***Editor’s Note: This article was published as part of the satirical April 1, 2015
After several dominant performances this year by Blue varsity teams, including five Seven Sisters Championships earned by volleyball, tennis, crew, cross country and swimming and diving, the Wellesley College Athletic Department announced on Tuesday, Mar. 31 during their annual nationally televised press conference that all 14 of Wellesley’s varsity athletic teams would be reclassified from Division III to Division I, effective immediately.
Wellesley will join the Atlantic 10 athletic conference which includes teams represented by the University of Massachusetts, the University of Dayton, Davidson College, Virginia Common- wealth University and Fordham University.
According to the board of trustees, which is involved in fund- ing many of Wellesley’s major Campus Renewal projects and remodelings, the extensive Keohane Sports Center (KSC) ren- ovations that took place throughout the first semester this year were an early clue of Wellesley’s long time hope to compete in Division I.
“Improving the KSC was a major step for the advancement of our athletic program. Last fall, we initiated a dialogue with the [Division] I reps over at the NCAA offices to look into upgrading our division of competition, and they suggested that we develop our athletic facilities to mirror those of other elite schools such as the University of Kentucky, the University of Connecticut and Duke University,” Wellesley Chairwoman of Athletics Betsy Baller said. “This is a huge step for this institution. Not only are we the first school in NCAA history to move directly from Division III to Division I, but we are the only women’s college to ever compete in this elite class of athletic competition.”
The news was an unthinkable dream for the many Blue Pride enthusiasts on campus and sparked rioting on Central Street that featured the destruction of several high-end sports vehi- cles parked outside of Whole Foods. Despite this euphoria, a few students thought that this reclassification would hinder the college.
“Honestly, it’s about time for Wellesley’s academics to catch up with the athletics. We’re just as competitive in the classroom as we are on the court, and we rarely get credit for it. I don’t see national press conferences for the experiments and papers of students,” Brandy Bookworm said.
Despite this unpopular opinion, the vast majority of Wellesley students fully support the decision to reclassify as a Division I institution as they believe Wellesley’s Division III status deterred them from engaging in the wild parties that often ac- company “big-time” athletic programs.
“I am excited to witness this great change. We can finally have those tailgating parties that other schools have been posting about on Instagram,” Susan Studious said.
A recent scientific poll showed that 99 percent of students believe that in addition to the renovated KSC, more resources should be allocated to the athletic department. An overwhelm- ing majority stated that they wanted more than 67 percent of all college funds to be spent on equipment, airfare and warm-ups for athletic teams. Qualitative responses in the survey indicated that many students would be willing to sacrifice the funding for one dining hall in favor of freeing up resources for the athletic department. More than half of all responses also wanted Welles- ley to form its own varsity cheerleading squad. The squad will hopefully come into fruition in the fall of 2015 and will defi- nitely boost Blue pride at home and away events.
Wellesley lacrosse, softball and tennis will initiate Atlantic 10 competition this week.
Photo Courtesy of Anne Schnitzer ’18