Archery Team Asks Admin. for Right to Use UCSD Archery Field

The archery team was founded in 2009, but has had trouble in gaining members beyond its original three. Archery club president Stella Chen said she believes that one obstacle to the team’s growth is the lack of an on-campus practice space.

“We’ve had issues with the administrators of the [Recreation] Department saying that we can’t practice because there are liabilities,” Chen said. “We thought this was strange because archery is one of the safest sports and no other university we know of that competes competitively has this issue.”

For example, Chen said, the archery teams of UCLA, UC Berkeley, and UC Irvine are able to practice on campus and have had no safety-related issues.    
Archery has been in the competitive college sports circuit for over 50 years. During this time, there have been no recorded serious injuries during practice, competitions, or events nationally. At UCSD, all Triton Archery officers must be official coaches in the U.S. Collegiate Archery.

Team captain Dakota Sinclair said that the UCSD Sports Recreation Department has not released a statement explaining why archery is considered to be a dangerous sport.
“Archery is not a dangerous sport,” Sinclair said. “Most insurance companies rate it at the same level as they do football. By percentage of participants to injuries, it is a very low-risk sport.”

Director of Sports and Recreation Clubs Scott Berndes, however, has stated that the archery team members cannot use the field, and that the only official use is reserved for students enrolled in the recreational class.

“They told us we can’t use the field unless we are out there as a student as one of their [recreational] classes,” team member Chris Cheng said. “When we noticed that the new field was being built, we asked again and Berndes told us the same thing.”

The team has attempted to Berndes multiple times since February 2009 regarding access to the field, but have not been successful. In addition to unspecified safety concerns, the team was told that another reason access is barred is because the recreation department cannot compete with a student organization offering free archery training. The team has also been required to change its status from a recreational club to a social club due to policies stating that to recreational clubs must use on-campus facilities.

Members had an initial meeting with Assistant Vice Chancellor of Student Wellness Karen Calfas in November 2011, but Calfas has not spoken with them since.

“I’ve had one meeting with the Archery student [organization] president,” Calfas said. “We are looking into options now and I hope to be meeting with them soon.”
Chen is still trying to contact Calfas to continue discussing the issue, but until the situation is resolved, the team practices at either the Balboa Park Archery Range or Lake
Poway Archery Range to maintain its position as the No. 1 team on the west coast.

Berndes could not be reached for comment.

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