Student-athletes find balance between academics, athletics

It’s demanding, time consuming and competitive. Time management is key. This task is not meant for everyone, however, there are about 450 student athletes at Oswego State.

Student-athletes have very demanding schedules between practices, games, classes and homework. With intense schedules like these, it gets difficult to manage time and complete school assignments. Luckily for student-athletes, Oswego State has set up multiple programs to help them adjust to school and deal with time management.

When student-athletes first get to school, there is a first year student-athlete orientation where other freshmen athletes can meet each other. First year student-athletes are also required to complete four hours of mandatory study hall their first semester. If they receive a GPA of 2.5 or higher, they do not have to return to study hall the next semester.

Study hall is mandatory study hours during the week. Study hall runs from 7-9:30 p.m. in the library every Sunday and 7:30-9:30 p.m. on Tuesdays in the Campus Center. If students cannot attend these hours, they can go to the resource room in Laker Hall any day from 11:00 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Students who attend study hall are also required to have weekly meetings with Academic Support Assistant Sue Witmer.

"We meet once a week to talk about the issues students are having in school," Witmer said. "We plan time management and see if the students need tutors."

Witmer believes that the structured study hall helps students learn time management.

"We get more freshman during their particular season," Witmer said. "They usually get out after their season is done."

Academic and Life Skills Coordinator Ryoko Sekiguchi also helps student-athletes achieve success in the classroom.

"We keep track of their progress and their GPA," Sekiguchi said. "We get midterm grades from professors so we can help the student before it is too late."

Sekiguchi also helps students get extra help, tutors and answer any questions a student-athlete might have.

"I get most of my work done in study hall," said Chad Burridge, a sophomore Oswego State basketball player. "I also do it in my free time before practices and games. Our assistant coach’s wife also tutors me. She helps correct my papers and answers any questions I have."

Burridge’s coach also keeps tabs on his players. He gets weekly e-mail reports from the athlete’s professors.

"I get my work done when I need to," Burridge said. "The only tough time is when we have away games and we don’t get back until late, then have 8 a.m. class."

Student athletes have an overall higher GPA than regular students. Sekiguchi believes the only draw back to study hall is that she sometimes feels like a babysitter.

"It is a quiet study hall," Sekiguchi said. "So I feel bad when I have to tell students to be quiet, or read a text book instead of a magazine. We are giving them an opportunity to do work and if they don’t, it is their fault."
Both Sekiguchi and Witmer believe study hall has been successful in teaching student-athletes time management and balance.

Student-athletes are also involved in community service, such as a yearly leaf raking around local Oswego homes. They also have the opportunity to attend an award ceremony for their academic and athletic excellence