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NESCAC News

By Brian Sobotko '16

December 5, 2013

Colby stops funding club rugby

In a letter posted on Colby’s Facebook page November 20, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty Lori Kletzer explained the reasoning for her recommendation to stop funding men’s and women’s club rugby after the Spring 2014 season.

Kletzer acknowledged the “deep disappointment that it will likely engender in those who have participated in and supported club rugby at Colby.” The reasons for the recommendation were multi-faceted and Kletzer explains “against a backdrop of increasing concern over college costs and a growing awareness of the health and safety risks of a high collision/contact sport, it is—we believe—the right decision.”

Kletzer explained the increasing costs associated with rugby because the appropriate oversight requires high levels of coaching and medical support, a figure that could exceed $115,000. Kletzer expressed concern that this figure goes far beyond spending levels for other club sports and is approximately equivalent to spending for a varsity sport.

A group of alumni, students and supporters has tried to compel the administration to “provide a detailed byline of the costs needed to keep the program going, and discuss other possibilities in which the College can support the rugby program.” As of Tuesday, an online petition to “Save Colby Rugby” had just over 4,000 signatures.

Williams senior named Rhodes Scholar

Brian McGrail, a Williams College senior, was one of 32 American men and women named Rhodes Scholars for 2014. The Rhodes Scholarship, the oldest international fellowship award in the world, provides for two or three years of study at University of Oxford in England.

McGrail was selected from a pool of 857 applicants who had been endorsed by 327 colleges or universities. 208 students made the final round of the process that included interviews in applicants’ home districts.

McGrail is a double major in history and political economy from Arlington, VA. He has particular interest in public policy work, especially tax reform to address income inequality. As a Rhodes Scholar, McGrail plans to obtain a master’s degree in comparative social policy.

"I would learn how other countries have implemented their own solutions to policy problems while adding a sociological dimension to my policy framework,” he wrote in his application. “The quantitative aspect of a social policy degree would be especially useful in refining my approach to policy evidence.”

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