Groups fear lack of practice rooms in Weede expansion
Marcus Clem | copy editor
Students in the cheer squad and dance team are worried that current plans indicate that the dance studios in the Weede Athletic Complex will be phased out in the future.
The conversion of these spaces, which could turn the larger dance studio into a hall of fame and the smaller studio into a kitchen or hallway, sources say, will be timed with the construction of the Weede expansion project.
The students are concerned because the preliminary diagrams they’ve seen for the Weede expansion show no space dedicated to dance and cheer team practice.
“For them to turn around and not make us a space is a little bit unfair,” said Lindsey Worley, cheer squad captain and junior in recreation and exercise science.
Dance team members cannot efficiently practice their routines without a dedicated space and the freedom to play loud music to master timing.
Cheer squad members require high ceilings and a dedicated space to set up and store safety mats. They also need to execute chants and respond to communication without disrupting other activities.
In the case of both teams: Practicing outdoors, as if at a football game, is impractical as conditions must be pristine for routines to be properly mastered. Dancers also need a surface like a wooden floor to efficiently execute turns and other maneuvers.
The students say that without a space of their own, their practices will conflict with athletics practices and their unique needs will not be met. Other groups, such as martial arts classes, other physical education classes and a variety of other student organizations and clubs that use the current space will have to move.
“I’m not trying to whine and complain,” Worley said. “Still, for them to get a brand new arena and for them to tell us, ‘Well, you may not have a space …’ That’s not fair to us. Why should we have to go off campus? We are still a school-sanctioned activity.”
Sara Joseph, dance team captain and junior in commercial graphics and marketing, says that she cares deeply for Pitt State athletics and the teams’ achievements. However, she says phasing out the practice space would harm that commitment.
“I would feel somewhat unimportant, feel like that we didn’t matter enough to be put somewhere,” she said. “We go to a lot of events, and we are big on school spirit. I would kind of feel forgotten and that we weren’t important to the university.”
Jessica Crabtree, dance team member and junior in social work, says that she may feel compelled to quit the team if the change is finalized.
“We have a definite role in supporting the athletics,” she said. “Making it official that we don’t have a space will make me feel like I don’t want to be a support to