CCSGA Weekly: The Robson Arena Experiment

By ZAC SCHULMAN ’20

STUDENT BODY PRESIDENT

Colorado College will be clearing the area bordered by Nevada Avenue and Cache La Poudre, Dale, and Tejon Streets this summer, and construction of the Edward J. Robson Arena will begin soon thereafter. In the renderings they have presented to the Robson Arena Committee, the representatives from JLG Architects have emphasized what they see as their greatest challenge in designing this arena: making the arena fit seamlessly with the rest of the CC campus. The architects, and those of us who serve on the committee, do not want this building to disrespect the surrounding buildings in size, color, or style. There has never been a game-sized arena on campus before and, regardless of how well Robson is designed to integrate into the rest of campus, there is no doubt that its presence will be felt. 

The Robson Arena is first and foremost being built so that the hockey team can play games on campus. The success of the arena, and by that I mean the extent to which all students interact with it, is dependent on a number of things. In response to the events that happened at a party lon the night of March 29, the most important thing that I can stress is that students, especially those on the hockey team, start working to see beyond their own bubbles. There are roughly 500 seats being reserved in Robson for students — that is practically a quarter of the student body. Those seats will not be filled if students do not feel connected to, or respected by, the hockey team. 

We often speak of the “CC Bubble” as if there is a singular bubble we all experience. At the moment, the reality of life as a student on campus, myself included, is that we experience our own insular bubbles. As someone put it at the Glass House dialogue on April 1, we have a problem with cliques. Though cliques are a features of every school, they are exacerbated by the barbell of student socioeconomic class representation at CC. The Glass House dialogue, however, left me thinking that there is an interest in building community across all students. 

This then makes me think of the Robson Arena as an experiment for the hockey team and all students at CC. The architecture and integration of the Robson Arena won’t be the only thing students think of when they walk through it — students, both current and previous, will inevitably think of their connection to the team. If we start doing a better job of seeing beyond our own bubbles, then hopefully there won’t be another incident like the one last Friday. The bar has been raised and the conversation has been made public. My hope is that after all is said and done, those 500 student seats will be filled for that first home game.     

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