Bennie Swim & Dive | Wolvert dives headfirst into new position

HANNAH SCHWIETZ • [email protected] Interim CSB swim & dive coach, Mandy Wolvert, takes over for Dan Eckberg who resigned this summer in July; Eckberg held the position for the past six seasons.

By Brandon Spratt
[email protected]

CSB Swim and Dive began practice on Monday led by a familiar face in a new role.

Former head coach Dan Eckberg announced in July he would be stepping down after six seasons at the helm. Mandy Wolvert, an assistant coach for six seasons with the program, has been named interim head coach.

“It was a very easy decision when [Eckberg] resigned,” Wolvert said. “I’ve been with [CSB] long enough to know the great team that they are.”

For Wolvert, this is her first head coaching position since she graduated from St. Cloud State in 2000, where she swam for the Huskies for three seasons.

“I hadn’t thought too much about it … coaching is very time consuming,” Wolvert said, adding, “The timing was right with my family.”

The choice is a popular one among the athletes on the team, especially those who experienced her work as an assistant coach.

“I’m pumped because Mandy is such a good coach at making sure everyone is accounted for and encouraged in a way that just makes us all excited to swim,”
senior Sydney Dugas said.

Wolvert considers herself ‘extremely competitive’ and aims to push each swimmer to achieve personal bests, or even school records, of which the Bennies achieved several last year.

“I think she’s really good at recognizing what makes people excited and knows how to push you,” senior Morgan Murphy said.

Wolvert is seeking to build upon the solid foundation Coach Eckberg provided the past few seasons.

“Every single athlete had a place on this team and that’s why it’s the team it is now. I want to continue that,” Wolvert said. Wolvert stressed that the upstanding people on the team made her job as coach a bit easier.

“St. Ben’s attracts a really unique woman,” Wolvert said. “They’re very independent, strong and empowered already, before they even hit the deck.”

The CSB swim and dive team starts the 2019-20 season Friday, Oct. 11, at the St. Kate’s Pentathlon in St. Paul. It is the first event in a long season that leads to the MIAC Championship in Minneapolis Feb. 12-15, 2020.

“I’m excited for them to show St. Ben’s what they can do,” Wolvert said.

CSB has finished fifth or sixth out of 11 teams each of the last five years at the conference meet, but with such an experienced squad, Wolvert is looking to jump into the top three or four come February.

That journey began as Wolvert led her first practice as head coach on Monday.

“They came in already well-trained,” Wolvert said. “I feel like we hit the ground running.”

The swimmers were impressed with the arduous opening day: “Morgan said yesterday ‘I think I got hit by a bus, but I lived,’”
Dugas quipped.

Murphy, smiling, said the practice was fun for everyone once they got used to it.

And for the future, while Wolvert isn’t getting too far ahead of herself, she acknowledges that shedding the interim label is of interest to her—“Definitely that’s my goal.”

MIAC shakes up long lasting legacy with St. Thomas exit

By Nick Corrigan
[email protected]

In the coming years the MIAC will embrace a slightly different feel to the conference. It has been in place for 99 years and will be celebrating the century mark this coming spring. In late May the MIAC released an official statement announcing the departure of a historic member of the conference: St. Thomas. The Tommies were one of the seven founding schools of the MIAC.

“After extensive membership discussions, the University of St. Thomas will be involuntarily removed from membership in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC),” an official statement from the conference said.

News as big as this will always raise questions and speculations as to the reasoning behind such a sudden change in a landmark conference to not only the state but the country. The MIAC is the 12th oldest conference across all of the NCAA and holds the fourth-longest active streak of an unchanged conference.

The official statement from the MIAC cited athletic competitiveness to be a main reason for the removal: “The MIAC Presidents’ Council cites athletic competitive parity in the conference as a primary concern. St. Thomas will begin a multi-year transition immediately and meanwhile is eligible to compete as a full member of the MIAC through the end of spring 2021.”

The athletic disparity between St. Thomas and rival MIAC schools can be seen through recent conference championships. In the past five years, St. Thomas has won 56 percent of MIAC championships across all sports.

Even though athletics played a major role in the decision, undergrad enrollment may also have been a concern. St. Thomas has a current undergraduate enrollment of 6,300, which has now doubled the next highest school in the MIAC, St. Olaf.

“The MIAC would have collapsed in a year if this action didn’t occur,” MIAC Commissioner Dan McKane said in the official MIAC statement.

St. Thomas will now begin a two-year transition program into finding a new conference that is the best fit for them or move up to Division II. The Tommies will still be allowed to participate in full capacity in the MIAC through the 2020-21 academic year. If they do in fact find a conference before that, they will be allowed to exit early.

The official statement from the MIAC enforced that St. Thomas “will leave the conference in good standing with a long and appreciated history of academic and athletic success.”

They will also be placing storied rivalries up in the air, particularly with St. John’s and St. Ben’s athletics. Both campuses came out with a response to the decision from the MIAC.

“We are disappointed that the MIAC will not continue intact. We value the relationships and rivalries with St. Thomas and all the other schools in the league. We have no idea where St. Thomas goes from here, but our focus will be on Saint John’s and our student athletes,” SJU’s Athletic Department response stated.

CSB’s Athletic Department also concurred with a similar response on the incident.

“CSB recognizes the authority of the MIAC president’s council and respects their authority to make decisions on behalf of the conference. CSB will work very hard along with the leadership of the MIAC to make for a smooth and successful transition toward a new make-up of MIAC schools.”

With change coming the MIAC will need to embrace the final years of a longstanding unchanged conference before the new season take over.

Our View | Support our Bahamian brothers and sisters

“Our view” is prepared by the Executive board and should be considered the institutional voice of The Record.

Brandon Spratt, Editor-In-Chief — [email protected]
Cullen Trobec, Managing Editor — [email protected]
Ben Pults, Managing Editor — [email protected]

Nick Swanson, Opinion/Editorial Editor — [email protected]

On Sunday, Sept. 1, 2019, Hurricane Dorrian struck the Abaco Islands in the Bahamas as a Category 5 hurricane. As the storm continued its path through the Bahamas, homes were lost, families were separated, 50 people perished and $3 billion of property in the Bahamas was lost.

Many Bahamians call St. Ben’s and St. John’s home, with 68 Bahamian students currently attending our institutions. For whatever reason, they chose St. Ben’s and St. John’s and it does not really matter why they decided to come to small liberal arts institutions in the middle of central Minnesota, where the winters are unforgiving. Maybe it was because they were told of the institutions’ pride in promoting a welcoming community and wanted to see what these places had to offer. But what does community mean? Everyone feels good when they talk about building a strong community but tossing the word around deteriorates the value of the word when we do not act it out in our daily lives.

The community at St. Ben’s and St. John’s should create a sense of fellowship where a person can see themselves in someone else. See yourself in a student from the Bahamas, see them in your daily lives and then think about how Hurricane Dorian’s effects have impacted their lives. Our students from the Bahamas deserve to feel they belong, as they are the St. Ben’s and St. John’s community just since much as someone who has lived in Minnesota all their life. It is our imperative; it is our duty to support those who are in our family.

There is no need to qualify the Bahamian community’s presence with accomplishments or accolades, the many that there are, for that is not necessary in this moment. But rather, realize their country—their home—could have been your home too.

Imagine if the place where you grew up was flooded, devastated by an act of nature and you were studying in a foreign country with a six-hour plane ride away from where you grew up. As a St. Ben’s and St. John’s community, we must support our brothers and sisters.

Please consider donating funds or goods to the St. Ben’s and St. John’s Bahama relief fund. Donations can be made either online on the institutions web page or by dropping off goods in Murray Hall. Not everyone can support the Bahamas through a monetary donation, but everyone can offer support to someone from the Bahamas affected by Hurricane Dorian.

Asking how someone is doing can go a long way toward making people feel like they belong. Keep the 68 students of the Bahamas on your mind. Do not intrude when it is not appropriate, but do something when you can.

Do not be indifferent; be human.

Reader Letter | We must act swiftly to combat climate change

Dear Editor, 

We are in the midst of a climate crisis, a critical climate catastrophe.

“Our house is on fire,” as Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old Swedish student puts it.

The youth get it; while ‘adults’ remain paralyzed by politics, youth are taking action, organizing over 500 climate strikes across the globe from Sept. 20-27.

On our campus today, this Friday, we are uniting with these global youth strikes. Join us in dialogue through round-table discussions and activism through art!

Activities will be occurring from 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. in Quad 264 for discussion, then 3:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m. in Gorecki Fireside for a sharing of climate stories.

If you are unable to step away from that $300 class with a “no tolerance” policy for absences, show solidarity by being silent, wearing green or yellow and taking this time to register to vote.

Addressing the climate crisis requires urgent action to radically, change our current relationship with the earth.

We have 10 years left before the climate crisis is irreversible and personally, that is one deadline I do not want to procrastinate on.

Danielle Voss ‘21
CSB junior

Opinion | CSB/SJU needs more fitness accommodations for non-athletes

By Farrad Williams
[email protected]

As I think about the success of our alumni and start to reflect on what I want to accomplish in my future after this year, two questions come to mind: how well did our alumni take care of themselves when they were students? And how well am I taking care of myself now?

As we tackle multiple classes and become involved in a variety of clubs, sports and jobs, it’s important for us to take care of ourselves—to feed our bodies and souls mentally and physically.

Some athletes may have the physical portion of taking care of their bodies covered as they may train and practice every day for football, track, soccer, rugby, etc. These athletes get priority in our athletic facilities, especially the fitness center, making it difficult for non-athletes to find the right time to take care of their bodies.

After talking with friends and other peers on campus who are not athletes, I realized several things. I realized non-athletes on campus do want to take care of their bodies by working out in our fitness center, but often cannot due to reserved practices for athletic teams. Practices usually take up all equipment in the center.

I also learned that non-athletes want to work out, but may feel uncomfortable working out with athletes who may be in better shape. Some students, including myself, have even been told to leave the fitness center due to scheduled practices. This may lead to students, faculty and staff giving up on taking care of their bodies physically.

Non-athletes who don’t feel welcomed in our fitness center are essentially forced to obtain memberships to other fitness centers in the area. This means students are spending extra
money to take care of their bodies while simultaneously spending thousands of dollars to attend our institutions. Since students and their families are paying a substantial amount of money to attend these institutions, they should be able to take advantage of all facilities on campus.

As I advocate for non-athletes to gain more time and access to our fitness center, I am not saying our athletes should be banned from using the fitness center and other athletic facilities completely. I think they should continue to use it as much as possible for two reasons: to take care of their bodies and to continue to provide the service of playing games to our community. Something we all appreciate.However, non- athletes shouldn’t have to worry about finding a specific time that may not fit into their schedule because the center has been reserved for a football practice. I highly encourage our administration to find funding for expanding our fitness center or creating a new facility for non-athletes. Our athletic facilities need to be more inclusive to our non-athlete students. As stated on our school’s website, the fitness center is open to all students, alumni and parishioners.

When students are given the opportunity to take care of themselves physically, we are also able to take care of our minds. Studies in recent years have shown that when people are physically active, this can impact their mind and allow them to think more clearly.

Physical exercise can also relieve stress and help those on campus who may suffer from depression and anxiety.

I know the suggestions I’ve provided will be expensive and will be long-term. I hope our administration takes some immediate action on helping our students take care of their bodies physically.

In order to reach the success level of our predecessors and go beyond, we need to be given the gift of self-care in the present in order to return this gift and so much more in the future.

This is the opinion of Farrad Williams, SJU Senior