The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

Recreation thrives in Taffner Field House

Since its opening, the Taffner Field House has been heavily populated every day by students looking for a pick-up game of basketball or just looking to hone their skills. The student body seems thoroughly impressed by the efforts of the University to provide a new center for student recreation.

“It’s perfect,” senior Omar Alamarie said. “The water’s in the right place, the bathroom [is in a good place]. It’s organized, they have people checking ID’s.”

Alamarie also agreed that the Taffner facility is a huge improvement over the facilities in Carnesecca Arena.

“There are more courts, more room, it’s more comfortable here,” Alamarie said. “It’s much better.”

Senior Shady Boutros agreed, having only good things to say about the facility.

“It’s really nice,” Boutros said. “It’s cool. It’s nice, clean, big. So far so good.”

Boutros commented that he was especially happy with the excellent lighting, a feature that he said was lacking from the basketball courts at Carnesecca Arena.

“For me as long as there’s a hoop and a net, I’m happy,” Boutros said, though he added that he was still very impressed by the new Field House.

“I think it’s a very important step for the University,” Boutros added.

There appeared to be only one complaint about Taffner, which was voiced by Josh Butnick, a first year law student, and shared by several others. Butnick, who came to St. John’s from George Washington University, said that although “the courts are nice,” he felt it was unfair that “about 75 percent of it is going to the basketball team” and “they don’t even open it up when they’re not here.” However, Butnick did go on to comment on the friendliness of the staff and the students using it. “I like playing here,” he said.

Men’s basketball coach Norm Roberts addressed the questions of those who wondered why only part of the field house is now open to the public.

“The building is cut in half,” he said. “One half is for the regular student body and the other half is for intercollegiate sports.”

Roberts explained that the building was specifically designed this way with the intention of giving both the athletic department and the students a place they can call their own. He also mentioned that this is a major improvement over the old arrangement, in which students could be kicked off of the courts in Carnesecca Arena so the basketball team could practice.

“I think it’s a great facility,” Roberts said. “For thirty years [the students] didn’t have anything like this. I think it’s awesome what the Taffners have done.”

Director of Campus Recreation Bill Gavin was just as excited about what the construction of the Taffner facility means for the student body.

“I think it’s a great facility for the students,” Gavin said. “They have their own dedicated place.”

Gavin said that from what he has seen, the students are very happy with the Field House, and it shows in the high attendance. He was also happy about what it means for Campus Recreation.

“Part of this is dedicated to the students,” Gavin said. “It gives our department great potential.”

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