Lynah Rink has reopened their public skating sessions for students, faculty and staff. However, momentary limited staffing issues means public times are only during lunch times — often conflicting with student schedules.
With the public slots occurring during class time, students face difficulties taking advantage of these sessions. One frustrated student created a petition to advocate for more time slots.
Due to priority given for Men’s and Women’s Ice Hockey teams and Figure Skating, the rink’s only free block for public skating occurs on weekdays during the day.
“By my count last week, the ice rink was operational for 90 hours,” wrote Anita Brenner, deputy director of Athletics for Intercollegiate Athletics and Senior Woman administrator, in an email to The Sun. “The rink schedule accommodates two varsity ice hockey teams, PE classes, numerous clubs and local youth hockey teams.”
The rink is open for public skating on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from noon to 1 p.m. and from 11:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. on Tuesdays.
Though this may be an inconvenience for students, Shreyas Parsad ’23 voiced his understanding that it is still a great activity to enjoy with friends, and students should regardless seek opportunities to capitalize on it.
“It’s usually really hard to fit the time to come in,” Parsad said. “[But] it’s a fun thing to do with friends. Some of my friends have taken the class, and are trying to teach us how to skate. It’s a good, fun thing to do during the day.”
Cullen O’Hara ’23 wanted to go ice skating with his girlfriend before realizing it wouldn’t be possible with his class schedule.
“I became interested in this issue during the pandemic, it was mid 2021… [and] I wanted to take my girlfriend ice skating at Lynah Rink and could not because it was always during my class time,” O’Hara said.
Upset by these challenges, he tried to reach out to see if the schedule would be changed at all. According to O’Hara, he was told the times were set and there’s nothing to be done.
This semester, O’Hara came back to the issue to try to find more answers and a potential compromise for both priority users such as the athletes and the general public to be content.
“Now, I kind of looked back into it to see if anything had changed, now that the pandemic is really coming to a close, and it hadn’t,” O’Hara said. “So then, I decided I’ll write about this in my capacity as a person at the Cornell Review.”
O’Hara created the petition and wrote a Cornell Review article to draw attention to the issue and attain more signatures. Despite his efforts, Lynah’s open times haven’t been updated. Brenner, however, hinted at a potential change that may be impending as the staffing issue gets resolved.
“We make ice time available to the public as time, staffing and ice maintenance allows,” Brenner said. “The weekday hours are to provide mid-day access to students, faculty and staff. Prior to the pandemic we offered Sunday open skate hours as we plan to again this year once the seasonal staff are in place.”
Jiwook Jung ’25 contributed reporting.