This opinion piece was written in response to the article “Aikido Club booted from wrestling room,” published on Nov. 19, 2014.
By Art Hohmuth Professor of Psychology and Faculty Adviser to the Aikido Club
Regarding “Aikido Club booted from wrestling room,” published in The Signal on Nov. 19, I found comments by Coach Galante to be quite incredulous. He is quoted as saying, “Ringworm, MRSA, infantigo, staff – we don’t see issues with that nearly as much as last year.” The implication that this is because the Aikido Club and the Brazilian Ju Jitsu Club are not using the wrestling room this year strains credibility. Not a single member of either club has experienced a skin problem, even though last year our faces were on the same mats as the wrestlers. How could we possibly pass on skin diseases we don’t have, especially when the coach claims to disinfect the mats twice a day? These are diseases which are most readily transmitted by skin to skin contact — wrestler to wrestler.
At another point, the coach is quoted as saying, regarding the clubs, that he is not sure “if they should have been there in the first place.” Really? Athletic directors and previous coaches have been making mistakes for 26 years?
Unlike the swimming, tennis and basketball coaches, Mr Galante seems to want total dominion over his sports venue. A reasonable person might conclude that raising concern over the spread of disease is a ploy to suggest that wrestling is in a special category, immune from the stated Student Affairs policy, which says that ap- proved clubs have the right to request the use of facilities, as available.