Stanford Recreation Swim Petition sign now

Stanford Athletics - Physical Education, Recreation, and Wellness

September 30, 2008

Stanford University is home to the finest - and largest - competitive aquatic facilities in the nation. However, to date its provision of those facilities for recreation swim have been barely adequate to meet the needs of a large and vibrant rec swim community.

Nonetheless, for the fall quarter the university has chosen to make further significant scheduling cuts in rec swim provision. As a result of these cuts, going forward Stanford will rank last or near last, by every conceivable metric, in recreation swim provision among the top 10 national universities (see rankings below).

The most significant scheduling change has been the shift of evening swim hours from the Avery facility to Roble, a 25 yard, 5 lane pool with less than a quarter of the previous capacity. With this change, Stanford's provision of rec swim during all off-business hours (6am-9am, 6pm-11pm) will be less than half of that offered by the next lowest top 10 national university (see rankings below). These cuts are particularly painful to members of the Stanford community who work to keep the university running and hence are occupied during business hours staff, faculty, and graduate students.

Many of us rely heavily on recreation swim because other forms of high-impact cardiovascular exercise are not an option for a variety of reasons, including injuries and chronic physical conditions. Given Stanford's commitment to recreation and wellness, we are puzzled and deeply dismayed by the University's recent decisions. That Stanford cannot offer rec swim that is even minimally comparable with its peer institutions is not only deeply frustrating it is deeply embarrassing.

As members of the rec swim community, we strongly urge the University to reconsider its recent scheduling decisions, and provide swim facilities that match its stated commitment to recreation and wellness. We work hard to make Stanford one of the world's top research institutions, and we deserve better.

Sincerely,
The Undersigned




RANKINGS
(reference group is top 10 national universities as ranked by US News for 2009)


Total Number of Daily Hours During Which Rec Swim is Available
1 - MIT 17.0
2 - Harvard 15.5
3 - UPenn 14.0
... ... ...
10 - Stanford 7.5


Rankings Adjusted by Pool Size (Total Space-Time Capacity) [1]
1 - MIT 5701.3
2 - UPenn 5600.0
3 - Harvard 4812.0
... ... ...
9 - Stanford 2514.4
10 - Duke 1874.5


Rankings Adjusted by Pool and Student Body Size (Total Space-Time Capacity per Capita) [2]
1 - CalTech 1.89
2 - MIT 0.56
3 - Princeton 0.46
... ... ...
9 - Stanford 0.13
10 - Columbia 0.11

[1] For each hour in the day and for each university-wide pool, Meter Length * Lanes Available is computed. The sum is then taken over pools and hours. This is a measure of the total time-space capacity in a single business day.
[2] The value in [1] divided by the total size of the student body, as reported by US News. It is implicitly assumed that the total size of the University community is proportional to this number.


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OFF-BUSINESS HOURS RANKINGS (Off-Business defined to be 6am-9am + 6pm-11pm)


Total Number of Off-Business Daily Hours During Which Rec Swim is Available
1 - MIT 8.0
2 - UPenn 8.0
3 - Harvard 6.5
... ... ...
10 - Stanford 3.5


Off-Business Rankings Adjusted by Pool Size (Total Space-Time Capacity)
1 - UPenn 3200.00
2 - UChicago 2700.00
3 - MIT 2554.99
... ... ...
10 - Stanford 400.05


Off-Business Rankings Adjusted by Pool Size and Student Body Size (Total Space-Time Capacity per Capita)
1 - CalTech 68.59
2 - Princeton 25.16
3 - MIT 25.00
... ... ...
10 - Stanford 2.02


For full rankings and source data, see http://www.stanford.edu/~ahirsch/recswim.htm

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Jackie HullBy:
Politics and GovernmentIn:
Petition target:
Stanford University Administration

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