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Recently The Crimson has focused considerable attention on gender equity problems in Harvard's varsity sports program. A larger disparity in our athletic offerings, however, that between varsity and recreational programs, has received little notice.
This year, all varsity athletes are enjoying a new modern gym, Carey Cage. As well, women's varsity athletics has received additional funding and programming.
The rest of us, however, including non-varsity undergraduates, graduate students, staff, faculty and families, have found much less to cheer.
One focal point for concern is the Malkin Athletic Center (MAC), the school's main recreational gym. Despite many quality programs, severe space and equipment problems make the MAC a frustrating and uncomfortable place for the average "Harvardian." The weight room is small, crowded and dangerous. The bikes and stair masters are few and old, creating long lines and regular breakage. And the gym floor is constantly scheduled with varsity and intramural events, leaving little time for casual, "pick-up" play.
Although non-varsity athletic space is limited, recreational demand is great. For example, nearly every hour in the MAC's new mirrored "Mezzanine" dance room is booked for the year. Certainly additional modern spaces would receive similar usage.
The above comments touch the surface of what should be, possibly led by The Crimson, a "Recreational Debate." As proud as we are of our tremendous varsity programs, the health and happiness of the whole Harvard community should be our primary concern. Keith T. Herman '91
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