The University of Dallas owns and maintains the large field bordering Holy Trinity Seminary, and this field may help to solve the shortage of recreational spaces on campus for collegiate, club and intramural sports.
A scarcity of open recreational areas has both administration and students alike searching for new places on campus to pass time, whether as part of a club sports team such as Ultimate Frisbee or just as a group of friends wanting to congregate on campus.
Provost Dr. Jonathan Sanford recognizes that in regards to student culture, there is heavy competition between different groups on campus to find viable spots to host events. Athletic fields are generally forbidden to non-athletes due to a history of vandalism, and the fields that are available are highly coveted spaces.
However, the field owned by the school next to the seminary might be a solution to the overcrowding of other recreational spaces on campus. Even though the field appears to be attached to the seminary, it actually only borders their land, and maintenance on the field is provided by UD.
“It’s our field,” Sanford said. “It’s open to students at all times … It’s not easy to get to, but it’s ours. A good place for picnics and frisbees and things like that.”
Students across campus may recognize the field for various reasons, even if they did not know that it was connected to the school directly. Senior biology major Bridget Kennedy knew that there was a field adjacent to the school that she was allowed to be on, even if she “never fully realized that it was [the university’s],” because the runs she took during her time on the cross country team passed through the field and into the neighboring woods, which are also a part of the university’s property.
Senior English major Michelle Little remembers the field more fondly for another UD-connected tradition, the event in partnership with Holy Trinity Seminary called “S’mores with Seminarians,” where students on campus are encouraged to spend an evening at a campfire with their seminarian classmates and friends.
“[The event] helps encourage a healthier relationship between the seminarians and the students,” Little said. “It bridges a gap between the two [so] that, while there is an obvious difference between the groups, [it] encourages friendships that might not otherwise be formed. Plus, it’s fun.”
There are encouraging signs that, as the field becomes more widely known, students will be able to utilize this space more frequently.
However, this football-length size field, complete with goalposts, is quite difficult to reach. Students can take the path to the seminary and then turn off-path along the treeline to arrive there, but the hilly nature of the area does prove problematic to those who would want to reach the field in good time, especially if they were carrying equipment of any kind.
If this typically untouched area is found to be a suitable area for students to recreate, perhaps the school would be willing to employ more resources to make the area a viable candidate for rec sports or further student activities. After all, the space is part of the the campus and open to all students, so hopefully it can and will be better utilized in times to come.