes because we have a tough schedule and we don’t have a lot of time to study on the weekend because we are always on the road. So meeting with a tutor helps,” said Giegler, a senior who did this requirement as a freshman.
“It was a way for me to go and get extra help for class. It benefited me my freshmen year. I had a good GPA,” Giegler said.
No matter what student athletes choose to do with their time at the Academic Support Center, the counselors are always there to help no matter what.
“We are happy to have people here,” said the center’s director, Kelley Gilmour.
Gilmour said she does not try to force athletes to use their time wisely while at the center, just as long as they are not interrupting the people around them trying to do their work.
“Sometimes we have to wake people up that are sleeping, but they are the ones that are losing out,” Gilmour said.
Although some athletes hate the requirement, it was made by the athletic department to try to help our freshmen athletes become the best students they can be, and making a commitment to a sport means making a commitment to other things as well even if we don’t enjoy doing them.
“We know students usually have at least two hours of homework a week or more and to find something to do is an easy task,” Gilmour said.