By Kaila Trowbridge

The University of Saint Mary has many developing athletic programs that leads to there being many student athletes on campus. Approximately 62% of the students that attend the University of Saint Mary are student athletes. Student athletes often miss class due to scheduled games and they sometimes don’t get home until midnight or later when traveling for a game. Those who get involved in athletics are more likely to find friends because they form relationships with their teammates.

What happens to the students who aren’t introduced to a team when they get to campus? All students are able to join any of the clubs that are available at the school. Those non-student athletes are likely to join a club which allows them to meet friends with similar interests.

Freshman Nick Barnett is not a student athlete at the University of Saint Mary but has made friends through a journalism club called JCOM where students cover news and events for the rest of the campus. “I don’t think being a non-student athlete affects my social life at all, the people here don’t care if you are an athlete or not,” Barnett said. “I just have to be social and nice and it all works out.”

There are others on campus who do not participate in athletics that agree with Barnett. Junior Rilie Barnes is involved in honors and is on the committee of honors. She was a cheerleader her freshman year but she says she enjoys being a non-student athlete. “It leaves me with a lot more time to do other things, like work and have free time to go do stuff with my family and friends and I have my weekends free,” Barnes said. The University of Saint Mary has a very diverse population full of friendly faces.

Some say athletes will not be as good of a student because they have to miss class, are tired from games and practicing, and are overworked. Being a non-student athlete allows students to maximize their academic experience. Barnett appreciates the extra time he has since he does not play a sport. “It gives me a lot of free time to do what I need to do in school,” he said. Overall, being a student athlete has its ups and downs, the same way a non-student athlete does. The University of Saint Mary is an accepting campus that strives to make every student feel welcomed and respected. 

Kaila Trowbridge is a Junior at University of Saint Mary where she majors in Digital Communications.