Swinging Bridge Magazine: March 2021

Page 19



ports are an essential part of Messiah University’s community, even during a global pandemic. Fall sports were allowed to hold intrasquad scrimmages last semester and now competition has resumed for winter and spring sports. Most notable are high risk sports, like basketball and wrestling, that competed against other teams within a sixfoot distance and without a mask. Many students have expressed concerns about the freedom athletes are given. They see the opportunities athletes have and are upset with the double standards in place. Athletes can leave campus to play against another school but everyone else is expected to stay on campus to preserve the safe community bubble. Athletes can ignore social distancing and mask guidelines, yet other students can only take off the mask in their dorm or apartment. Compared to the arts department, Messiah athletes appear to have more freedom in how they continue to train and practice. Dance, a similar physical discipline to sports, has followed tight restrictions since the beginning of the fall semester in order to keep training. Dancers have not been allowed to take off their mask during class time, rehearsals or performances. They have also not been allowed to be within six feet or touch another dancer. These rules have limited growth in artistry and choreography. Tacey Sauder, a sophomore dance major, has been frustrated watching athletes compete in close contact while she has had to follow strict limitations in the dance department.

said. “Right now, our dances are very limited to a certain style and emotion because of the limitations. We could almost get in a rut right now because of them.”

"Students have been asking why athletes are able to get away with breaking the universal guidelines set in place because of COVID-19."

Dance is not the only art form suffering because of COVID-19. Theatre and music have also been limited in how they practice and perform. All theatre department productions have been with masks and live streamed only since September. Musicians and vocalists rehearse in short amounts of time to allow rooms to air out before resuming. Students have been asking why athletes are able to get away with breaking the universal guidelines set in place because of COVID-19. What is being done to ensure safety for the athletes and the community? Sarah Gustin-Hamrock, athletic director at Messiah, was able to clarify the guidelines and expectations athletes are held to. All guidelines Messiah athletics follow come from the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC).

“There’s a lot of different ways in dance where you interact physically. From an artistic standpoint, we’re missing a lot of what can come across with physical touch,” Sauder