Utica Swimmers Petitioning to Reinstate Cut Program

Photo Courtesy: Utica University Athletics

Utica Swimmers Petitioning to Reinstate Cut Program

Swimmers at Utica University in New York have started a petition to push for reinstatement of their team after the university cut it last month.

The petition was started by Kimberley Serio, a rising senior. It has garnered more than 2,200 signatures.

The Division III program announced on June 13 that it would cut the men’s and women’s swimming teams (as well as women’s water polo and men’s tennis.) The announcement cited “declining student interest” and renovation costs as reasons for the program’s elimination.

The decision came as a shock to swimmers, delivered as it was in a “disrespectful manner.” It also was with immediate effect, depriving the swimmers of a chance at a farewell. If not a larger reinstatement, the swimmers are pushing for at least some kind of honoring of their commitments beyond the year that had already ended by the time the announcement was made, possibly with a final season of Utica swimming.

From the petition:

“We were stripped away from having even acknowledgement and preparedness that this would be our last year. As a result of these actions, these student athletes are left without a team, feeling disposable by the athletics department, and missing important milestones of their athletics career such as their senior year.

“We are asking you to help us bring immediate attention to the disrespectful manner in which this process has been handled, and help us fight to have one more year as a swim program. This could be done through fixing the pool at Utica enough to compete one more year or outreaching to a local pool to be able to hold practices off campus.”

“I met with part of the administration and we haven’t received any true news on why we can’t have one more year,” Serio told the Rome Daily Sentinel said. “However, it was a positive meeting and somewhat refreshing because it was the first time administration has said that they feel for us and are here for us after the email being sent out to the entire school.”

You can find the petition on change.org here.