Author Topic: Letter to the Athletic Department  (Read 596 times)

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charlotte 49er

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on: September 23, 2017, 06:29:49 pm
I NEVER post on here, but I sent this letter to everyone in "Administration" in the Athletic Department. This one is addressed to Judy Rose. Had to split for character space:



Dear Judy Rose,


I am not one who typically writes letters or is active in voicing my concerns, but I have reached a point where I feel that I can no longer sit back and be quiet. I started at Charlotte in 2005, when basketball started to take a turn for the worse. I have to admit, because we had a terrible losing streak and my friends were not very enthused, I did not attend many games and did not have much school spirit in regards to athletics. Later, I met the man who would be my husband, Marc Asbill. If you don’t know him personally, I am sure you are at least familiar with his name. Marc is very proud of our school and athletic program, and he ignited a passion for Charlotte athletics in me that I never thought I would have. In fact, I have attended more games as an alumna than I ever did as a student; but I am starting to revert back to how I felt as a student because of the state of Charlotte athletics, and the athletic department as a whole.


If you are not aware, we have officially become the 3rd largest school in the state. While we excel in education, and have top ranked colleges in the nation, we are one of the worst in athletics. If you haven’t been paying attention, or maybe you just don’t care, the alumni are getting frustrated and you are on the verge of losing money; but it’s not because we are bad in sports, it is because of the way we are being treated. Given the way that my husband and I personally have been treated, particularly this year, we are considering relinquishing our FSLs and ceasing donations to the athletic foundation. And we are not alone – other alumni have communicated their frustration with the way they have been treated by the athletics department. We feel that you do not care about us as individual contributors, that you only care about large donors and corporate sponsors. While corporate sponsorship is great, they will never be as loyal to your program as those who spent the best years of their lives attending this university. We are tired of feeling like a number and a dollar sign.


But there are actions you can take, and policies you can implement, and training you can provide to help improve the state of the athletic department, which may help retain some of your donors:


1.   Communication. We know that the campus is constantly changing; in fact, there has been non-stop construction on the campus grounds since I started in 2005, but taking just a small extra step to notify those who will be affected by the change will go a long way. The issue with moving the Silver Lot – the way we were notified, and the way it was handled, was atrocious. It would have taken just a few minutes to write a letter and send it to the season-long parking pass holders, prior to sending the yearly letter, where the notice was buried. Additionally, in the past, there was a strict “No Stroller” policy. For 4 years, parents have had to carry their young children up to the stadium. As of the NC A&T game, that policy seems to have changed but hardly anyone knew. After digging through the website, it is listed in an obscure location. Having this information communicated to us would have been beneficial information, as we have parents with young children in our group. Please take this into consideration for the 2018-2019 football season.


2.   Money is money. All surface tailgate lot options should be open to season ticket holders, just as they are to FSL holders, so long as they donate at the level that is required for that lot. This would increase the amount of money that goes towards the athletic department; it doesn’t make sense to restrict income.


3.   Tailgating should open first thing in the morning, not 4 hours before the game. This will help build the culture of Charlotte football. What do people think of when they think of the USC Gamecocks? Their tailgating, and how amazing it is. Opening tailgating earlier will also help detract from negativity when we lose, as tailgating, in itself, is an event that people look forward to.


charlotte 49er

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Reply #1 on: September 23, 2017, 06:30:35 pm
Continued:



4.   Transportation and communication. The shuttle service was a great idea, but so far it has been poorly executed. Here are some ways it can be improved:
a.   The shuttles should be staggered, so they run every 30 minutes instead of every hour. We watched many alumni become frustrated and decide to walk the mile and a half trek from the Silver Lot to the stadium. Lucky for them, they are familiar with campus but the visiting team’s fans were not so fortunate and had to wait for the shuttle. Many missed kick-off, which made them unhappy.
b.   Pick-up and Drop-off locations should be clear. When going to the game, we were dropped off at the baseball stadium. Additionally, we were told the baseball stadium was the “final stop”, not the football stadium. Since we were told this was the final stop, we had to walk uphill to the game. While we could all use a little exercise, those in our group with infants and young children were not expecting to climb a hill with their kids in tow. On top of that, we did not know where the pick-up location was at the football stadium. A map of the routes, shuttle stops, and schedule would be helpful. Perhaps parking attendants could have copies of the map that they give to tailgaters upon arrival. It would also be beneficial if the bus drivers had maps that could be handed out to riders. Next year, you could also print this in the ticket book, and include it with parking passes.
c.   Communicate the pick-up times and routes. Shuttle service does not start until an hour before kick-off, yet there were people waiting in the hot sun, with no shade, well in advance of this time. It was evident that they were unaware of when pick-ups were scheduled to start. You could include this information on the sign that indicates the shuttle stop. Additionally, many did not know there were 2 routes (Silver and Green) – including ourselves. This should be clear at the shuttle stops, and there should be an advisory that if you find yourself on the wrong return shuttle, you may not be dropped off in the correct location.
•   Bus drivers should also be educated on the routes and shuttle stops, and customer service. When we were leaving the NC A&T game, we stopped a bus (as previously stated, we couldn’t find the pick-up location at the stadium) asked if they were headed to the Silver Lot. The bus driver rudely replied, “I don’t know. You should stick with the bus driver you had when you arrived”. This is outrageous and completely uncalled for.


5.   Ticket office times should be regularly kept and there should be more than one person available to pick-up the phone during those times. We tried calling multiple times throughout the day before the game (Friday) to ask a question, but were sent to voicemail every time. For a school of our size, this is unacceptable. If staffing is your problem, please hire students. Again, we are the 3rd largest school in the state. This should never be an issue.


6.   General customer service. Overall, our experience with the athletic department has been subpar. There is an air of apathy towards alumni, but the alumni are the ones who donate their hard-earned money. We donate because we believe in the Charlotte athletics, and we should not feel like we don’t matter to the athletic department.  It is better to front load customer service, than have angry people coming to you, for which you have to apologize. I personally would not be writing this letter, if you had just planned everything through, communicated the plan clearly and in a timely fashion, and didn’t make me feel disenfranchised.


I sincerely hope that you take these suggestions and put them into action. I fear that if you keep the status quo, you will find yourself without the monetary contributions you have become accustomed to. We love our university, but we will not continue to throw money at an organization that doesn’t value us.




Sincerely,


Alicia Asbill



mojoniner

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Reply #2 on: September 23, 2017, 07:55:29 pm
Continued:



4.   Transportation and communication. The shuttle service was a great idea, but so far it has been poorly executed. Here are some ways it can be improved:
a.   The shuttles should be staggered, so they run every 30 minutes instead of every hour. We watched many alumni become frustrated and decide to walk the mile and a half trek from the Silver Lot to the stadium. Lucky for them, they are familiar with campus but the visiting team’s fans were not so fortunate and had to wait for the shuttle. Many missed kick-off, which made them unhappy.
b.   Pick-up and Drop-off locations should be clear. When going to the game, we were dropped off at the baseball stadium. Additionally, we were told the baseball stadium was the “final stop”, not the football stadium. Since we were told this was the final stop, we had to walk uphill to the game. While we could all use a little exercise, those in our group with infants and young children were not expecting to climb a hill with their kids in tow. On top of that, we did not know where the pick-up location was at the football stadium. A map of the routes, shuttle stops, and schedule would be helpful. Perhaps parking attendants could have copies of the map that they give to tailgaters upon arrival. It would also be beneficial if the bus drivers had maps that could be handed out to riders. Next year, you could also print this in the ticket book, and include it with parking passes.
c.   Communicate the pick-up times and routes. Shuttle service does not start until an hour before kick-off, yet there were people waiting in the hot sun, with no shade, well in advance of this time. It was evident that they were unaware of when pick-ups were scheduled to start. You could include this information on the sign that indicates the shuttle stop. Additionally, many did not know there were 2 routes (Silver and Green) – including ourselves. This should be clear at the shuttle stops, and there should be an advisory that if you find yourself on the wrong return shuttle, you may not be dropped off in the correct location.
•   Bus drivers should also be educated on the routes and shuttle stops, and customer service. When we were leaving the NC A&T game, we stopped a bus (as previously stated, we couldn’t find the pick-up location at the stadium) asked if they were headed to the Silver Lot. The bus driver rudely replied, “I don’t know. You should stick with the bus driver you had when you arrived”. This is outrageous and completely uncalled for.


5.   Ticket office times should be regularly kept and there should be more than one person available to pick-up the phone during those times. We tried calling multiple times throughout the day before the game (Friday) to ask a question, but were sent to voicemail every time. For a school of our size, this is unacceptable. If staffing is your problem, please hire students. Again, we are the 3rd largest school in the state. This should never be an issue.


6.   General customer service. Overall, our experience with the athletic department has been subpar. There is an air of apathy towards alumni, but the alumni are the ones who donate their hard-earned money. We donate because we believe in the Charlotte athletics, and we should not feel like we don’t matter to the athletic department.  It is better to front load customer service, than have angry people coming to you, for which you have to apologize. I personally would not be writing this letter, if you had just planned everything through, communicated the plan clearly and in a timely fashion, and didn’t make me feel disenfranchised.


I sincerely hope that you take these suggestions and put them into action. I fear that if you keep the status quo, you will find yourself without the monetary contributions you have become accustomed to. We love our university, but we will not continue to throw money at an organization that doesn’t value us.




Sincerely,


Alicia Asbill

With only a 15K stadium you shouldn't have a shuttle drop off. Oh I know some here will mention other schools having to park a mile or so  away but those schools hold 60-80k for a game.


frequentvisitor

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Reply #3 on: September 23, 2017, 09:05:18 pm
There are some very good points in Alicia's letter. Athletic Departments love to hear from fans who have comments about their game day experiences.

One good point was not getting phone called answered the day before the game. The Athletic Department needs to enlist work study students and/or interns to answer the phones those days. Create no show classes where the only work the students are assigned is answering the Ticket Office phone and licking envelopes to be mailed to season ticket holders.

The Light Rail opens to UNCC before next season. The AD should encourage/subsidize people who ride the train to campus. That results in fewer cars to park. People walking around campus on game day creates a positive environment. People driving around looking for a parking space detract from the experience.


 

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