The latest University of Connecticut-based Change.org petition is asking for the Department of Student Affairs and the Club Sports program to reinstate spring Club Sports for the remainder of the spring 2021 semester.
On the petition homepage, it states that UConn has been able to successfully create COVID-19 safety regulations for NCAA spring sports to compete this year and wishes that Club Sports would be considered for reinstatement in a similar manner.
“People all over the country are finding ways to get sports back safely and athletes everywhere are enjoying practicing and competing in the sport they love,” the petition homepage said. “UConn has done this successfully with their NCAA Sports Programs.”
If Club Sports are reinstated now instead of waiting until the fall 2021 semester, current seniors may have an opportunity to play again with their teammates, according to the petition.
“As COVID-19 rates continue to drop, we ask that UConn show Club Sport athletes consideration by working with each team to figure out how to safely get them back practicing and competing immediately,” according to the petition. “Waiting to restart next year does not help the seniors who will never get the opportunity to play again.”
According to the petition’s homepage, the petition has 1,064 signatures at the time of reporting. Its target goal is to reach 1,500 signatures.
On the UConn Recreation website, it states that spring Club Sports will not be permitted to practice or compete in the spring 2021 season.
The currently permitted virtual activities for spring 2021 are tryouts and new member recruitment, executive board meetings, team/coach meetings and fundraising events. According to the website, virtual activities are permitted from Feb. 1 to April 9.
As for in-person activities, spring club sports are allowed to compete in a club sport-wide fitness competition, a one-day triathlon on March 27, a 5-K run in April and Jonathan’s Challenge.
In response to the petition, Stephanie Reitz, university spokesperson, said UConn is following all health and safety standards to protect students from potential exposure to COVID-19. These precautions include temporarily halting activities that have higher levels of risk, such as Club Sports.
“All such activities, including Club Sports, will be reassessed for fall semester and onward based on the prevalence of the virus and any of its variants, the immunization levels among students and others on campus, and related medical and health considerations,” Reitz said.