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Katherine DeClerq | Fulcrum Staff

TWO WEEKS AGO, I went to Carleton University to report on the women’s and men’s basketball games between the rival schools, and I have to say I was extremely impressed.

The first thing I noticed was the crowd—there was an actual lineup of students decked out in red and white at the entrance. The Fulcrum was pushed through the crowds and led to an elevator that brought us to a press box, quite similar to the one that used to reside at Frank Clair Stadium. Although accessing Internet was an issue, the box gave me a great view of the court below.

The gym was huge, and at least a few hundred students and family members sat on both sides of the court. The scoreboards themselves were a sight to see, with one on each side giving light to the points, fouls, and time.

The announcement system was clear and fair, giving comments both for and against the Gees and Ravens, promoting school spirit while accurately describing the plays. The university gave away free pizza and chips to students at halftime and held a contest in which students who attend games were put into a draw for free tuition for a year.

And to take the cake, Carleton walked around the court at halftime with pictures of a new sports facility where games would be played.

Compared to the University of Ottawa, this was the real deal.

While our facilities are well kept, they are a joke when compared to othher schools across the province. Montpetit, though it serves its purpose, looks and feels like a high-school gymnasium.  Media is squished into two court-side tables, while the few students who actually show up sit on cold benches with food from the cafeteria.

We are building a new facility on Lees campus that can be used for football and other field sports, but I find it surprising our current facilities are at such a low standard compared to others. Obviously the free pizza and tuition contest are just extra perks, but the maintenance of the court, its scoreboard, and sport promotion shouldn’t be kept to similar standards.

Just because we are building a new facility elsewhere doesn’t mean that our other ones should be left in the dust. If we have the money, why not use it to enhance our gyms and make them more appealing—and, well, more professional?

No U of O student should feel second best after visiting a rival school.