Simpson Looks For Smooth Transition


by Erin Guzman

In the rush of changes in the Indianola and Simpson communities, one can only wonder what those changes will actually hold for citizens and students.

After seeing the plans and hearing the innovative ideas coming from developers and supporters, the Indianola YMCA and the push for Simpson’s revamped athletics facilities look to bring in promise for those who will be affected.

Not only will students directly see benefits, but faculty and Indianola community members are also hoping to gain something from these recreational additions. Head Athletic Director John Siriani hopes that the two entities will supplement each other and make a great addition to the new student center on Simpson’s campus.

“We’re trying to create a stronger sense of community,” Siriani said. “I think it will put Simpson up at the top in comparison with other schools.”

Simpson College President John Byrd agrees.

“Updating our athletic facilities will help compliment the plans for the new student center,” Byrd noted. “We’re hoping that both the YMCA and Simpson’s facilities will be able to foster more integrative learning for our students, but also to help stimulate the economy in Indianola and work toward promoting fitness and health overall.”

That being said, the YMCA plans to offer reduced membership rates for Simpson students and faculty wishing to utilize its resources, while continuing to build strong ties in the community.

But within all this rapid change, it might be difficult and overwhelming to some students who are eager to see changes on campus. And many students will not get to take advantage of the new facilities while still at Simpson.

This year’s freshman class will be one of the first classes of students who will get to see the completion and implementation of these entities. Freshman Brooke Egeland is an athletic training and pre-physical therapy major eager to have these facilities enhance her educational experience.

“I think these facilities will have a very positive impact on Simpson,” Egeland said. “For athletic training, it will help with rehab teaching and will allow for more equipment to be in use in a bigger space. I can also see the rehab facilities at the YMCA helping AT students learn, and also helping athletic teams progress.”

Freshman Max Nguyen sees these changes being extremely beneficial to student athletes and those looking to stay physically fit.

“Simpson has needed some updating for awhile,” Nguyen said. “I think the new facilities will help with any sports program, but also with recruitment. Recruiting is a big-time focus when you look at some of the other competitive schools in our conference. These changes will only put us a step up.”

With the new weight room entity looking to be built on campus, more space will be provided for non-athletes to enjoy fitness activities as well. The split level weight and cardio area would allow for students, faculty and community members to be able to exercise without feeling crowded by sports teams flooding the weight room.

“I think a lot of people can get overwhelmed when they see sports teams using the weight room,” Nguyen noted. “By having the two level facility it will make people feel comfortable and would help promote an overall sense of well being and health. Plus, nice and new facilities would also make people want to work out.”

As the plans continue to unfold to the campus community, supporters like Byrd and Siriani are looking to get student and faculty input.

“As plans go public, we want SGA, student athletes, and other student groups to get a chance to weigh in on these plans,” Byrd commented. “We always welcome feedback.”

The student population is a key component of how these facilities will be carried out and operated, so it’s only right that they get a say.

“Student input is very important,” Egeland noted. “They’ll have better insight from actually using the facilities, as opposed to outsiders assuming what is needed for students and athletes.”

Both the Indianola YMCA and the updating of Simpson’s athletic facilities are seeking to promote stronger ties within the communities, while also promoting health and the economy. These transitions only hope to make Simpson a brighter star in the upcoming years of change.