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SWCC to add extracurriculars

Published: Thursday, Dec. 13, 2012 1:35 p.m. CDT • Updated: Thursday, Dec. 13, 2012 1:40 p.m. CDT

Southwestern Community College looked at two extracurricular activities to possibly add for students to join.

“We’re looking at ways to use extracurricular activities to bring more students to Southwestern,” said SWCC Dean of Students Matt Thompson.

One possible sport that will be included is sports shooting.

“This is something that we’ve talked about for a couple of years,” said Thompson. “It seems that this is something that is growing statewide, it’s growing in our area. It’s getting attention across the Midwest and across the nation.”

According to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, 1,392 students participated in the Iowa High School Scholastic Clay Target Program State Championship in 2011, and in 2012, that number increased to more than 1,500. Statewide, there are 59 schools that compete in the championship.

There are 15 students expected to participate in the 2013-14 school year, with the number of students rising to 20 by the 2015-16 school year.

“Obviously to do something like this there’s a lot of consideration that needs to be taken as far as safety and realizing that we live in an environment where there are people who do bad things on college campuses and in high schools,” said Thompson. “So, as we look at starting a program like this, we have to do our due diligence to make sure that we protect our students that live on campus (and) our employees that work on campus.”

Safety precautions for the sports-shooting team include:

•No firearms on SWCC grounds; all firearms are to be stored in a locked facility at 3 Mile Lake park ranger station.

•Students will be required to check-in and check-out firearms with the team’s coach.

•All team participants will be subject to a background check.

•All team participants will be required to complete three-hour safety training prior to start of the season.

•A trained professional will be on-site at all times of team practices.

•The coach will be required to go through safety training on an on-going basis.

SWCC will not buy the firearms. Students will be required to provide their own firearm, for reasons of liability and comfort.The program will focus specifically on trap and skeet shooting with a shotgun; target rifles and handguns will not be used.

Concerns were raised over the liability of the situation. The college would have insurance to cover the team, while the students must have an insurance policy for the firearm in the instance it is lost or stolen.

Traveling would not be extensive as events would be held in Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas. Currently, there are no scholarships for this program. SWCC would be the first community college to offer this program.

The second extracurricular activity is bowling.

“Bowling,” Thompson said, “it’s another low cost extracurricular activing that we’ve looked at starting.”

Last year Iowa Central Community College became the first community college to offer a bowling program. This would make SWCC the second. Currently, there are 85 high shools offering girls varsity bowling and 87 high schools offering boys varsity bowling in the state of Iowa. These programs are producing a total of 3,108 students.

“If we start this program we would like to have, in our first year, 15 bowlers,” said Thompson. “We think it’s a realistic number, moving up to a participant list of 30.”

According to Thompson, Creston Lanes bowling alley would coordinate with the college in order to allow the students practice time. If practice needs to be done on a synthetic floor, where Creston Lanes is hardwood, the team would practice at Pine Valley.

In other SWCC news:

•No offers were made for the sale of the student-constructed house.

•Early retirement policy was approved and will be effective through June 30, 2013.

•The long-range master plan was approved.

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