Among students and faculty, athleticism at Sarah Lawrence is a mainstay in sarcastic joking. Simply mention the Sarah Lawrence men’s basketball team and in response you’ll hear a grunt of ridicule. The general consensus is that Sarah Lawrence students are brainy, weak creatures, and any of their attempts at physical contests are promises of pathetic failure. But that isn’t entirely true—crew, equestrian, volleyball, basketball, swimming, tennis, and softball are offered at a varsity level. Weekly bouts of ultimate Frisbee, indoor soccer, and squash occur through intramurals or clubs. Teams are typically under-populated and in order to compensate, players often have to stay in for entire games. Turnout for games is low, which may frustrate athletes who work hard to represent the school and don’t receive respect or encouragement from the campus.
The college also holds special events such as 5K road races and basketball tournaments for those who want to be competitive without playing on a team. Others stay in shape by frequenting the Caspar Whitney Fitness Center or by taking physical education classes. The athletic crowd on campus may be small, but their morale is high and facilities top-notch. Coaches and physical education teachers are generally friendly, supportive, and lax—they don’t have any illusions about the non-competitive nature of the average SLC student.