By Michael J. Costello, Guest Writer
UMSL recruits athletes heavily from out of state and internationally to participate on our sports teams and thereby also increases the diversity of our student population. The healthy addition of talented individuals from around the world helps expose our mostly St. Louis regional student body to global perspectives.
However, UMSL hosted its first competitive swim meet since the opening of the new student recreational center. Instead of inviting the visiting teams, coaches and fans to be wowed by our new facility, the teams competed at the Mark Twain Center. While there is nothing wrong with the swim facility at Mark Twain and it is helpful to have a dedicated training facility for our athletes, it is a failure to not connect our campus student body to our athletes and to impress visitors. This would be accomplished by having swim meets held at the Student Recreational Center.
Our swim team’s events would have higher student body visibility by hosting events in the Recreational Center and visitors would be given a more exciting sense of the major capital investments being made on our campus.
Getting people to visit our campus and wowing them when they do, is critical to increasing the perception that this is a dynamic university on the move. The minimal disruption to alumni, faculty and student use of the recreational faculty would be more than offset by the increased interaction by all such users, including visitors to our campus, of the recreational center.
Let’s focus on putting our best foot forward by inciting visitors to our newest and most visible signs of progress.
—Michael J. Costello