Stony Brook University and the Three Village Soccer Club reached an agreement for the use of the field space next to the South P Lot, allowing the university students to use the fields.

“We believe this agreement is very responsive to our students’ expressed needs and at the same time responsive to the community,” Stony Brook University President Samuel L. Stanley Jr. said in the press release issued on March 11.

The Three Village Soccer Club uses field space next to the South P Lot, which it now shares with sports clubs. (MIKE CUSANELLI / THE STATESMAN)
The Three Village Soccer Club uses field space next to the South P Lot, which it now shares with sports clubs. (MIKE CUSANELLI / THE STATESMAN)

With the agreement, the university students will use three fields of the space, and Three Village Soccer Club will take up the rest spaces. Both sides also can use each field space when their use has not been scheduled.

Mitch Pally, president of Three Village Soccer Club, said that he was satisfied with the new agreement, which would benefit both students and community.

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“This will give the opportunity for everybody to mix together and to accommodate each other,” he said.  “I look at it as very very positive step in community and school relation.”

The university’s sports clubs were also satisfied, after struggling to have practices and games in the limited space on campus. As per the agreement, they are able to practice in these new spaces.

“I am very happy that university saw this was an important issue and had used resources, their time and effort to find a solution for students,” Derek Cope, health science and sociology double major, USG vice president of academic affairs and the president of Sports Club Council, said.

It took a long time for the agreement to be reached. Since January of last year, the university and the club tried to make a deal about the use of the field space as the permit, which had been given to the club on the field, would expire in November. During the talk, the club began an online petition, getting 2,021 supporters.

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The university sports clubs also made a petition asking the school for more field space. They raised 3,300 signatures from students, according to Cope, who led the petition. The university’s sports clubs have been bothered by lack of spaces available to them. According to the press release, sports clubs could use only 6.7 acre spaces. Cope said that usually six to eight clubs have tried to use the campus recreation field at the same time.

“We had a size of less than like three football fields packed with 100 students,” he said. “Everyone was often in a little pocket.”

The South P Lot field space is the university’s property. Three Village Soccer Club has leased the fields from the university since 1980s but has paid all costs in maintenance of the field. So, Cope said, when the university’s men’s and women’s soccer clubs had used the field, both teams had to pay a fee to the club. Last fall, the fee was $460.

Because practice was held in such a crowded field, safety had been a big issue that sometimes interrupted practices.

“Lacrosse balls are very hard and getting hit with one can result in serious injury,” biology major Nicole Ranaldo, president of the club women’s lacrosse team, said.

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Having a game also had been a problem. If one team had a game, other teams utilize the field.

“If I had a game the same day lacrosse had a game, and if they turn in first, then we wouldn’t be able to play,”Cope said.

Stony Brook University will renovate the new fields. According to an undergraduate fee letter, the school will set one turf field and two grass fields.

Ranaldo wished the turf field would keep scheduled games from being canceled. In addition, there will be lighting facilities, which will extend the hours the fields can be used.

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