Jennifer Ives’s article “Shark tanks aren’t made for sharing” misses three key points related to the Daly Field project.
First, the investment Simmons College made to construct Daly Field is aligned with our college’s core values. Consider value #1 We are at our best when we put our students first. Not only will this facility be a safe, environmentally sound place for our student athletes to compete, it also affords leadership opportunities to serve as mentors and role models for the underserved population at Brighton High. Unique opportunities like these enable our students to find their voices and develop leadership skills. It is what makes Simmons exceptional, and it strengthens our students’ preparedness for success after they graduate.
Second, the issues at Daly Field are not about gender, they are simply about space. The Massachusetts legislation is clear about who has rights to field use at which times. We are all working hard to honor those times. Our Simmons team captains have provided thoughtful and creative input to assist in finding the best way to share the limited locker room space with our partners from Brighton High School. As we embark on this new partnership, ongoing dialogue will be essential to preserve and honor the partnership that has been defined by law. We are meeting with BHS officials this month and expect to sign a Memorandum of Understanding soon that will resolve the details of the shared locker rooms, including the construction of secure space for our athletes to lock their belongings, and enable visiting teams to have locker room access as well, which will ultimately establish a workable arrangement for all of us who share Daly Field.
Third, your headline suggests that our athletics facilities shouldn’t be shared with anyone else. But it is important to realize that given our limited on-campus space, without a public private partnership like this one Simmons would be unable to procure the high quality, NCAA regulation fields our teams deserve.
With an agreement coming soon on sharing the locker rooms, it is time we embrace our partners at Brighton High School and revel in knowing that Simmons College athletics finally has a home field/court advantage. Go Sharks!
Sarah Neill Ali Kantor
Vice President for Student Affairs Director of Athletics