On February 28th it was abruptly announced that Hartwick College would be discontinuing its participation in Division I athletics after the 2017-2018 season. The college stated that the men’s soccer team would transition into a Division III program, while the women’s water polo program would be discontinued all together. This decision was made without ANY consultation with the current coaching staff or athletes of either program, leaving the men's team to find out a half hour before the announcement was made public while the women's team found out through email with the rest of the Hartwick Community while waiting to go into their team meeting. It was stated that the reason behind this decision was ultimately finances and the efforts to better align the athletic programs with the college’s mission. This is not the first or even second time that these programs have been in jeopardy of being discontinued and it is important that we, as the Hartwick Soccer and Water Polo Communities, as well as all alumni that value these programs come together to show the Board of Trustees how important these programs are to Hartwick College.
These teams are a massively contributing factor of what sets Hartwick apart from the other private schools in the surrounding areas, because in addition to these teams competing at the highest level in the NCAA, they also bring a wide sense of culture and diversity to a small liberal arts school in upstate New York drawing student athletes from all over the world. These student athletes are required to maintain a certain GPA in order to remain on scholarship and eligible to compete, contributing to the high academic standards Hartwick College prides itself on.
Whether you are a current student/student athlete, an alumni who was around when these programs first started, friends or family of these programs who have supported the teams throughout the years, now more than ever we need your support! Please take the time to sign this petition and share a message of why Hartwick Soccer and/or Water Polo is important to you. These teams have been a large part of many of our memories at Hartwick and we hope that it has been part of some of yours, too! Thank you for standing up with us, we appreciate all of the support!
- The Hartwick Women's Water Polo Community