As many students hurry off campus to escape school for a few days, they leave behind a football team that has a home game to play – regardless of attendance and crowd support from Simpson. Fall break begins after classes end on Wednesday, Oct. 26. Housing was originally slated to re-open noon on Sunday, Oct. 30.
However, Residence Life recently changed the schedule and will open housing units one day early for students who want to go to the game. If the schedule hadn’t changed, fans would’ve been in a bind.
“There is a procedure for gaining permission to stay,” said Mandy Fox, director of residence life. “Students living in the traditional halls, Barker, Kresge, Buxton, Picken, Worth, as well ATO, SAE, LXA, and KKG who wish to stay over break must come to the Student Development office and fill out a fall break contract. Students living in theme houses or apartments, or those participating in college activities aren’t required to.”
Hosting a football game during fall break when most supporters will be home has raised a lot of eyebrows.
“The football schedule is made by the Iowa Conference, and we are already scheduled into the 2007-08 season,” Head Football Coach Jay Niemann said.
Though the games are planned years in advance, Niemann said this is the first time in the four years he has been a coach for Simpson that a home game has conflicted with a fall break.
There are many students besides football players who work behind the scenes that also aren’t going to be able to leave Indianola during break.
“I understand that they have to have a football game over fall break,” said junior Deena Rupalo, a member of the Sports Information staff. “It would be nice to go home though, because I don’t get to very often.”
Though the fans may not have physical representation in the stands at Buxton Stadium, the team is not focusing on that aspect of the game.
“I try not to make crowd attendance a big deal,” Niemann said. “I hope regardless of who is in the stands the team plays with the same intensity.”
If a student does have a conflict and is unable to leave campus housing he or she must fill out a fall-break contract to be allowed to stay. If approved, it will cost $30 to stay in one of the closed housing units.
“As for the game, it could hurt attendance,” Fox said. “However, with a little planning, most dedicated fans will be able to schedule accordingly.”