Claire Oliver

I enjoy the view from my dorm room. I have an unobstructed view of Keck Campus, and I don’t have to worry about seeing too much of students in their rooms. I even have prime seats for every home softball game. However, I’ve realized this view comes with a price.

Since softball practice began this season, I’ve gotten used to the metallic clink of bats, the tractor constantly smoothing out the surface and the stadium lights giving a false sense of daylight.

 I’ve grown accustomed to the occasional thuds of foul balls flying out of the stadium hitting a variety of surfaces, whether concrete, grass or metal.

I’ve often wondered why there aren’t nets surrounding the field. The light posts are already equipped with loopholes for nets, and the baseball field has them. Why not the softball field, too?

Still, I never really saw the necessity of these additions until Feb. 29, when my roommate returned soaking wet from the rain and thoroughly perturbed. I knew one of those thuds I heard had hit home. 

A foul ball flew over the bleachers and left a softball-sized hole in my roommate’s car’s back windshield. When she turned the car on to move it, the rest of the glass shattered too.

Because her car was parked exactly parallel to home base, it’s actually an impressive shot, if you think about it.

I realize the college is not liable for this, and neither is the team. Even players as good as ours can’t control where every hit goes, and there is a sign that clearly warns of foul balls.

However, when my roommate returned from the auto shop with the equivalent of Saran Wrap protecting her seats from the rain, it became apparent more precautions could, and should, be taken.

Parking is scarce for those of us living in the center of campus, and finding a space within sight of your building trumps all warnings against potential damage.

My roommate had the auto shop hand over her glass-covered 2007-2008 parking sticker so she wouldn’t be penalized when she returned—if this doesn’t clear up student priorities, I don’t know what does.

It would be a courtesy to students to decrease these odds even more by adding nets.

As the weekend progressed, I heard more stories about softballs hitting cars, softballs hitting buildings, softballs nearly hitting people. Just yesterday one struck the brick right next to my window. Walking back from Albertson’s the other night, I saw another windshield had been hit and shattered. Slight exaggerations aside, why even take the chance of this happening again? A small sign isn’t enough. 

I realize the college takes a great deal of pride in its beautification (the near-obsessive lawn-edging attests to that), but shouldn’t the safety of students and our property take precedence over aesthetics?

This morning as I watched the sun come up, I thought about whether transparent mesh nets would be distracting or obstructive. The answer is clear: No, not at all.  

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