Loyola students ask: Why can’t we use Norville Center?

Norville Center
By Stephen Mathis

Most students at Loyola University Chicago are impressed by the gleaming new Norville Center for Intercollegiate Athletics.  But they frequently ask this question: Why can’t we use it?

The university describes the $26 million Norville center this way: “With a sports medicine facility, a student-athlete academic center, modern and fully furnished locker rooms, state-of-the-art strength and conditioning equipment, and Loyola athletics Wall of Fame, this athletics complex will transform the on-campus experience of all our students and will ensure that our student-athletes have the facility they need to be successful on and off the court.”

But Norville Center is reserved for use by student athletes only. This rankles many students who are not on one of Loyola’s varsity teams.

“It does get under my skin a bit that the money I’m spending is going to a building I can’t use,” said sophomore mathematics major Kevin Morse, 19. “The point of paying tuition is for my education, and I don’t see how a building only for athletes helps my education at all.”

Some students that are involved in extracurricular activities like club sports also feel that the Norville Center and construction is interfering with their interests.

“I think this school looks more towards its student-athletes than its regular students. As a member of the club volleyball team, I see firsthand how ‘the little man’ takes a back seat to our athletics,” said Sean McGrath, 21, criminal justice major.

Some student athletes, however, feel the exact opposite.

“I think that it is a good thing that it is only reserved for student athletes. I understand how some people outside the athletic department aren’t happy with the recent additions just because facilities with Halas, the Library and the IC are still lacking behind what we have in there, but I feel that Loyola will more than make up for it with their future plans for the campus,” said Erik Hoops, 21, senior sports management major and member of the men’s golf team.

Other students have mixed feelings toward the center.

“I support a building for just the athletes,” said Rachel Anderson, 22, senior psychology major. “It should have a wider area where the general population can use it too.”