As the university grows and changes, the athletic department at JBU does the same. Some of these are well known thoughts and processes, while others are not as talked about.
Along with the growth of the school, the athletic department needs to grow. According to Director of Athletics, Robyn Daugherty, on a well-rounded college campus, 20% of the students are athletes. At JBU, only 10% of the student body is involved in campus sports teams.
There are many things that the athletic department is working on, and will continue to work on over the next few years to help make the experience at JBU better for its athletes.
“This year we started a Student Athletic Advisory Council,” Daugherty said. “Students from different teams come together and talk about the direction of the program, the athletic banquet details, and they are also given face time to say what they think will help provide a better experience on campus.”
The hope is that the council will provide a well- rounded perspective from students to make the experience in eagle athletics much better.
Another change being made is the work being done to the policies and procedures for the department.
“The last time they were revised was in the 80’s,” Daugherty said. “We are working on the arrangement, and we are solidifying some of the policies and procedures.”
Currently, there are 10 sports on campus, but there is a great need for more sports to rally more fans on campus.
Daugherty said that the department is “researching anything and everything to see which sports are a good fit for the school and which are not.”
Other changes that the athletes may be seeing are testing for sickle cell and concussions.
“We are also researching drug testing. We are reviewing that possibility with student development, and will then decide if it should be pushed through or not,” Daugherty said. “We are not mandated to do it.”
Other improvements that the department is seeing, and will be in the process of seeing in the near future are: a better soccer venue, creating a golf green to be used in the Fall, upgrading the tennis courts, and putting lights on the soccer fields.
For the athletes on campus, improvements are seen as important, and are very valued.
“The biggest change that I would like to see would be to improve the equipment in the varsity weight room,” Sophomore Meghan Kenney said. “Although I’ve only been here for a semester, my sport, volleyball seems to be a really good program, so I don’t see improvements that need to be made yet.”
Kenney also weighed in on holding the athletes to a high standard year round.
“Even though we are busy year round with our sports, it is important for us to be a positive contribution to campus in other ways as well,” Kenney said.
Holding all athletes to a high standard is something that Daugherty sees as important too, but it is also a goal to hold everything the athletic department does as a whole to a higher standard.
“We want to do things with excellence,” Daugherty said. “This includes our facilities, our policies, and our program.